Windows Live Wave 4: Web Messenger

We started off a few months ago showing you what the new Windows Live Wave 4 web services header will look like, and we told you that every Windows Live web page will have Web Messenger incorporated into its header. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get hold of any screenshots as we couldn’t quite get it to work back then. But today we’re able to show you how Web Messenger actually looks, with this new feature fully functional in the Wave 4 web services header. Here’s what it looks like, under the expanded “Messenger” menu:

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Web Messenger will display a list of all online contacts under this menu, and you’ll be able to filter them by categories, as shown above. What’s really great about this is that it also features a contact search-wheel which filters your Messenger contacts as you type in the search box (it searches your first name, last name, and email address):

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Clicking on the contact’s name will open the conversation box on the bottom-right of your browser window (it’s not a pop-up window like the current Hotmail Web Messenger implementation). This conversation box will even allow you to add emoticons to your conversations. This is shown below:

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You’ll also be able to click the “minimize” icon to minimize the conversation box to just a bar sitting at the bottom of the browser window, saving space when you’re trying to actually view the content of the web page you’re at. Multiple-party conversation is also supported, although it cannot be initiated in the web interface (someone else using the Messenger client has to invite others for you). What’s best about the Web Messenger is that you can even send offline messages to your contacts when they’re offline, as well as chat to your contacts when you’re “Appearing Offline” yourself. To change your own status, simply click on your display name on the top-right corner of the web page:

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With this, you can now chat with your Messenger contacts anywhere you go, even when you don’t have the Messenger client installed (useful at public computers, internet cafes, airport kiosks…etc). Of course, for those of you who’d prefer not to have this, there will be a setting to switch this function off. Really handy feature!

Update: Here’s what it looks like when the conversation boxes are minimized, it will only ever show 3 windows maximum, and the rest will be in the drop-down menu on the right:

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Both this minimized bar and the conversation box can be dragged anywhere around your browser window, although when minimizing/maximizing it will reset back to the bottom-right corner (bug maybe?).