MSN 7 Final

MSN 7 Final was released sometime last night. It’s quite an improvement over the last beta, actually. You can now, finally, set it to log you in automatically as ‘away’ or ‘appear offline’. This is great for me as I always forget to log in manually – too many years of ICQ are embedded into my psyche 🙂 Also there’s now a specific field to add a ‘personal message’ so that people don’t need to change their username continually. And there’s a new emoticon – a goat:

Question: Why is the new emoticon a goat?
Nicole: We had a charity auction inside of Microsoft and we auctioned off the design of the new emoticon. The team that won selected a goat, I am not sure why.

There are a couple of other new features that let you link into Media Player, but not Winamp / iTunes as far as I can tell. You can also, thankfully, turn off the tabs. There was something about tabbed messaging too, but I can’t actually see any sign of that…As ever, there are Messenger Plus plugins that’ll kill the adverts.

Update: Hidden away in the settings is also ‘Start Video Conversation’, which as far as I know makes MSN the first IM to implement actual video calls. It’s only available in certain markets, apparently, so I don’t know whether it works in the UK. I’d test it if I had a webcam 🙂