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Windows Live Messenger with VoIP 169

Posted by timothy
from the soon-everyone-will-be-doing-it dept.
V-man writes "Microsoft has just launched Windows Live Messenger with free PC-to-PC phone calls and PC-to-phone calling as a pay service provided by Verizon Web Calling. Of course, most people doing PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone calling are probably using Firefox...too bad the Launch Page isn't Mozilla friendly."
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Windows Live Messenger with VoIP

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  • Launch Page (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What's wrong with it? It works just fine in my Firefox. I was expecting the screen that tells me I have to "upgrade" to IE to even see the screen. But, nope, works fine.
    • Re:Launch Page (Score:3, Informative)

      by jasonwc (939262)
      Perhaps the submitter doesn't have Flash installed or is using an extension like noscript or flashblock. When I loaded the site with noscript enabled, I saw only a blank page. I had to allow the site before it displayed properly. Yet, I would hope the submitter would be intelligent enough to know the difference between a page that doesn't load properly in Firefox and one that simply needs the Flash plugin or JavaScript support (in the case of noscript users).
      • Re:Launch Page (Score:3, Informative)

        by Fizzlewhiff (256410)
        When this product was in beta I went to the site with IE 7 beta 2 and it did not render right for me. I had to use Firefox to see what it was all about. When I saw this submission I could not believe that MS would intentionally break Firefox knowing that most VOIP users are FF users as well.
  • Of Course! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mythosaz (572040) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:54PM (#15583844)
    Of course, most people doing PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone calling are probably using Firefox
    Of course? Says who. Slashdot, opinions from nerds.
    • Slashdot is composed largely of wankers [lkml.org] prattling on about things they know nothing about.
      • Ah I remember that beat up. Jeremy malcolm, the lawyer who was the target of that beat up was one of the most ferocious advocates of FOSS Ive ever known in person (What other lawyer carries linux on a usb key to ambush corporate clients with a demonstration of?) and to see him kicked like that really upset alot of the perth linux community.

        Thank god Linus (And PJ from groklaw) cleared that one up and explained what was going on and why Jeremy was the good guy for helping protect Linus's trademark.
    • Re:Of Course! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xtracto (837672)
      That comment was really stupid. Most users doing PC to PC and PC- to Phone calls are using Skype.

      Having said that, I recently migrated to Fedora Core from Windows XP, and although I am happy becaus now I can say I "eat my dogs food" I have been having difficulties with VoIp (among other things that ar offtopic).

      I know Microsoft would *never* provide any service for unix but, does anyone know if there is a good Skype replacement for Linux?, I have not downloaded it but I believe Skype for linux stalled in t
      • Re:Of Course! (Score:3, Informative)

        by molarmass192 (608071)
        There's a decent EARLY replacement for Skype available in OpenWengo [openwengo.org] but it's super beta at best right now. The voice quality isn't as good as Skype yet (at least from NorthAm). However, it's got a ton of potential (and video!).
      • SIP (Score:4, Informative)

        by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@@@cornell...edu> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @03:35PM (#15584528) Homepage
        It's called the Session Initiation Protocol, and pretty much every VoIP service OTHER than Skype uses/supports it. (With a few small exceptions such as Google Talk which uses the Jingle VoIP extensions to the XMPP (aka Jabber) protocol). Note in that particular case that Google and many of the big proponents of SIP (especially Project Gizmo/SIPPhone) have been working on solutions for XMPP+Jingle interoperability with SIP.

        There are a wide variety of SIP softphones available, just as there are a wide variety of SIP service providers. Many of these also support the IAX protocol, which is primarily used by Asterisk PBX systems.

        Examples, most of these service providers provide their own SIP client, but in most cases SIP clients are interchangeable between SIP services:
        StanaPhone (http://www.stanaphone.com/) - Free incoming DIDs (dial-in phone numbers) in various New York area codes
        SIPPhone/Gizmo Project (http://www.gizmoproject.com/) - Free PC-to-PC, DIDs and outgoing PSTN cost money (not much though)
        Free World Dialup - Primarily PC-to-PC (or Asterisk-to-Asterisk or whatever), but with some PSTN in/out capability
        The list goes on and on, and I haven't even included the "landline replacement" VoIP providers. (Vonage in the U.S. is the most well known example, but most educated consumers hate them as they have some rather customer-unfriendly policies such as locking telephone adapters to their service and forbidding the use of your own telephone adapter without paying a significant extra fee). A few other providers do use other (although usually still known and standardized) protocols such as AT&T CallVantage (which uses the MGCP protocol).

        See http://www.voip-info.org/ [voip-info.org] for LOTS of addition information on hardware, setup, and cheap providers.
      • And I couldn't get my mic working properly on FC 4. I hear myself but every application trying to record from it fails. So does skype.
    • Re:Of Course! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @02:26PM (#15584079)
      Yeah, I think he misspelled "Skype."

      Not only that, but Firefox loads the page just fine. What an idiotic submission.
      • In business, it's very important to be the "first mover", which means the fist company to deploy an innovative (I use the term loosely) idea. Not only did MS fail at being the first mover, but they were also not the second mover. Is this why execs are starting to quit the company? :P

        Skype has been doing this for how long now?
        • In business, it's very important to be the "first mover", which means the fist company to deploy an innovative (I use the term loosely) idea.

          that's interesting in light of Microsoft's past success as a second mover. 90% of the browser market as a very late mover, 90+% of the desktop OS market as a second mover, pretty nice share of the server OS market as a late mover, dominance in the office suite software market as a second mover ("who's Lotus?", "what's WordPerfect?"), and now making a decent play a

      • Not in lower resolutions, nor in a smaller windows on mine (older firefox)

        The scroll bar is broken. I had to remove the always on top setting on the windows bar to see the last line of text.

        anyways, who cares

        hehe if it can't go in an email i am using a real phone** If it is like everything else lately it will probably just function enough to say it functions. Does anything actually work good anymore?

        **if in fact i had anyone to call ;)
      • There's going to be a higher than normal percentage, early adopters etc, but not most.

        Trying to change tabs after clicking the download button crashed Firefox for me. No error, it just disappeared. That's using 1.5.0.4 on Windows XP with Talkback, Adblock, Image Zoom and del.ico.us plugins, no themes, and /. in the only other tab.

        Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.0.4) Gecko/20060508 Firefox/1.5.0.4
    • "Of course, most people doing PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone calling are probably using Firefox"
      I'd like to know which anus he pulled that out of. I use Firefox myself, but that comment (and the whole post for that matter) smacks of noobie stupidity. And this was accepted for posting? Me thinks that Slashdot is starting to slide toward the Digg level of submission quality with this type of crap.
    • "Of course, most people doing PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone calling are probably using Firefox"

      And now Microsoft is making it user-friendly enough for those of us who don't care what a fox fire is.

    • Of course? Says who. Slashdot, opinions from nerds.

      Because most people doing PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone calling are probably part of the elite group in society who have the massive brainpower and "inside" knowledge required to use Firefox. Obviously the "uncool" masses using other browsers would become totally confused and start panicing if we priviledged ones tried to explaing PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone calling to them.

      /sarcasm.

  • by Bluey (27101) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:55PM (#15583850) Homepage
    too bad the Launch Page isn't Mozilla friendly.

    What part isn't Mozilla friendly? I just went to the launch page with Firefox 1.5.0.4 and was able to navigate through the tabs and download the installer with no problem.
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:55PM (#15583858)
    Actually, it's worse than that. It's a bunch of crappy business plans and licensing arrangements looking for a solution looking for a problem.

    It's VOIP! And instead of bypassing the telco, it requires a telco! And instead of working on every computer, it only works on Windows computers. And instead of being free, it costs money! And instead of working with every IM system, it only works with MSN! And instead of rendering it in HTML, we decided to give Adobe/Macromedia a cut and do the whole web page in Flash!

    About all it's missing is a .us domain name for Web 2.0 buzzword compliance.

  • Yeah, I noticed that last night when I went online to check the msn messenger server status when they went down in the UK.

    I just assumed is was because I use Ubuntu, can a windows user or a mac user confirm this? Does it work in Safari?
    I just assumed it was a flash item that didn't work in Linux because of lack of flash 8 player.
    • I just assumed it was a flash item that didn't work in Linux because of lack of flash 8 player.

      The entire page is all flash. If you don't have Flash and Javascript enabled you're not going to see much... actually you'll see nothing but a blank page.

    • I just assumed it was a flash item that didn't work in Linux because of lack of flash 8 player.


      I see that as the most likely cause. I'm using Firefox 1.5.0.4 on XP (full UA string Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.0.4) Gecko/20060508 Firefox/1.5.0.4) with Flash 8.0.something and it works just fine.
    • can a windows user or a mac user confirm this? Does it work in Safari?

      All their flashy flash crap works in Safari. However, if I click the "Learn More" button, it automagically redirects me to the download page for Messenger for Mac, which hasn't been updated in at least a year. I'm just burning to get my hands on a Windoze machine and find out what I'm missing out on. </irony>

  • Firefox? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:57PM (#15583869)

    "...most people doing PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone calling are probably using Firefox..."

    Oh? Where did you dig up this little nugget of information?

    Two points: 1) not only über-geeks are doing PC-to-PC calling. 2) Lots of über-geeks actually use IE.

    • Re:Firefox? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Auntie Virus (772950) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @02:00PM (#15583896)
      3) Skype is currently free for PC-to-Phone. Free as in beer.
    • Two points: 1) not only über-geeks are doing PC-to-PC calling. 2) Lots of über-geeks actually use IE.

      Two counterpoints: 1) If people are using Firefox predominantly, they they are liable to not care that Windows Live Messenger has this function as they probably are not in the habit of using MS products and 2) über-geek is a hackneyed phrase that no self-respecting geek would use let alone be labelled as

      • "2) über-geek is a hackneyed phrase that no self-respecting geek would use let alone be labelled as"

        Unless they are German. And are in charge of several other geeks.

        Besides, if even the geeks think the term 'über-geek' is passe, that makes those who use it the über-est of the über-geeks.
    • While the contention that most VoIP users use Firefox (at least, exclusively) may be -- I suspect is -- wrong, neither of your points is relevant, when you consider point 3, which you omitted. 3) not only über-geeks use Firefox
  • Am I wrong or (Score:2, Insightful)

    by notBowen (811056)
    Doesn't Skype do this pretty damn well already?
    • Re:Am I wrong or (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jonging (981292)
      It certainly does. This is an example of software piracy at its worse.
    • Re:Am I wrong or (Score:3, Insightful)

      by almostmanda (774265)
      It does. And, in the case of PC-to-Phone, it does it for a much lower price (US and Canada = free)
    • No, but... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by helmutvs (912204)
      So, are you saying competition is a bad thing?

      Come on. This is nothing but good for the VoIP industry. With this, Google Talk, YIM, and Skype (and others, I'm sure) having voice capabilities, each must compete to be the best. Who wins? The consumer.
    • Yea, this is a major delima. Microsoft (evil) is now competing with Skype (owned by Evil Ebay). So is this bad news or good news????
  • Voice chat (Score:4, Informative)

    by Gax (196168) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:59PM (#15583889)
    I'm curious, why is everyone promoting it as a new feature for instant messaging? Yahoo Messenger has had voice chat facilities for ages.
    • Re:Voice chat (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, 2006 @02:07PM (#15583944)
      msn messenger has had voice chat for years too
      • msn messenger has had voice chat for years too

        Mind you, voice chat is not a buzzword. However, VOiP is a buzzword and is used in marketing. So therefor they rename it.

    • So has MSN Messenger.. like.. since version 4.0?

      Now we're running what is supposedly no. 8.0 - I have always been able to call people on the phone from my MSN client. I think they just tied it into Windows Live instead of "pick your crazy provider from our affiliates page".
  • Um, no... (Score:2, Informative)

    by MSFanBoi2 (930319)
    Maybe if you had an up to date version of Firefox you'd be fine... cause it works with no problems here.

    And people complain about Microsoft's FUD...
  • What (Score:2, Informative)

    by fullphaser (939696)
    Only uber geeks due this? I am sitting in an office right now with a bunch of folks who use the their computers for VOIP related things, and most are engineers. So I don't see where it is only going to be used by "geeks" that doesn't make any sence what so ever. People are willing to use voip and computers for phone conversations, just look at all the "normals" with a webcam the internet is more accepted as a form of communication than I think even the phone, its becasue of pages like myspace etc. which ha
    • "I am sitting in an office right now with a bunch of folks who use the their computers for VOIP related things, and most are engineers. So I don't see where it is only going to be used by "geeks" that doesn't make any sence what so ever."

      Umm, engineers? Prototypical geeks of yesteryear, typical geeks of today.

      Don't forget that there is a reason they call some people "computer geeks." This is to differentiate them from other types of geeks, like "math geeks" or "drama geeks" or "maxillofacial chicken d
  • Why not just use Skype? While I'm at it, are there any better VOIP packages that are standards based (I tried Gizmo project, but I never got it working)?
    • Is it mandatory that whenever something new comes out a geek has to pull out the "yeah but why not just use N" card?

      Amazing that a community that spouts so much about freedom of choice seems to ignore this everytime the M$ boogeyman (ooooooh he gonna get ya) shows his head.

  • by caluml (551744) <slashdot&spamgoeshere,calum,org> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @02:10PM (#15583968) Homepage
    A guy at work installed it on a trials machine, and that machine suffered weird problems. It could release, obtain, and renew a DHCP address, but couldn't ping anything, not even the gateway (which is also the switch that does the DHCP stuff).
    He rolled the system back, and it all works.

    There is a lot of different stuff on that machine though, so it **might** not be just due to that. I wonder if it hooks into the IP stack at some level, and that's what messed it up? Anyone else have any similar issues with it?
    • FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Frankie70 (803801)

      A guy at work installed it on a trials machine, and that machine suffered weird problems. It could release, obtain, and renew a DHCP address, but couldn't ping anything, not even the gateway (which is also the switch that does the DHCP stuff).
      He rolled the system back, and it all works.

      There is a lot of different stuff on that machine though, so it **might** not be just due to that. I wonder if it hooks into the IP stack at some level, and that's what messed it up? Anyone else have any similar issues with i
      • by caluml (551744)
        Fuck off, idiot. It's not my machine. I don't use it. I didn't install anything on it. I didn't say the problem was caused by the software. I didn't spend much of my time working out why.
        It might be coincidence. It might not. STFU, and GBTW.
        • Fuck off, idiot. It's not my machine. I don't use it. I didn't install anything on it. I didn't say the problem was caused by the software. I didn't spend much of my time working out why.
          It might be coincidence. It might not. STFU, and GBTW.


          And this parent post is a textbook definition of the lack of sense of humor.
    • I used it for about 10 minutes before switching back to my Mac using Adium. Live Messenger chewed up 50 megs of ram on my system just by loading, and locked the whole system up for nearly 10 seconds while it loaded my friends list (maybe about 30 people on it?).

      This is kind of like my experience with the new Windows Media Player. I grabbed it to see what all the hubbub was about MTV's URGE music store, and watched as any other media/video application died a horrible death when I ran this.

      I don't have the
  • by QCompson (675963) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @02:14PM (#15583986)
    The nice thing about dealing with verizon is that the U.S. government will archive all of your conversations for free! Of course, you may not be able to access them, but it's nice to know there are backups out there somewhere.
  • Don't know what version of "mozilla" your running, but was able to see the launch page just fine on FireFox, the only one that matters.
  • Even M$ doesn't believe this business plan will work. The M$ Live Exec is gone [com.com] which might be an indication of how this is going to go down.
  • Offline Messaging (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gen0c1de (977481)
    Umm, I don't think this is a new feature as ICQ has had this ability for years. Congrats Microsoft for finally making it to 1998. Too bad ICQ was bought my AOL as it was the IM of choice back in the day.
  • Mod Parent Troll (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Frankie70 (803801)
    Of course, most people doing PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone calling are probably using Firefox

    Why?

    too bad the Launch Page isn't Mozilla friendly.

    It works for me.
  • by quokkapox (847798) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @02:27PM (#15584085)
    One of the things I was taught when I learned how to swim as a child was that a drowning person tends to panic and flail around and fleetingly grab at everything and anything without rational thought. They'll even drag down their own potential rescuer. They can't help it.

    Hey, it's better than a CAR ANALOGY.

    • by vidarlo (134906)

      One of the things I was taught when I learned how to swim as a child was that a drowning person tends to panic and flail around and fleetingly grab at everything and anything without rational thought. They'll even drag down their own potential rescuer. They can't help it.

      Still flawed. MSN Messenger is not sinking, nor drowning. It is quite well afloat, more so in Europe than in USA, but still, no reason to panic over this particular product for MS. What's important for them is that their official client i

  • Couldn't AT&T complain that they aren't a viable alternative to verizon, in the same method that google complained that Google isn't an option for IE default searching?

  • So did MSN.. They've all had voice chat.

    It's the PC to POTS feature that's really new.

    Of course, only XBox users are smart enough to know that. Too bad slashdot isn't made-up-bullshit unfriendly.

  • I've got IE7 Beta2 installed. Crashes with an error in ieframe.dll.

    Well, will continue to use miranda then.
  • At first sight it looks really fancy, the same "design" but with improvements... but I don't see REAL INNOVATION.

    Windows Live Messenger

    Its interesting that new name, they move from the MSN idea to this Windows Live but it will be good if they include REAL live chat. A long time ago when everybody has ICQ you can see char by char what is typing the other person. (More than one friend ask me if there is a way yo do that).

    Soon: talk to your Yahoo! friends, too

    Is an interesting move, it's not surprising

    • On the other hand... do you want your friends to see what you started typing and then decided not to send? If I've decided not to say something, then I don't want the other party to know I was thinking of doing so.

      It's not a feature I'd want active.
  • one of the issues i have is the inability to show icons within the buddy list in Messenger 8. This was a feature i really liked about Messenger 7, as it really can make it easier to quickly find somebody on your list (unless they change their userpic every 2 minutes)... now i have been unable to find a way to display them. :-\
  • The launch page is completely compatible with Mozilla. I was able to view it and download the software with the latest versions of Firefox and Mozilla with no problems at all. Someone needs to upgrade their browser version.

The first version always gets thrown away.

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