Microsoft MSN Messenger is one of 4 major instant messaging clients in popular use on today’s internet. One of the key benefits of MSN Messenger is its ability to use email addresses as usernames.
Due to the widespread adoption of Microsoft’s Hotmail and Windows Live services, and their linking to email addresses as the primary login, it is extremely easy for a new user to build up an extensive contact list at speed. There are also a number of different adoption options available.
From the proprietory MSN Messenger software, often bundled with a new windows installation, to a number of web based and third party programs all offering MSN Messenger compatibility.
With the advent of the Apple iphone, and leaps and bounds in mobile phone technology, there are also a wide range of adoption options in the mobile device market now. Programs like “Fring” allow you to connect with friends on your contact list from anywhere in the world. The reason for this portability, is that MSN messenger’s functionality is largely “server-side”. As in, a users contacts, details, preferences, etc are all stored on Microsoft’s servers, using their MSN Passport authentication technology.
What this means for the end user, is that any client software used to access the service needs not be highly functional, only enough to provide basic connectivity to the service. The servers can effectively carry out all the heavy work, leaving the client machine free to concentrate on more power intensive tasks, like maintaining cellular connections, or running office based software. This flexibility, extensibility and portability has made MSN Messenger a favourite service for many business people. It has all but replaced the telephone as a communications medium for international trade, only being moderately backed up by email.
Unfortunately though, like so many online services, it is vulnerable to abuse. Often this comes in the form of third party scripts or “bots” replicating or “spoofing” users’ login emails and sending illegitimate messages to users. These messages are often of a spam like nature and tend to entice the victim to click on a link, which often connects to some sort of much more malicious online entity. As such, vigilance is needed when using MSN Messenger, and it is always important to be sure that the person you think you are talking to is in fact that person. Apart from this, MSN Messenger is a stable, simple and useful product which provides users with many hours of entertainment and productivity.