Exclusive: MSN Messenger 6.0 and MSN Radio details emerge

MSN Messenger 6.0 Details

Yesterday we exclusively revealed the release date for MSN Messenger 6.0 and discussed the possibilities for the future of both Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger. Today more details have emerged about what MSN Messenger 6.0 will bring. According to reliable sources close to neowin, MSN Messenger is indeed going straight for the consumer and leaving Windows Messenger far behind (in terms of functions).

MSN Messenger 6.0, due to be released on the 17th of July will include a myriad of personalization options aimed at home users. Users will have the option to have a "My MSN Picture" which is a buddy picture of yourself displayed in much the same way as in MSN Explorer 8.0. Users will also see better Webcam support for Windows XP, more games and most importantly 75 new emoticons. There will be the possibilty to use your own emoticons, however the other person you are chatting to will have to have these emoticons too - this isn't very clear at this stage.

For everyone into Instant Messaging and for the guys over at Mess with MSN Messenger it will be a great release. This kind of customization doesn't stop here though. Also included will be "chat backgrounds" (allowing users to customize what they see whilst they are chatting) and the ability to log MSN Messenger conversations (the guys over at Messenger Plus! might have something to say about that one). Whatever happens, on the 17th of July MSN will have set up services specifically targetted at it's MSN 8 subscribers to combine the functionality of MSN Messenger 6.0 with that of MSN Explorer 8.5.

MSN Radio Plus & Mobile Plus details

MSN Radio Plus is due to launch this week. At the moment it doesn't look like it will be bundled with MSN 8's BOYA (Bring Your Own Access). This means the service may have a fee in addition to that of your MSN 8 subscription. Details emerging at the moment suggest it will be $4.99 a month or $29.99 anually. If this is correct it means MSN's Radio Plus is cheaper than Yahoo!'s LaunchCast Plus, priced at $35.99 anually. Could this new service be a serious competitor for Apple's iTunes or just another Radio service?

Also due to launch soon is MSN Mobile Plus (or Premium Mobile). Although we have very few details about this new service, it will be very welcome to those who use mobile devices, such as Pocket PCs, on the move. Stay tuned for more details on this.

Screenshot: MSN Radio Plus concept

View: MSN Radio Plus due to be launched here, later this week

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