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Microsoft MSN Messenger Service

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      15.03.2012 18:06

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      If you don't know what MSN is then you haven't lived!

      MSN Messenger is quite a basic piece of software but has some really cool features, I was first introduced to it around 6/7 years ago now when it became the new hype at school, if you wern't on msn at the time then you were part of the outcast's!

      Once signed up with Hotmail you simply download the application and login with your e-mail address, you can then add friends with their e-mail address or by name or telephone number if i remember correctly.
      It is very user friendly as you can organise your friends in to lists, see easily when people are on or offline, start a live chat instantly by just clicking on a friend, once in an active conversation you can exchange webcams with audio, send small audio clips, send smiley emotions, and then other extra's like winks and nudge which you can use to grab the other persons attention!

      There is also a large range of games available from Microsoft which can be played live between you and your friend, whilst you chat at the same time.

      I think MSN has gradually lost its popularity since social network sites like Facebook and Twitter became more popular, however I do think there are valuable features within MSN which are lacked with the competitor platforms.

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      06.09.2010 18:51
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      Good way to talk for free

      I first joined MSN after being moaned at during school to become a member, and it certainly gave me something to do during the cold winter nights when there was nothing else to do.

      MSN allows you to add 'friends' to a contact list with the use of their e-mail address. Hence the quote marks around friends, because a lot of people that have contacts on their MSN do not actually know each other, therefore defeating the object of being able to have conversations with people you know. However, some people like to talk to strangers who eventually become friends.

      There are also problems with systems such as msn such as bullying where people abuse someone. This is a particular problem for school children and young adults. However, conversations can be recorded under the contacts email address of the user's computer, so if parents feel the need to see what their child is talking about, it can easily be accessed. There is a useful tool that contacts can be deleted or blocked for a period of time which makes other contacts think the person is offline so they can not talk. This is good for unwanted 'friends'.
      Users can also post pictures of themselves on their picture ID's. However, who's to say the picture is the person you are talking to? Unless you know the person, you can't be certain of who your 'friends' are. This can be dangerous for younger people.

      Users can also add emoticons to their conversations which can create humour so users can have fun while talking to friends. The colour of their writing can also be changed to their tastes which can create individuality. Web chats can also take place for free with the use of MSN which is good for friends that may not see each other much.

      Overall, I would recommend msn to anyone that has IT experience and is sensible about who they are talking to.

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      06.06.2010 11:41
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      good all round commumication

      Msn messenger is a messaging service that allows you to interact with friends and family all over the world. It is pre installed on most new computers and laptops with the Microsoft windows operating system and can also be downloaded from the windows live website free of charge. Even if you are unable to download it, it has recently become available as a web messenger online and can be accessed through your web browser. It is very similar to the downloadable version except it doesn't have many of the added features of playing games, sharing files, winks or nudges.
      With each new version of the software being released, more and more features are being added and over the years it has become increasingly user friendly. There are constantly more games being added and they include the classic favourites such as minesweeper flags, checkers and rock paper scissors.
      I have had problems in the past with installing new updates of the software. It comes up with a message telling the user when a new version is available. However, it isn't always so simple. A couple of times, when trying, it just failed to install and then my old messenger wouldn't work either. I then had to delete the previous msn messenger and download it again from scratch (which takes much longer than it should).

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      28.04.2010 12:49
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      Windows Live Messenger is the way forward in technology

      Windows Live Messenger as it has been known of since 2005, was previously known as MSN Messenger as of its creation in 1999. It was created by Microsoft and currently only runs on systems that have a variation of Windows installed. A similar idea has been created and installed on Apple Macs. It is an instant messaging service that allows you to communicate with your friends and family via a conversation screen. Approximately 330 million individuals use the service every single month.

      I find MSN Messenger to be a saviour when you are attempting to keep in touch with people that you haven't seen in a long time. It is instant so it allows you to keep a running conversation going as if you were interacting face to face. I think that I log onto it nearly every day, just to talk to people if I cannot get around to see them in person, though I worry that it could replace normal conversation for many people and maybe become an obsession. In order to combat this, I tend to just leave it running in the background on my computer so that I am not tempted to check it every single moment.

      Before you can use MSN you download it from the site and it will install the programme free to your computer, I personally agree with this as it gets used much more than if you had to pay to download it. I suspect it attracts a lot more individuals to use it as it is free to download and from a branding that many people know and trust. The only reasons I set up an account are because it was free of charge and simple to use as well as being user friendly and from Microsoft, whom I trust for decent technology.

      In order to use the service you have to log into your specific Messenger with your email address and password. This then connects you to your personal version of the product, where you can add people you want to chat to, provided they also have the product downloaded to their computer.

      You can change the banner at the top of your MSN page to reflect your own personality, as well as choosing what you want to be called (which will display on other people's MSNs) and your tag line or subtitle just below this. Most people I know tend to put song lyrics that are meaningful to themselves in here, with some others putting exactly how they feel without having to express themselves in a conversation.

      When chatting to someone you have preset emoticons that are loaded into MSN that you can use at any time, either by clicking on the one you choose or by typing in the keyboard shortcut. These are available to give you the opportunity to get your feelings across to the other individual you are chatting to so you don't have to type a long winded explanation. There are some fun ones that people also create that you can add to your custom emoticons...these tend to be a lot funnier than the stock versions. I think personally I use emoticons too much as they are a good way of getting your emotions across without being too serious.

      On your MSN you are able to create groups in which to put people into so that you keep them divided. I have my family, housemates, school and university friends all separate so that I won't get confused as to who is online at any given time. I think this function gives MSN some clarity for the user as they can create any groups they wish in order to keep a track of the friends that are online and they want to talk to as opposed to the ones that are offline or aren't so keen to converse with.

      Adding a new contact is as easy as it could be, you just add their email address and it pops up in a separate window on their MSN when they log in, giving them the opportunity to add or block you. This is an especially good function to have as it helps me to keep spammers off my MSN contacts, with the ability to also delete them or report them as a hacker.

      You can share photos, music and other files with an individual you are talking to, which can make it quicker and easier to send things as opposed to having to email them. Though you can simply click on your linked Hotmail email account whilst logged into MSN and check your emails, something which I tend to do frequently as it keeps an accurate record of how many outstanding emails you have yet to view.

      The only problem I have had occasionally is that some people don't receive the messages I type or I am unable to see their replies, which can be really annoying, as you have no clue as to whether that person is just ignoring you or whether they actually didn't see what you said next. This can occur even when they NET Messenger Service is functioning normally, so I don't know if it is just a glitch in the programme or whether it is just me!

      Overall I don't think I could live without MSN, it makes it much easier to keep in touch with people and send them files that you want them to receive as soon as humanly possible. I love this programme for its simple functionality and the fact that it allows you to have conversations with people whom you might not have seen in a very long time or just to make plans with people you see every day whom don't live in the same place as you. Though I believe that if you use computers to communicate you may forget the art of conversation...

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        26.03.2010 09:34
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        A fab way to communicate with people that doesn't cost, and is easy to use.

        MSN is an Instant Messenger service - basically that means it's a way of communicating instantly with someone else who is online at the same time, so that you both can see the messages the instant that you've finished typing them and either pressed rtn or hit the send button. It's a great way to communicate with people, and although the idea has been around for a few years now, the current MSN system is the best incarnation yet.

        To be honest, I'm quite a conservative person when it comes to PC's. I use Windows XP, Internet Explorer, and Outlook Express for example, these all being the systems that came bundled with the pc I have, and the ones I know best. I don't like change much, so although I have tried one or two other IM services over the years, this is the one I choose to stick to.

        Set up is incredibly easy. Download the small piece of software from the www.msn.com website, and it takes you through it's own installation and asks if you want to add friends who you have on your e-mail set up. It also lets you add any other friends you choose. If you don't already have an e-mail address, they will offer you an msn or hotmail one when you go through the set up process too. - You do need an e-mail address to use MSN as that's how your friends will be able to add you to their lists.

        When MSN starts up, you get an oblong box pops up each time you use it that has a button for you to click to sign yourself in. The oblong window then shows your list of contacts. Now contacts can be divided into groups. So you can have Family in one group, friends in another, work mates in a third etc. You can make all but the first category hidden if you want to, and you will know which people are online, and which aren't by the colour of the little icon next to their name. If there's a little Green square there, then they are Online, If it's Red then they're online but have marked themselves 'busy' - an excellent feature that protects you from people bugging you too much if you need to get on with things, but still lets them know you're online. Then there's yellowy orange for 'away' and pale blue for offline.

        Talking to people is really easy and for me is the whole purpose of this software. You double click on their name and a new box window opens and it's in here that you talk. You type your message to them in the box at the bottom of the window, and then when you press the rtn button, or click send, it appears in the window above the box. That's the simple version of how to use MSN. In actual fact it's got one heck of a lot more going for it, and you can send files to your friends via it, you can play games with them through it, and if you have a camera, microphone and speakers, you can even have proper voice conversations with them where you can see what they're doing and they can see you too.

        For me one of the most useful features is the ability to have conversations with more than one person at a time. My mum, sister in law and myself do this on quite a regular basis and it lets us all talk together and sort out our plans to get together with ease. No phone calls, just all chatting online at the same time. It also means my sister in law who has a young baby doesn't have to fight her for the phone (She can't work out who's there and tries to look down it bless her!).

        Another feature that I love and use a lot is that you have the ability to share files and pictures really easily with the person you're talking to. Now if they use the latest version of MSN like you, then for pictures it pops them into a box at the top of the screen, if however they're coming in on a different system or an older version of msn then it will appear as a file link that they need to click on to download to their computer. Either way is quite fast though, and does save having to go off and e-mail something across and then wait for the e-mail to arrive etc. It's all Instant here which for an impatient person like myself is fab!

        I think my third favourite thing about MSN is that you can change the colours and way your msn system looks. There are several different 'skins' you can choose from - these are the background colours basically. But you can also alter the colour and font you use too, so I have mine set to use Comic Sans and Bright Pink for my text. My mum uses a different colour but the same font, and my sister in law uses a different font and colour. The different colour part of it makes multi-member conversations MUCH easier to read at a glance. I've been involved in conversations where there have been 6 or 7 people all talking together, and if you're all using the same font and colour it's much harder to see who's said what than it is when everyone has a different colour on the screen.

        I also rather like the emoticons - these are little image representations of words or actions, and I have quite a few on my system. Some are quite simple like for example if I type the word 'cool' it comes up all blue and sparkly. If I type haha I get a round laughing face appears. This side of things is incredibly controllable and individual as you can 'nick' emoticons from other people you talk to by right clicking on the image in the conversation and copying it to your own. You can also download them from specialised sites too. It's also very controllable as you can set the key code (the bit you type to get the image) to pretty much whatever you want, so you could have the round laughing face only appear when you type RLF3 for example, so you can't do it by mistake, or you can be like me and have it appear instead of the phrase you were planning on using i.e. 'haha'. I love that it makes the chat a bit more interesting, and I can also do things like wave a hand for 'byebye' and I've got a round face blowing kisses set up for xx and a different one for XX too. Now I know in theory this is probably to interest the kids and stuff, but I'm 37 and I love it. In fact I can't think of anyone I know who doesn't use some custom emoticons to be honest and most of those on my msn are adults.

        I think for me MSN is probably one of if not THE most important piece of software on my computer other than the connection to the internet. It's my lifeline when I'm on my own at home (I'm disabled), and it lets me chat to others quickly and simply. It stops me from feeling lonely, and it lets me feel much more connected with people than I would without it. Every time they change and upgrade I feel a little lost for a bit, but it's something that is improving and growing with each change, so it's worth the discomfort while you get used to the next version as there's always something new and good about it.

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          25.03.2010 16:36
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          Great computer application

          Microsoft MSN Messenger Service is a brilliant service introduced years ago, and used by millions around the world. Basicaly what this service does is allow you to chat online instantly with friends that you add. Instant messaging couldnt have been made simplier. This application has changed somewhat over the years, and the most current version is of course the best.

          To set up all you need to do is have an email address and download the application from the msn website. www.msn.com

          If you dont have a website, when installing the program, you will be able to get up a free hotmail account. Once this has been done, you will need to add your friends. Simply by clicking add contact, you can add a friends if you have their email address. I dont think there is a limit to how many contacts you are permitted, but I have a couple of hundred, so not too bad.

          I use this service daily, and find it great. All your conversations will friends are kept private on a one-to-one basis, however, there is a feature which allows you to invite other friends to join in the conversation if you wish. When closing the messager box, you are given an option to save the convo to your computer, I dont, but some do as a record of their chats (not sure why).

          There are many other features to this service. First of all, you can share images, not just by having one as your display picture, but all by sending and recieveing files with each other. Messenger will inform you if there is a risk of any harmful files, but it happens rarely with me. In addition, you can also play games with your friends online, which is a great, kill some time I suppose.

          Teenagers are probably the main users for this service, but adults also use it. Messaging each other is a lot faster than using the likes of Facebook or Myspace, and it is like you are talking to them face to face. The service will tell you which of your friends are online, and then you are ready to chat. As I said I use it everyday, and a free way to keep in contact. Fantastic.

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          28.02.2010 20:15
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          Great free chatting software

          MSN is the popular instant messenger programme for windows.

          ~~~MESSENGER INTERFACE~~~
          The messenger is a slender and unobtrusive programme that sits nicely on the side of the screen, with contacts in a clear list down the middle. Near the top, is your personal interface, where you can change your display picture, screen name and other options. At the very top are the file menus, in which you can set up your web cam and microphone, hardware settings and preferences when using the messenger service.

          ~~~INSTANT MESSAGING~~~
          Chatting is immensely simple. Upon having added friends, you can see who is online with the lime green icon. Clicking these friends will open a pop up chat box. This chat box is also extremely clear in layout and where you are supposed to type. Chatting is very easy and quick. All you have to do is type and press enter to send!

          I have found it really great, as you can communicate with whoever you have added who is online, and I personally use this as it is quick and easy. No need to send text messages or call when you have this! One annoyance is that sometimes there are errors in sending messages and it takes several attempts for the message to send, but this is rare.

          ~~~WEBCAM AND CALLS~~~
          Speaking of calls, you can also have a voice call or show webcam or do a webcam chat! This is also very simple, as to the side of the chat box, there is a button which you can click and has a menu of "show webcam", "call" and so on.

          This feature is very useful, and I have used it numerous times to chat to people and do web cam. However, the webcam window occasionally freezes which is annoying, but you just have to cancel and restart.

          There is very little lag with the webcam and calls, and the image and voice is 90% in sync... I guess this is also dependent on your computer speed but it is generally to very good quality, and I am very happy!

          ~~~EXTRA FEATURES~~~
          There are also a range of extra features you can do with your friends.

          -You can have a large chat room in which you invite even more friends to the conversation. I have been in a conversation of about 20 people, which gets awfully confusing, but it is DO-able, and at times fun and useful.

          - Games: There are a number of free games on the site such as Tic Tac Toe, Checkers and 7 Hand poker which you can play with one other friend if and when you are bored. Many of the games are FREE and are quite quick and easy to play which is nice if you are on a break and just want to play a short game.

          - File Sharing: You can use the messenger to send files to each other, which is immensely useful when you want to send them a document or another file. With the latest MSN version, copying and pasting pictures into the chat box opens it in the window so you can view the image they send you. This service is fantastic as it is so quick and easy and the preview means you can see the image and click to save if you wish.

          There are a whole array of other services this provides, but I have covered all the ones I have used and am able to review.

          ~~~OVERALL~~~
          MSN Messenger is perhaps the most popular instant messaging service there is at the moment. The vast range of services it provides boosts its interactivity, and elevates it beyond just basic instant messaging. I love the speed at which I can communicate with others, as well as the reliable webcam and voice chat options, but the best part is that MSN is entirely FREE.

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            20.02.2010 10:05
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            In summary MSN messenger is the place to be, to keep your conversations alive.

            MSN Messenger: The Lifeblood of virtual communications for Free!

            Having such a wide global network of friends, means keeping in touch by mobile phone during working hours, is no longer a viable solution. Different time zones also present a major challenge in communicating with school and university friends, to maintain the strong friendships we have, albeit now in a virtual concept.

            For me MSN messenger is a guardian angel in disguise! Video, Audio and text communications, all combined into one simple to use and highly sophisticated piece of software. What I love is that this is for Macs and PC's alike, and of course other clients can connect to the MSN network, meaning Linux and other bespoke Operating Systems can utilise the full power of Msn Messenger.

            I must have joined the world of MSN messenger over a decade ago, when it was first starting out. Oh my how it has changed over the year! The software is very simple to use, all you need is an email address associated with a Microsoft passport (basically associating you email address to the Microsoft database), and your free to join.

            The messenger client (software for the non technical) installs within minutes on a modern laptop/desktop PC or net book. In fact you can even install it on Windows Mobile phones, like I have, meaning you can be in contact where ever you are, I even use mine on the train at 6am to speak to friends the other side of the world.

            Once installed, you can simply type the email addresses of your friends into the add a contact option and start connecting straight away. Fear not, if your friends don't have a Microsoft Passport, then simply send an invite, to expand your network of contacts. Once done, all your friends have to do is accept that you are indeed a friend, and hey presto, you can start chatting. To do so, simply click their name in the contacts list below, type a message in the message box and hit send. If you have a web cam you can even have a video call, avoiding typing all together. What better than to see your friends!

            A final benefit, is the added option of games. If your bored, challenging your friends to a game of mine sweepers, or alike.

            In summary MSN messenger is the place to be, to keep your conversations alive.

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            18.02.2010 23:34
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            A stable program, definitely the best messenger around for the moment.

            Well MSN is probably the most well known online messenger around, and probably the most widely used. Also aided by the fact that the Xbox 360 comes with an in-built version of MSN Messenger, and is also available on other operating systems, such as the Windows Phone.

            MSN Messenger has been running for over 10 years now, it was probably the first major online messenger, and has continued to be the most popular form of online messaging to date. Both Hotmail and Windows Live accounts are compatible with the Windows Live Messenger service.

            Messenger contains various useful features, such as a file transfer system, allowing users to transfer files across the internet directly to the recipients computer, files cannot be transfered without the recipients consent. PC-PC phone calls are also supported, if the users have a microphone then they can voice chat with each other using Messenger. PC-Phone calls are also supported.

            Yahoo and Microsoft also enhanced both of their messaging programs back in 2006, allowing users of the 2 messengers to chat with each other, Yahoo members chatting with Hotmail users, without the need to download MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger, with these 2 messengers being the 2 largest, Microsoft and Yahoo currently have the market for online messaging.

            You can also leave offline messages for other users of MSN, when you send a message to an offline user, your messages will be stored and when the user next comes online, even if you are not, your messages will be delivered.

            Microsoft also introduced multiplayer games into their messaging service, meaning a user can invite another user to play a game with him, the conversation window will expand and show the game window, while allowing a small amount of space to chat in the normal conversation window.

            Whilst signed into MSN Messenger, you will also be alerted to any emails that you receive to your email address or have received while offline.

            Personally i think this is easily the best messaging service, it's fast, its mostly stable, with downtime usually only lasting a few minutes, and only occuring every few weeks, and it has many useful features. With the added support of being able to chat with both MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger users, you will probably be able to chat to everyone you know without having to download more messengers.

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            18.02.2010 22:34
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            fantastic way to keep in touch with people with real-time messages, can send files and music

            The ease with which this becomes a standard feature on the PC or laptop of almost anyone I know is actually quite interesting, now that I'm thinking about it (only because I am writing this review!)

            I first encountered MSN Messenger when at Uni it became an easier means of communication - you would go into the library, do some work, and then sign in whilst doing any work on the computers and see who else was online and what they are doing - it really did become addictive (and much cheaper back then, as a student!!)

            If I explain how to set up an account first - you need an email address with either hotmail or msn and this is called a 'passport' or something similar - basically meaning it can be used for other things (i.e. msn, emails, etc) and and then you add your friends onto your account.

            It is quite secure because you need to know your friends email addresses - you cannot randomly add people (as far as I am aware) and when adding friends, an email is sent to them which invites them to link to you account and they can either accept or reject this (or vice versa for invites sent to yourself).

            My laptop automatically signs me into MSN - it's a setting which I have had in place for years on every laptop I have owned. This means I can quickly connect to my emails without having to manually sign in with my username/passwords everytime, but because I am sometimes on my laptop only to work, I have my setting adjusted so that I log in showing as 'offline' meaning that nobody on my friends list can see that I am online until I feel up to chatting to any of them.

            this is great as it means i can keep up with my emails as and when they come in, but if i am too busy to converse then i do not have to... as msn runs on real time - people are waiting for a reply, and it is far better for me to show offline and then message them if i become free rather than show as available or busy and still have messages come through.

            there are other settings available, such as 'busy' and 'away' which mean just that - but messages sent will still come through, whilst alerts showing who else has just signed into msn will not unless you are showing as being 'available'.

            the real-time conversations are great... the message are sent instantly and more then two people can be invited to a conversation meaning groups of people can chat to one another - editing is possible so you can personalise your text and have pictures up, change the name of your profile and have statuses which all add to the personal and real-time element of conversing like this. it is also possible to set up web cam and show others that you have one, and be invited into a videocall where you can hear one another and actually speak using the internet!

            It is also possible to use 'emoticons' - images which represent an emotion i.e. smiling, laughing, embarrassed, shy, crying, a hug... the list goes on... and also graphics which can be added with short-cuts and can also be used... it really is a fantastic tool and i use it on my phone in the same way as i do on my laptop - it;s great!! it also allows you so send over files, photos, music or links.. all free!

            if you like, it is possible to group friends easily, by clicking and dragging them across, and also blocking or deleting them if need be. should anyone be abusive then MSN do encourage that you tell them so that they can deal with the person. I havent experienced anything like this personally, but i am aware of people who have and MSN has tried to resolve the situation for them.

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            09.02.2010 20:08
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            overall a great piece of software, useful to stay in touch with friends and family

            MSN Live Messenger

            Windows Live Messenger is one of the most common chat programs available on the computer.
            It's success has grown even beyond computers and has been implemented into mobile phones.
            The latest version of messenger allows registered users to import contacts from social networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and also AOL.
            MSN Messenger is a free download from the Microsoft website

            Now in order for you to sign into messenger you must have a valid email address, it doesn't have to be a hotmail address, I personally have not had many email addresses so can only give you the ones I have confirmed working which are. All Hotmail's such as @live.co.uk, @hotmail.com and @hotmail.co.uk, Any Virgin media / NTL email accounts work. Others i have not tested but they should be ok. Sorry I could not clear this part up for you.
            If you do want to sign up and don't have an email address or would like a hotmail one they are free just type hotmail in your browser and register.
            Moving onto the software itself live messenger has a lot of features and here are the main ones listed below:

            1. One list that shows all contacts you have approved to messenger.
            2. Categories for you to move each contact into i.e. Friends, Family, Work Mates and Favourites.
            3. Each contact can choose a display picture for everyone else to see by uploading one from computer or choosing a preset messenger image, you get around 15 of these ranging from animals to places.
            4. For added fun you can send Winks, these are short animations for occasions such as birthdays and seasonal greetings which are always fun to send.
            5. You can modify the theme which includes a background image on your chat windows and also the colour of the application.
            6. For those of you who are familiar with Skype, Live messenger has the same type of functionality. Allowing you to video call any of your contacts if they have a web camera.
            7. It has audio support allowing you to talk to your contacts via microphone.
            8. Most commonly used are the emoticons these are a picture version of emotions you get a lot of these covering everything from upset, in love, to sleepy. If you're feeling it there's an emoticon for it.
            9. Games for when your bored just pick a contact from your list, click on the games button and you can verse them in a game of checkers and connect four. There are loads of games and many more added all the time.
            10. Status, you can choose a status that suits your current situation for example if you watch a video then you can set your status to Busy or if you have gone out there is a status for Away or even if you want to see who's online but you don't wish to be seen by them then you can set the status as Appearing Offline.
            11. You can send a message to a contact who isn't online and as soon as they go online they will get the message whether you are online or not which is very useful.
            12. Send and receive photos, documents, videos and applications.

            So that's the main features of Windows Live Messenger and what you can expect from the application.
            The way it is set out is very easy to use and looks clean. The main windows show you your contacts, your display name and your photo.
            Once you click on a contact a chat window opens which gives you the options such as emoticons, winks, games, video chat and microphone chat.

            Conclusion:
            This is a very useful tool to keep up to date with family and friends. It is very easy to navigate and the features are very good. So overall very good program and worth the download. Never times out or has server issues and is the only application for chat I have used and I have never looked back.

            Personal Rating of 9.5/10

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              07.02.2010 06:35
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              Why choose anything else?

              MSN Messenger has developed over the years and added new features. At a most basic level, it is a tool used to "IM/Instant Message" people across the internet. A notable difference between it and AOL or Yahoo is that you must accept contacts in order for them to be able to talk to you. Not just anyone can start bombarding you with IMs or harassing you - they must receive your approval first, and this is effective in keeping it as a tool for talking to friends only.

              It is also directly integrated with hotmail, so if you have an msn passport or hotmail account, then you will also be able to sign into MSN Messenger, check your emails, and talk to/add your contacts.

              Features include being able to block those you don't want to talk to, assigning yourself a profile picture, sending and exchanging files, webcam, voice chat and playing a wide range of ever-improving games.

              You can change status, to show yourself as "Available", "Away", "Busy", or you can appear offline, meaning that you don't have to block people to hide from them. You can also exchange messages "offline", meaning that you appear offline, but the person you are talking to still receives your messages, so as not to offend anyone who you might wish to avoid.

              You can change your screen name to anything you like, alter font and text colour, choose sounds for individual contacts, and keep chat logs for reference.

              Service is occassionally unreliable, but overall it is still the most effective, in my opinion, instant messaging service online - as well as one of the more secure.

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              26.01.2010 16:40
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              A fantastic free tool which I use all the time.

              MSN messenger is an online private chat program that allows you to talk to family and friends worldwide instantly through your computer and is made my Windows. It is customizable to your tastes and is constantly updating the versions.

              I first started using MSN five or six years ago to keep in contact and make new friends with people worldwide. It has proved an invaluable tool and although I have tried other messengers, MSN has - and always will be - my main one.

              I was amazed at the ease and convenience of MSN when I first starting using it. It was so simply to add people, confirming friends, start conversations and even access my mail with one click. These days, you can change your colour scheme, theme, display picture, MSN name and sub name, font, text size and many other things. You can also start video chats and make "calls" using webcams and microphones. You can also play games with the person you are talking to using your conversation window, send and receive files, documents and pictures and even request remote assistance.

              MSN is available from MSN.co.uk free of charge and is simple and extremely easy to download and install and works on all Windows and Mac platforms.

              Overall, MSN is a fantastic, free, safe, customizable and clever way to keep in contact with old friends and make new friends.

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              23.01.2010 20:28
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              A great platform

              If you've ever used a computer for an extended period of time, you've probably used MSN Messenger, the most popular messenging service in the world, which leaves its competitors, like AOL Instant Messenger, well and truly trailing in the dust.

              I have been using MSN since 2001 and so am quite experienced with its application. You can download it from www.msn.com, and it's quite a small application (about 10MB, I think), meaning you can be up and running in just a few moments. Once you've installed it, you can log-in with a Hotmail account if you have one, or you will then have to create one, which itself takes just a few moments. Once you sign in, you'll be presented with an intuitive, easy to use interface that lays everything out well.

              Once you're signed in, you'll see your screen name, first displayed as "youremailaddress@hotmail.com", but you're free to change this to anything you like by clicking on it. The main portion of the interface is your friends list, which will initially be empty, but by clicking the "Add" button, you can add the e-mail addresses of any of your friends, who will then pop up in the bottom right hand corner of your screen whenever they sign in. Talking to them is as simple as double clicking their name and typing in the clearly marked text box. You are also able to sort your friends by your own assigned friend groups (e.g. Work, School, Uni etc).

              The communication interface also has a lot of robust features now, such as smilies you can use to emphasise a conversation, voiceover communication via microphones, and you're even able to use a webcam in conjunction with your text-based conversations. Also, you can play a number of games like chess and noughts and crosses, and even send files to each other (athough MSN gets a bit eggy if they're not in RAR format, and transfer speed is wildly erratic).

              I've used quite a few messaging platforms and MSN remains my favourite, for its ease of use and variety of features. My only complaint is that their accompanying e-mail service, Hotmail, is dire.

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              07.01.2010 20:31
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              Handy little tool

              I have been a user of MSN messenger for about nine years now and I find it particularly useful as my mum lives in Spain. It is a great way to keep in touch as we talk over 'MSN' instead of having to pay phone call costs. Ok so typing messages on MSN is not the same as speaking to your loved ones on the phone and hearing their voice but it's the next best thing. You can hook up a microphone and get a webcam and then you can talk and see the person as long as they have a webcam too. You can talk all day if you wanted to and it's always a free service on the internet.

              Over the years MSN has gained many features such as being able to send photo's over it, being able to speak without having to type (microphone required), being able to send website links directly to the other person and even to play games with whoever you are chatting with as long as they accept your invitation!

              There are games such as minesweeper, rock paper scissors, checkers, tick tack toe, backgammon, bejewelled, brain battle etc... The games can be very entertaining as you can speak or typeto your apponent at the same time.

              Once you have MSN messenger, it shows in the form of a list on your computer with all your contacts in. If they are online they will be shown in green, busy or away and they'll be shown in orange and if they are offline all together they'll be in white. Even if a contact is offline you can send them a message for it to appear when they next sign in. You can categorise your contacts into friends, family, coworkers, groups and other contacts. To start a conversation with a contact, double click on their name and another window will appear. Type in the box to begin.

              MSN is a great tool and is the most popular of it's kind due to reliability. Other companies have created tools like this but they often failed in certain areas and didn't provide all of the features that MSN does.

              If you have a hotmail email account, there is also quick access to this at the top of the MSN window where it will show if you have any new emails. To add a contact simply select the button that shows a person and a '+' sign then type in their email address, once they confirm that they want to be added they will then appear in your list.

              That's one of the best features about MSN, you control who you want to have in your list and whether you want to appear available. There are options for appearing online, busy, away or offline so as not to get disturbed if you don't want to. If you have the sound turned on then you will receive an bleeping alert when someone writes to you, this can be turned off but is handy if you are not at your computer all of the time.

              To install this program, type MSN messenger into Google and there will be a few webpages available for you to download the latest version of MSN.

              Overall this is a great tool to keep in touch with people, especially if they are overseas.

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