Microsoft Updates Messenger to 4.0

Microsoft released Tuesday MSN Messenger 4.0 for Mac, a new version of its instant messaging client, with new features meant to take advantage of Office 2004, which will ship later this year.

Version 4.0is biggest new features is integration with Entourage:mac 2004, the e-mail and PIM component of Office 2004.

"No doubt, the integration with Office 2004 is of greatest importance in this update," Jessica Summers, Product Manager for the Microsoft Mac Business Unit, told The Mac Observer, Tuesday. "We have a lot of people on the Mac platform who are currently using MSN Messenger and Office for Mac. This update adds value to Office now and with the future version. Being able to conduct a chat session from within Office without leaving, we think, adds functionality you canit get any place else. Itis all about working smarter and saving steps."

Users can also add new IM contacts to the Office Address Book by clicking on the Messenger icon on the contact card to start a conversation with that person, or view recent instant message conversations.

Additional features include:

  • Improved file sharing, so users can send and receive files even through a corporate firewall.
  • More emoticons to better express thoughts to others.
  • A spam filter to reduce the amount of unwanted instant messages users may receive.
  • Integration with the Track Changes feature in Word 2004 so users can have real-time conversations with others regarding a Word document without leaving Word.
  • Integration with Project Center to stay in closer contact through real-time messaging.

Other new features include improved alerts, easier setup and Hotmail support. Users will receive alerts from Office, MSN-Partner and MSN Messenger so they can instantly act on information, Summers said. MSN Messenger 4.0 requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher.