As usual, Neowin's Tom Warren is ahead of the game again and making the red hot MSN Messenger 7 BETA looking old already. For those who have locked themselves up in the toilet for the last couple of weeks (and I don't even want to know what you were doing there) we've only just been splashed by Wave 10 with its new Hotmail, Messenger and Spaces. And just like Tom, we at Mess.be can act like some sort of Nostradamus and offer you an early look at MSN Wave 11 already.
First I'd like to point out that all assumptions are based on a prototype exploring the next generation of the MSN experience, due in late 2005. Although it surprisingly bears similarities with the MSN Messenger prototype knocked together by a group of enthusiasts in August, this one was created by a Microsoft-employed interaction designer. From our past experience we learned that prototypes can be very close to reality (5 out of 6 guesses based on an early, blurry screenshot of MSN Messenger 7 were proven right) but nor we nor Microsoft are making any promises here.
A screenshot we obtained ourselves shows prototypes of both next-gen Hotmail and MSN Messenger. Apart from a more advanced integration of the different MSN services in general, you can see that e-mail messages open on the same page as your Hotmail Inbox. Fresh ideas with regard to MSN Messenger include:
- MSN Display Pictures appear as little thumbnails (that makes 6 out of 6 then);
- Ads at the bottom of the contact list window can now be (browsable) videos;
- Several new buttons are added, eg. a contact list sort button;
- An MSN Helper buddy, most probably a chatterbot, lives on your contact list and can be asked to teach you about MSN Messenger and all its features;
- You can add "A personal message" underneath your MSN nickname. For instance the music you're listening to live in Windows Media Player, or a customized status message.
[This post is being updated]
God...I wish Microsoft would stay focused on one thing at a time.