Microsoft Releases Messenger for Mac 5.0

Microsoftis Macintosh Business Unit announced Tuesday the release of Messenger for Mac 5.0 with tabbed viewing and support for Live Communications Server 2005, which enables enterprise customers to IM in a security-enhanced manner via the corporate tab with colleagues inside and out a network.

Tabbed viewing, according to Microsoft, is a new approach for Mac customers who use instant messaging for work and for play. Users may simultaneously access corporate and personal Messenger accounts and set a unique user status on each.

Messenger for Mac 5.0 can be deployed with Live Communications Server 2005 to help improve collaboration for corporate Mac users by streamlining communication and allowing for enhanced messaging security. Corporate messaging sessions run through Live Communications Server 2005 are contained within the corporate firewall and server-side session logging is enabled.

Corporate customers can also deploy a Live Communications Server 2005 Public IM Connectivity license, enabling their Mac users to IM with contacts outside the network who use services from AOL, MSN and Yahoo! Live. Communications Server 2005 support also introduces integration with the Global Address List, allowing corporate Mac users to locate contact information and availability status more efficiently than before.

Messenger for Mac 5.0 also sports a new image, featuring a Mac OS-like brushed-metal look and feel in addition to a refined Preferences pane. Version 5.0 also includes new features that allow customers to develop their online personalities with customizable display pictures and the ability to view animated and custom emoticons.

?The latest version of Messenger for Mac is ideal for both office and personal communication,? said Scott Erickson, director of product management and marketing for the Mac BU at Microsoft, in a prepared statement. ?Our customers told us they needed a business tool to enable corporate messaging, so these requests were a primary driver in the development of the new version. Messenger for Mac 5.0 allows for greater collaboration in corporate environments and yet still presents a fun way to chat with friends and family.?

Microsoft Messenger for Mac 5.0 is available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish and can be downloaded free of charge at Mactopia Messenger Web site.

Editoris Note: At the time this story was filed, Messenger for Mac 5.0 had not yet been posted on the Mactopia Web site. The MacBU has told The Mac Observer it will be released and posted Tuesday.