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Microsoft Messenger

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Current Version: 2.5.1 (July 22, 2004) / 6.0.3 (August 22, 2007) / 7.0.2 (February 6, 2009)

Yet another Instant Messaging program, Microsoft Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger) is Microsoft's equivalent to the AOL Instant Messenger product. However, Microsoft Messenger 6 and 7 are compatible with the Office Communications Server products used in many corporate environments.

Version 2.5 (for Mac OS 8.6-9.x) makes the following changes:

  • Updated Emoticons
  • Other improvements to enhance stability and performance
  • Japanese, German, Swedish, French, and Spanish versions of MSN Messenger now available
  • Other miscellaneous bug fixes

Version 6 - for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later only - brought the following major enhancements:

  • Messenger for Mac 6.0 is a Universal application built to run on both PowerPC-based and Intel-based Macs.
  • Chat with Yahoo! Messenger contacts.
  • Add a status message that your personal contacts can see.
  • Share what you are listening to in iTunes with your personal contacts.
  • Create, send, and receive custom emoticons with personal contacts.
  • Send and receive custom animated emoticons with personal contacts.
  • Search for conversation histories using Spotlight.
  • Check the spelling in your instant messages.

Version 6.0.3 makes the following additional changes:

  • Messenger for Mac 6.0.3 includes improved performance during file transfers and improvements to Kerberos authentication.
  • It also introduces support for the Danish, Finnish, and Norwegian languages.
  • In addition, Messenger for Mac 6.0.3 includes logging for the personal account. Log files can help troubleshoot various problems in Messenger such as connection problems, status failures, and other issues. Enabling logs saves a file containing personal information to ~/Documents. Anyone with access to this directory can open this file. By default, Messenger logging is turned off.

Version 7 - for Mac OS X 10.4.9 and later only - brings the following major enhancements:

  • Includes new features for both the corporate service (works with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007) and personal service (works with the Windows Live service).
  • Delivers audio and video for the first time in the corporate service.
  • Bonjour support, available in both personal and corporate services. Using the Mac OS X Bonjour technology, Messenger for Mac 7.0 includes the ability to detect other Messenger for Mac users that are near by on the same local network.
  • New features in the corporate service. Messenger for Mac 7 makes it easier to track down co-workers you need to contact. Using the new search feature, you can easily search for people in your organization and start communicating with them.
  • More detailed presence information that is compatible with the presence model of Office Communications Server 2007. Messenger for Mac 7 displays additional presence states to better reflect your contacts (or your own) availability.
  • Through the corporate service in Messenger for Mac, you can now conduct virtual meetings with your co-workers using audio and video calls. You can communicate inside or outside your corporate network, you can communicate with co-workers running Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 on Windows, you can even participate in a multi-party Audio or Video conference.
  • AV is not available yet in the Personal service. We are making progress and working on the delivery of Audio and Video for the personal service and are looking forward to getting the feature out there and in your hands as soon as we can.
  • You can now assign nicknames to your contacts. Do you know two people named Jack and can never tell them apart in your contact list, since they both have their display name set to Jack? Put an end to the confusion and assign them some identifiable nicknames! Do you have a friend that insists on changing his\her display name to a different expression everyday? Use a nickname to reduce the amount of time you spend trying to identify your contact in the contact list.
  • A new contact search field enables you to look contacts up more easily.

Messenger for Mac 7.0.2 improves overall quality and conversations with Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2.

Other versions are still available for Mac OS X 10.1.3 - 10.3.

User Reviews

[Classic version] "I haven't really had a chance to play much with the program, since not many folks I know are on the MSN chat network, but this seems to be one of the easier chat programs I've seen, on a par with AIM, and way ahead of the awful client ICQ has. The Hotmail alerts are great."
—Adam Lipkin

[Classic version] "While I've heard it's slightly more stable on OS 9, and the X-native version is reported to work well, it's terribly buggy and extremely crash-prone running through CarbonLib 1.6 on OS 8.6. As soon as another party sends you a message, the whole OS locks up. Under 1.5, it was at least partially usable; you could IM successfully for around half an hour before it would finally go down in flames. Under 1.4, it was even more stable, but still nowhere near perfect. Overall, I would not recommend this client for OS 8.6 under any circumstances."
—Jordan Carder

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Download the Carbon version (2.5.1) for Mac OS 8.6 - 9.x.
Download the Carbon / Universal version (6.0.3) for Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Download the Carbon / Universal version (7.0.2) for Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later.
Go to download an older version for Mac OS X 10.1.3 - 10.3.

Version 8.0 Beta (Carbon / Intel) for Mac OS X 10.5 and later provides real-time collaboration between people in different locations. You can use instant messaging and audio and video calls to communicate with your contacts. More information is available on the beta site.

Also See . . .

Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:

Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.

Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.

Also Consider . . .

These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!