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Microsoft Corp. launched on Monday its newly branded instant messaging system, Windows Live Messenger, the first major release in a wave of online services Microsoft plans to offer to grab a larger share of Web advertising revenue.
Windows Live Messenger builds on top of Microsoft's MSN Messenger -- used by 240 million people worldwide -- and offers free PC-to-PC calls, inexpensive calls to ordinary phones from the PC and video conferencing using Web cameras.
Microsoft releases new Windows Live IM service [today.reuters.com]
This is hot on the heels of a recent Yahoo! announcement.
Yahoo, a partner of BT in Britain, announced a set of new set of plug-ins for Yahoo Messenger, a version of which is branded BT Communicator
The plug-ins include a blog viewer, Ebay and Amazon access, and a free radio station that can deliver music of your stated preference. A software kit allows developers to create their own plug-ins.
Other new features include sound effects and the ability to transfer files of up to 1GB
Microsoft and Yahoo! are going head to head on this one.