Posted by: kurtsh | August 29, 2005

INFO: MSN Messenger 7.5 “what’s new” list

Leah, the Program Manager for MSN Messenger, posted a list of all the new cool features in MSN Messenger 7.5 which went to RTM just recently, on her blog. (

Here’s a list of the features she’s identified – check them out.  They’re REALLY cool.  Just sad that we don’t have this posted anywhere:


Dynamic Backgrounds:

Backgrounds that subtly animate in cool ways. In the Backgrounds Menu there are four brand new Dynamic Backgrounds and you can buy more from the "What’s Hot" link in the drop down. Cool things: 1) you can share any that you own with your friends, 2) some of them respond in interesting ways to receiving a nudge.

"See, the great thing about animation is that you don’t have to pay the actors squat" Homer, The Simpsons


Voice Clip

Press and hold the Voice Clip button (or F2) and record up to 15 seconds of your voice or anything. When you release, it goes to your buddies just like an IM, and they can hear it instantly upon receipt. It’s designed to feel exactly like an Instant Message, except you trade in your hands and eyes for your voice and ears. It adds a personalized and emotional dimension to IM.

"My Italian boyfriend lives across the ocean. Just before he hangs up the phone, he always says to me ‘Ciao Bella!’ I love it! Give me a feature that will record his beautiful voice saying those words: ‘Ciao Bella!’ and let me play it over and over and over!" – Paraphrased anecdote from avid MSN user


Freaking Awesome Audio Quality Improvements

Yes, that’s the technical name. Our new audio technology makes free Voice (Voip) calls super-clear. Mostly thanks to much improved echo-cancellation. It’s now just like using a phone except: "Look ma! No hands!"

Boy, that’s just what every girl longs to hear" Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Add a Contact link

Add a link/URL on a web page, MSN Spaces list, e-mail, MSN Alert, etc., or type/paste it into an Explorer address window, and you can do the following:

– Add a contact to your contact list:


– Start a conversation with a contact:


– Send an invitation to start a voice conversation:


– Send an invitation to start a video conversation:


"Heaven is just a mouse click away." Pete, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton


Expanded Security Settings

We have the new option in the Security options to 1) stop the send of hotlinks in conversation window & 2) disable File Transfer in the client. These can also be set by IT admins in Companies with SMS via registry policies. These could single handedly almost stop the transmission of current IM link virus sends between users.


Cory, I have got something incredible to tell you. But for security reasons, I am going to use our code." – Sean, Boy Meets World


Audio and Video Setup (used to be AV Tuning Wizard)

New fast and easy way to pick the right devices for audio and video conversations. Used to be a windows component, now ships with MSN Messenger (tools à Audio and Video Setup)

"How absurdly simple…" Dr. John Watson, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes"


Transient Personal Messages from Device Clients

Users can now broadcast presence messages from any device running a Messenger client.

"No Homer, very few cartoons are broadcast live. It’s a terrible strain on the animator’s wrist." June Velany, The Simpsons


Voice Entry Point Improvements

– one-click entry to video conversation

– webcam capability icons in the user tiles

– tips to encourage webcam use (it’s cool!)

– A Ring on the receiver’s side of a voice conversation

"Well, you’d better find a way to make it easy, soldier, or I’m going to start pushing buttons!" Lily Sloane, Star Trek: First Contact


New Login UI and Platform:

The Identity Services team (passport) has created a client library called the Identity Client Run Time Library (or IDCRL for short). It provides a richer programming model and easier integration of passport authentication services into messenger. In other words: Improved Login functionality including reliability, auto-complete in the login address well; ability to save login information.

"I can’t support an acronym without knowing what it stands for. I once joined NAMBLA because I thought it was an animal rights group" Max, Buring Annie



Due to the plethora of features in the Messenger client the download size has grown. In the future, instead of having to download the entire client each time an particular release is updated, we can download a small patch, on the order of 100K on to the user’s machine instead.

"Hey, kids! Want to drive through that cactus patch?" – Homer , The Simpsons


Setup Changes

It wasn’t easy, but Messenger had to make the painful decision to only support Windows XP gold and above users on this new version since the majority of our customers are running newer systems If you are running an older OS you’ll have to stick with Messenger 7. Lucky for you that was a good product too. For the people running XP and above, thanks to this change we were able to clean up and get rid of a bunch of the bulk, which will result in a smaller setup package.

"What is this feeling? It just seems like everything’s getting smaller and smaller" Jen, Dawson’s Creek


Pre-installed Theme packs:

allows the user to install a version of messenger that already has a particular theme applied to it, rather than having to install messenger, and then add a desired theme. So a partner, Coke, for example, can offer up a Coke-themed Messenger for Coke lovers out there.

"So I need to establish the themes. Maybe a banana nut. That’s a good muffin" Charlie Kauffman, Adaptation.


Some General Bug fixes:

– The height of the text-entry box is now untied from the height of the display picture so you can make more room to type

– You can no longer send incessant nudges while someone’s status is set to busy.

– Major Accessibility fixes: Our screenreader will now tell sight-impared users when a group is expanded or collapsed, what a users’ status is, and will read users’ Personal Messages.

– The send & search button are combined to take up less space

– The dialogue for backgrounds now shows thumbnails like the other content dialogues

– See your buddies’ Dynamic Display Picture in the main window! (not just regular display pictures anymore)

– Add a contact is now at the top of the list more intuitive and farther from the "search" well, where users thought they were supposed to enter an email address.

– The content buttons (winks, emoticons, packs, etc.) in the conversation window have been reordered for usability and appearance sake.

– Will no longer start and stop a Voice conversation and Video Conversation by accidentally double-clicking the buttons in the conversation window.

– We fixed a bug that was causing some clients to see erratic behavior like IM, Voice Clips or file transfer not working suddenly.

– Content dropdowns now change color when the converstaion window background changes.

– "Always sign in as:" is now honored when auto-reconnecting after resuming from hibernation. Also – if a user loses a connection more than once, "Always Sign in as:" will no longer reset itself to "Online.

– If a shared search result returns text that happens to be the same as an emoticon shortcut, we are no longer showing the emoticon, but rather the correct characters

– IF MSN Today is minimized, the button on the main window will now bring it back up to previous size rather than do nothing.

"If a person could find a better way to kill bugs, they would not only get rich, they’d probably get a lot more dates." – Red-Green, The Red-Green Show