Microsoft on Tuesday will officially launch its new instant-messaging program, called Windows Live Messenger, which was previously available only in a beta edition, the Associated Press reports via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The free application is an upgrade of Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft’s MSN Messenger, which the company renamed under its new “Live” brand, according to the AP.
Instant-messaging (IM) programs, which allow users to send and receive messages via the Web, have seen a spike in popularity over the past few years—notably AOL’s AIM service and the MSN Messenger—and many IM providers are now looking for new ways to draw users from the competition. For instance, the Windows Live Messenger service will offer video and file-sharing capabilities, and AOL will also add similar features to its next AIM version, the AP reports.
On Monday, Yahoo, another competitor in the IM space, announced it would open its messaging service to developers so they could build programs to function with its application, according to the AP.
Windows Live Messenger is one of the few products Microsoft has made available under the new Windows Live brand, which it is launching to help the software giant offer up additional Web-based products and services.
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