In an email to MSN beta testers, Microsoft have announced plans to start testing SMS (short message service) messaging direct from their popular chat client.
SMS Messaging features were present in previous beta releases of MSN Messenger yet had a variety of restrictions placed on users. With the new beta, the requirement for a passport account to enter a contact has been dropped, and one can simply enter a name and mobile number. As well as this new functionality, a number of new mobile carriers have been added.
Microsoft is targeting the beta at users in the UK, and notes that whilst in beta stages, usage will be free. So far, no public launch date has been announced, or, more importantly, a future pricing system. Microsoft's attempts to "commercialise" elements of MSN Messenger (dynamic display pictures) have been criticised by users for being too expensive and restrictive.
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