Microsoft Launches MSN Messenger Service

Microsoft Corp. Thursday rolled out
its MSN Messenger Service, a free Internet messaging service integrated
with Microsoft services including the Hotmail free e-mail service, Outlook
Express 5, NetMeeting and Internet Explorer 5.0.

The MSN Messenger Service brings online message exchange to Hotmail’s more
than 40 million users, and has decided to beat the competition by joining
it; the service is also available to AOL Instant Messenger users. Microsoft
is lobbying for all messaging services to be interoperable.

The service client is currently available for download, and is available in English,
French, German and Japanese.

“Communications continues to be the cornerstone of the Internet, and
instant messaging is becoming a more prevalent way for people to
communicate,” said Brad Chase, vice president of the consumer and
commerce group at Microsoft.

In contrast to its operating system strategy, Microsoft, with 40 other
Internet messaging companies, is calling for standardized instant messaging
and presence protocols that would enable subscribers to use any messaging
application to communicate with members of any service.

The Internet Engineering Task Force, which works to develop Internet
standards specifications, formed the Instant Messaging and Presence
Protocol (IMPP) Working Group. The IMPP Working Group in turn plans to
address the interoperability problem and work to eliminate the isolated
services produced by some vendors.

Microsoft likened the isolated services to “having a telephone that
only makes calls to customers who have the same brand of telephone.”

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