New Windows Live Messenger build works on 'almost all' phones

Microsoft has released the final version of a Windows Live Messenger instant-messaging service that works on "almost all" WAP phones.

Microsoft has released the final version of a Windows Live Messenger instant-messaging service  that works on "almost all" phones, according to a company official.

The new Live Messenger release isn't as full-featured as the customized Windows Live Messenger and other Windows Live services that Microsoft has released in conjunction with Nokia (for its S40 and s60 phones) and HTC (for the T-Mobile Dash). Instead, it's more of a least-common-denominator-type release.

The new Live Messenger version, which can be downloaded for free from mobile.msn.com, comes in "two flavors," blogged Phil Holden, Director, Windows Live: A WAP 1.X version and a WAP 2.x version that includes "a decent XHTML/HTML browser in it," according to Holden. The new Messenger will work on any WAP phones, not just Windows Mobile ones. Holden explained:

"Although this (new Windows Live Messenger build) doesn't provide the full functionally that you would find on Windows Live for Windows Mobile or Windows Live for Nokia it provides a fast, clean, and simple instant message service for your mobile device that works on almost all phones. The core proposition is that it shouldn't be a hassle to use mobile instant messaging, with an interface that is familiar and easy to use."

The just-released Windows Live Messenger build includes:

  • Rich emoticons support
  • The ability to view and manage up to five active conversations
  • THe capability to change the display names, status etc
  • Access to Live Contacts, with the ability to search contacts, hide offline contacts, etc.

Microsoft also announced this week that it is now putting online ads on the mobile MSN.com portal -- part of its strategy to increase its position to the point where it is the No. 2 player (after you know who) in the online-advertising world.