Microsoft late Monday quietly posted MSN Messenger 2.1 for Mac, an update to its instant messaging product for the Macintosh.
Microsoft plans to update its Mactopia Web site Tuesday to reflect the upgrade, a spokesman said. Mac users downloading what they thought was version 2.0 on Monday would have retrieved the new version instead.
The free update brings to the larger Mac community a product available to paying customers since November. While instant messaging software is typically offered at no cost by AOL, Yahoo and other companies, Microsoft introduced MSN Messenger 2.1 as part of a paid product: Office v. X for the Mac.
In an interview last month, Kevin Browne, general manager of Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU), defended the decision to hold back version 2.1 from the larger Mac community. He described that version and the earlier one as "virtually identical," adding that the company would "make a decision soon" about releasing the version with Office or as an update to the product.
"I don't know why they waited so long or say they waited so long," said Gartner analyst Michael Silver. "It's development priorities. They're committed to making Windows the best platform, and frankly, Mac is a competing platform."
News source: CNet News
Download: MSN Messenger 2.1 for Mac (Requires MacOS 8.6, 9.x with Apple's CarbonLib 1.2+ or MacOS X, 2.16mb)