While we may or may not hear about Windows Live Wave 4 at MIX10 this year(we do try to keep our hopes up though!), recently we’ve received a few tips from sources close to Microsoft about the upcoming version of Windows Live Messenger. Some of them confirm several of our speculations we’ve posted before, while some adds to our knowledge of what we haven’t heard of before. Here they are, in summarised form:
- Interoperability with Facebook chat – We’ve seen that little “Connect to” button on the bottom-right corner of the new Messenger window, and we’ve seen Facebook to play a large role in the “social pane” of the new Messenger. What we’ve heard is that Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 will officially interoperate with Facebook chat (in addition Yahoo! Messenger and Office Communicator), allowing users to communicate with their Facebook contacts directly using Messenger. After adding Facebook using the “Connect to” button, your Facebook contacts will appear in your Messenger contact list, under a separate category labelled “Facebook”.
What this possibly means though is that your Windows Live contacts are not fully integrated with your Facebook contacts. For example, a person may be online on Messenger as well as Facebook chat, but might appear as two different contacts on your Messenger contact list. Guess we’ll have to live with that given that it’d be quite complicated to match your Windows Live contacts with Facebook’s contact. We wonder if any other social networks or protocols will be supported though!
- Video Messages fully integrated with Messenger and SkyDrive – We’ve heard that you will be able to record Video Messages using Windows Live Messenger, and Messenger will seamlessly upload the video message onto SkyDrive, and send the link to the contact(s) your video message is directed to automatically (as seen on the right).
We’ve seen that SkyDrive will support video playback, and it is great news to hear that video messages will now use SkyDrive as the unified storage platform (as opposed to the current Video Messages, where the videos are stored separately from your SkyDrive storage). However, what we don’t know is how much we’ll be able to share our video files uploaded. We’ve heard rumours that you can embed your videos uploaded to SkyDrive using Silverlight player, but will SkyDrive allow us to publically share our videos (think YouTube)? If so, how will copyright issues be dealt with?
These definitely sounds like great news for Messenger users – as both of them seems to be features that people have asked for for a very long time (not to mention Tabbed Conversations is coming too!). Let’s hope that we’d be able to get our hands on the next version of Messenger really soon! Stay tuned at LiveSide as we bring you the latest on Wave 4!