We have informed you earlier that MSN Messenger 7.0 is in development as we speak and we're expecting information about new features soon. But we think that one of our messers, Roy, might have captured a first and exclusive screenshot of Microsoft's next version IM client
The screenshot was taken from a webcast presentation at the Financial Analyst Meeting 2004, in which MSN Messenger 7.0 is described as "a big upgrade". While MSN's Corporate Vice President, Yusuf Mehdi, is demonstrating what he calls "orchestrated advertising" (a combination of rich media and personalization), a screenshot is shown of a Halo banner ad in what looks like an unusual version of MSN Messenger.
We've added our comments and speculations on the curious bits in the layout of, presumably, MSN Messenger 7.0. Our premature conclusions:
- The application's title now pictures the MSN logo with the butterfly, followed by "Messenger".
- Extra icons and links underneath your display name. Possibly for Hotmail, the MSN portal and other MSN services.
- Not one but two icons are positioned in front of a contact's display name (comparable to when you hover your mouse over a contact with Messenger Plus! 3, but then permanent). Not all of them look like the MSN Buddy icon, so this means that either there are new status icons (and/or new statuses) or otherwise a small thumbnail of one's display picture is shown in the contact list. Our third guess is a personal, custom (emot)icon that can be set instead of the default "little green men".
- The image in front of your own display name looks odd too. This could be a thumbnail of your current display picture.
- At the location of the current "I want to..." menu (which in the screenshot is either turned off or completely removed) you'll find a text entry field. We reckon this is an integrated MSN Search box, because with 120 million users of MSN Messenger already that's a brilliant step into getting people to use Microsoft's search engine and nothing else.
Mehdi claims MSN Messenger 7.0 will be released somewhere along 2005. Of course and similar to previous releases, we'll keep you fully informed of all the details we discover until then!
Screenshot At Mess.be