Microsoft has just launched Windows Live Messenger for Kids, however there is a bit of a twist. The service is currently only available in German, and is aimed at 8-10 year olds. It is actually a form of web messaging, but requires a download and installs a executable.
A Microsoft Spokesperson told me in an e-mail that, "Windows Live Messenger for kids is specifically designed to provide a safe entry in the Instant Messaging world." The concept behind this release is that parents are the ones who create the account for their children and are present when they sign in. The parents must then approve who appears in the contact list. There is a emergency call button in which the user can click if they feel threatened or harassed, which will notify the parents of the situation. Conversations are limited to text and emoticons only, with no file transfers or display pictures.
At first glimpse of the service, it is definitely aimed for kids. Check out the screenshots:
Microsoft seems to be moving in the right direction in providing parents tools to keep children safe online. What do you think?
Kudos to Picturepan2 for alerting us!