Posts Tagged ‘computers and internet’
We have a special treat for today – Ten years ago tomorrow, Microsoft launched one of its most innovative communication services – Windows Live Messenger (then known as MSN Messenger). Throughout its many stages of evolution over the years, Windows Live Messenger – with 330 million users – has become the most widely used free instant messaging service in the world. To celebrate ten fantastic years, we asked Danny Glasser (Partner Development Manager, Windows Live), one of the founding members of the Windows Live Messenger team to share how Microsoft decided to launch Windows Live Messenger. Here’s his story:
In 1997, while working on Microsoft NetMeeting, Danny was dealing with a flaw in the product. Users of NetMeeting, an audiovisual communication client, were having trouble finding the people they wanted to talk to. This wasn’t exactly ideal for a service that billed itself as a collaboration tool, so the team set out to find a fix. The proposed solution: Enable NetMeeting users to maintain a list of the people they cared about, to be able to see when those contacts were online, and to be able to initiate NetMeeting calls easily with those contacts. It was dubbed the “Buddy List” project.
NetMeeting is no more, but what the team came up with ultimately became the world’s number one instant messaging service. Ten years ago today, MSN Messenger made its debut. “It definitely felt like we were working on something special,” said Danny. “I don’t know that I could have predicted accurately the number of people who would use it, but we had a feeling it would be a big thing.”
Looking back, Danny said he’s amazed at how huge Messenger has become. At the outset, scalability was one of the team’s biggest concerns. Inside the hallway of a building on Microsoft’s RedWest campus the team put up a real-time counter showing the number of simultaneous online connections (SOCs) around the clock. They started with tens of thousands and hit the 1 million mark after a year; today, Windows Live Messenger sees about 40 million SOCs.
Amazing work indeed! Happy anniversary and congratulations (and thank you) to the Messenger “v1 team” and everyone who has worked hard to make Windows Live Messenger what it is today!
It’s interesting to note that although NetMeeting is no more, people across the globe use Windows Live Messenger to chat during business meetings. Nearly a quarter (21 percent) of Americans recently surveyed use Messenger during business meetings; of those people, roughly 83 percent say they IM “fairly often” during meetings to make after-work plans.
While it’s interesting to visit Messenger’s beginnings it’s exciting to think about how far the product has come. Over the past year, Messenger has delivered a host of fun ways to communicate and share including new ways to share photos, personalize how you chat and stay up to date with what your friends are doing across the web, including on Facebook and Flickr.
Care for a fun fact for the anniversary?
(This one is also in honor of the 40th anniversary of the lunar landing.)
Imagine if a single-page letter was mailed for every one of the 1.6 billion Messenger sessions that happen every day. The individual pages lined up one after another would stack up to the moon within a day! The weight would weigh 33 times more than the Endeavor Space Shuttle (with boosters and tank).
And by the way, using Messenger instead saves 2.8 million trees every day. :-)
The following story is a small example of what happens in the 1.6 billion sessions shared every day on Messenger.
Amanda (USA/Holland): a long distance love story
My name is Amanda and I live in Ohio. My Windows Live Messenger story starts in January of 2004.
I met a guy on a website and we swapped Windows Live Messenger screen names. Using chat and voice chat we talked for over 40 hours in just 4 days! It was the perfect way to stay in touch especially since I was in Ohio and he was in Den Haag Holland. The phone bill would have been insane without the messenger!
We talked each day using Windows Live Messenger and finally met face to face in April 2004 and we immediately got engaged. When he had to return to Holland we continued to keep in touch almost strictly using Windows Live and Hotmail.
In September 2004 he moved from Holland to Ohio so we could get married. I'll never forget how excited and happy I was when he told me he was finally going to move! It was the best day in both of our lives at that point!
We got married on November 20th, 2004 and had a daughter Prudence February 7th, 2006. This year we celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary and none of it wouldn't have been possible without the connection we made thanks to Windows Live Messenger!
We easily logged thousands of hours of chat, voice chat, and webcam between the time we met online and the time we were finally together!
Over 6000 miles separated us but the distance didn't seem quite so big when we could see and hear each other every day.
– Amanda (Ohio, USA)
12 more days until the big day – Messenger’s 10th Anniversary! So here’s another Fun Fact from the Windows Live Messenger team, along with the latest story from one of our Messenger users.
Messenger Fun Fact:
1) The typing indicator () seems trivial today, but actually it was a tricky problem back in the early days – how could you show that someone was entering a message without showing every single character (and their typos). The Messenger team invented the typing indicator for that purpose, which today is used by every chat client.
2) The nudge was introduced with MSN Messenger 7.0 on April 7th 2005. Since then it is even easier to get attention from your favorite chat partner – even if they might not always appreciate your nudges! ;-)
I didn’t even know that the Messenger team invented the “typing indicator” until today, but I don’t know what I’d do without it! :)
Now for today’s user story, in his own words…
Lenin from Ecuador writes:
Hi, this is Lenin, writing from Cuenca, Ecuador.
Technology has been one of my passions for my whole life and since Internet appeared I haven’t gone away from my computer. I spent hours in the IRC channels until someone had the genial idea of creating MSN Messenger (in those faraway times).
It was the best thing that could have happened to chats, in all chats and IRCs, people were typing: “Use the Messenger", and everyone was speaking of its big usefulness. After spending a week chatting with someone, it was: "Give me your 'Hotmail' so I can add you to mess".
And since that era, 1999, in all the cybercafés it was heard the nice wav sound: "new message" at every moment. Everyone was using it, times changed, years passed, there were new versions released with new features and in every computer it was essential to have Messenger.
And now, 10 years after, being called Windows Live Messenger and having the chance to change the sound for new messages or nudges, but I don’t do it because I’m used to that "toorooroon", it is part of my life. All my contacts are there, I’ve changed my Passport something like 5 times, but my buddies remain, all my life is there.
For more great Messenger stories, and to get to know the team who has been helping to build the Messenger you know and love today, check us out the Messenger team blog.
– The Messenger team
With new web-based instant messaging (IM) now available in Windows Live Hotmail worldwide, we are preparing to retire MSN Web Messenger. The old MSN Web Messenger experience will end on June 30, 2009.
With Hotmail’s new web-based IM, you can chat from your Hotmail inbox or contact list, instead of going to MSN Web Messenger (http://webmessenger.msn.com/). Go directly to the Windows Live People page (also known as “your contact list”) at http://people.live.com and sign into Messenger (orange arrow in the picture below) to continue instant messaging on the web with your Messenger friends.
Instant messaging from Hotmail makes it easier to communicate and share in new ways in comparison to MSN Web Messenger. For example, our integration with the suite of other Windows Live services allows you to see when your Messenger friends are online while reading an e-mail and immediately start a chat to clarify something in your friend’s e-mail message.
Give it a try! We hope that you’ll enjoy Hotmail’s web-based IM, the new version of Messenger on the web.
– Your Windows Live Hotmail Team
(Republished courtesy of the Hotmail team blog)
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Like many of you, I do a ton of different things on the web across a variety of sites and services. From sharing real-time updates on Twitter to writing a review of my favorite new Seattle restaurant on Yelp, my online activities are as varied as my interests. I have one group of friends on Facebook, another group on Windows Live and yet another that I communicate with on LinkedIn. While I love the all the ways there are to communicate, it can be daunting to manage all of my different online activities and contact lists, and I would love a way to make my online life just a little simpler.
20 new web activities to add
That’s why I am excited to announce that within a week, Windows Live will add more ways for you to share your online life with the people you care about. Over the next few days we will add 20 new feed partners to Windows Live. This means that you’ll be able to add your web activities from more than 30 websites to your Windows Live profile, and your activities on those sites will then appear on Windows Live. The new partners include Facebook, Digg, Last.fm, and SmugMug and other partners. By adding your activities from these sites, it’s easier than ever to share your activities from across the Web on Windows Live.
Now when I update my status or share pictures on sites like Facebook, Fotolog, metroFLOG, Photobucket, or SmugMug, I can choose to have that activity automatically added to “What’s new with Rob” on my profile, and this is reflected throughout Windows Live.
Similarly, when I use Digg, Facebook, or StumbleUpon to recommend an article or website, I can choose to have it show up automatically in “What’s new with Rob,” so people in my network can see it right away.
You’ll be able to add all of the new web activities (plus the dozen current ones) directly from the Web activities link on your profile.
Three new ways to add people to your network
To make it easier to keep track of all your contacts in one place, we are also announcing three new contact partners that allow you to share the contacts you have on different social networking sites. Soon, MySpace, Hi5, and Tagged will join Facebook and LinkedIn as sites that let you invite your friends to Windows Live and vice versa. Rather than starting from scratch and building up an entirely new contact list, now you can safely and securely invite your contacts directly to Windows Live from one of these five social networks.
Here is a quick 60-second video of how contact importing works courtesy of my colleague, Angus Logan:
All of these updates and more will go live in the next week. In the meantime, Windows Live general manager Brian Hall provides a great overview of what this means for Windows Live customers. For another overview, check out this longer video from Angus.
Stay tuned here on the Windows Live team blog (or subscribe via RSS) for more information about these and other updates over the next week or so. On behalf of all of the folks who build Windows Live, thanks for trying it out. We hope you like the latest updates!
Program Manager, Windows Live teamTechnorati Tags: Windows+Live,Profile,web+activities,updates,StumbleUpon,Facebook,Digg,Yelp, Twitter,Last.fm,SmugMug,Fotolog,MetroFLOG,PhotoBucket
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