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Microsoft Software

MSN Messenger Kickbans Third-Party IM Clients 422

No_Weak_Heart writes "As reported here back in August, October 15th is the day Microsoft set to ban third party clients from logging in to their IM service. This eWeek article notes that the day is upon us, and MS is offering few details about its progress in creating licensing agreements to continue access. The licensing issue was previously discussed here. And my copy of Fire cannot log in. Anyone else find their IM clients non-responsive?"
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MSN Messenger Kickbans Third-Party IM Clients

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  • Trillian seems ok (Score:4, Informative)

    by Stripes007 ( 462035 ) <> on Thursday October 16, 2003 @04:03AM (#7227428) Homepage
    My trillian .74F seems to be responsive
  • by Captain Large Face ( 559804 ) on Thursday October 16, 2003 @04:04AM (#7227434) Homepage
    Seems to be running OK at the moment..
    • Re:Gaim... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by admbws ( 600017 )
      I have just tried gaim. Disconnects immediately with the error, 'Protocol not supported'.
      • I'm still logged in through gaim..and was able to communicate with a friends just now.. not sure what will happen if I reconnect and at this time not willing to try either :)
      • GAIM v0.70 works fine. (yey, my Linux box is still on MSN!, Mwahaha :-)
      • I logged in 1 hour ago. No problem (gaim 0.70)
      • Re:Gaim... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Stween ( 322349 ) on Thursday October 16, 2003 @04:41AM (#7227573)
        You're probably running an old version of Gaim if you're getting that message.

        MSN Protocol v9 has been supported for a version or two now.

        I just tried my Gaim 0.70 here (haven't updated to 0.71 yet), and it works perfectly. And it's quite definately not the 15th any more :)
        • Re:Gaim... (Score:2, Informative)

          by mrjb ( 547783 )
          tried installing 0.71 and got an error 'Protocol MSN failed to load." -- This can be fixed by installing SSL support first, THEN running ./configure, make and make install. SSL support reportedly can be installed with apt-get install gnutls7-dev, good luck all!
      • I have just tried gaim. Disconnects immediately with the error, 'Protocol not supported'.

        Strange, I'm currently logged into msn using gaim v.0.96 on Windows...
  • by colinleroy ( 592025 ) on Thursday October 16, 2003 @04:07AM (#7227445) Homepage
    Ayttm (shameless plug) [] works. So does Gaim (AFAIK) (ok, it's here []...) and most major open-source MSN clients (since a few weeks at least, they use the new protocol). The ban isn't really a ban, that's really mainly a security improvement.
    • How is being forced to use SSL instead of MD5 + Random string any more secure?
      • Re:Just upgrade (Score:3, Informative)

        by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 )
        What's worse is it doesn't use SSL beyond the first couple of packets... I wrote a proxy for MSN6 (needed to block file transfers through the firewall) and was amazed to find that after the initial SSL negotiation to establish identity, the entire protocol is still plaintext... certainly made writing the proxy easier :)
  • GAIM stopped working for me, so I downloaded AMSN [] - and it works brilliantly. Kinda scary how similar it looks to the original MSNM client!

    But yeah, if you're experiencing problems with GAIM, maybe try your luck with AMSN.

    • The latest versions of both Gaim and aMSN work, because they support version 9 of the MSN protocol. Any clients that do not support this version of the protocol can no longer log in - clients that do, can.

      For now, it seems to be that simple.

    • I am not sure whether you actually prefer AMSN to gaim (in which case keep it and ignore the rest of my message), but if you were to upgrade GAIM to the latest version (0.71 AFAIK) it would all work fine and dandy
  • by MadX ( 99132 )
    Is this not just a taste of things to come ??
    Lock users into your service .. then force them to use your product exclusively ??

    Don't know about anyone else .. but alarm bells should be sounding for other projects as M$ pull all their stuff closer to their chest ..
    • by danheskett ( 178529 ) <danheskett&gmail,com> on Thursday October 16, 2003 @04:18AM (#7227485)
      Lock users into your service .. then force them to use your product exclusively ??

      How can you blame them? MS provides the hardware, the bandwidth, and the assumes the risk of operating this chat network. I like my 3rd party client, but you know what? I leach from MS by using it. They have every right to restrict who can use their network and how. If they want to use technological measures to limit who can access the network, than fine, so be it. I'll use their product or a competeting protocol.

      The main difference between this an Mono and inference is that letting 3rd party clients onto the MSN network costs MS real cash dollars each time a message is sent or received.

      As long as IM service is free but centrlised, providers will try to lock out non-offical clients through whatever means are necessary.
      • How can you blame them? MS provides the hardware, the bandwidth, and the assumes the risk of operating this chat network. I like my 3rd party client, but you know what? I leach from MS by using it. They have every right to restrict who can use their network and how. If they want to use technological measures to limit who can access the network, than fine, so be it. I'll use their product or a competeting protocol.

        This would be all very sane and true, were not Microsoft price dumping their entrance into t

      • What whould you say if your provider (let's assume he provides you with your email address as well) decides to prevent you from sending email to people who have another provider ?

        I have family all around the world, all of them using MSN simply because it's the one thing that is already installed when you buy your computer. Then it's the same with their friends, and they indeed end up locked up in MSN Mess(enger).

        Now I do not use MSN, for ethical and technical reasons (I do not work under w$). Is it normal
        • Is it normal that Microsoft controls whether I can talk with my family or not ?
          Shut the fuck up. There are dozens and dozens of alternatives. DOZENS. MS does not control whether you talk to your family or not. They are FREE TO USE ANYTHING THEY WANT - ANY OF THE COMPETITION. JUST AS YOU ARE.

          On top of that MS makes it easy to swap out Windows Messenger for an alternative - the latest version of AIM for example will integrate into Windows directly and be accessible just like MSN using a standard
      • If everyone was given a free yearly pass with the newspaper to use a local cellphone-type network, whatever, for about 1-2 years, and somebody else paid for the maintainence etc... what do you think would happen?

        The majority of people would flock to the free provider, others would lose a lot of business, many might go under.

        However, some people don't like the provider's phone, so many make their own and use the network. The service is still available to anyone, and there's no real visible difference in
  • Working for me (Score:5, Informative)

    by phaze3000 ( 204500 ) on Thursday October 16, 2003 @04:11AM (#7227465) Homepage
    CenterICQ [] is working fine on MSN for me at present...
  • checking MSN messenger website, looks like this isn't the only change MS has done to it, chatting in chat rooms is now a subscription service, off MSN website:
    In order to protect you from spam, unwanted conversations, and advertisements, MSN(R) Chat is now a subscription service. While you may enter any chat room you like, you must be a subscriber to participate.
    They are charging $19.95 [] per year.
    I've also tried AMSN a couple of hours ago and it still works.
  • Gaim 0.70 stopped working for me last night with a Protocol not support message. 0.71 just won't load the plugin coming up with MSN is unsupported. Of course this could be to do with my config. However now I will start to have to look at alternatives as I'm on a number of MSN accounts for business reason.

    Prehaps MS has worked out that some people are using MSN for support of non MS platforms so wants to kick us all off. Then again if trillian has died as well prehaps I'm just been to suspicous. :)

  • Miranda works! (Score:2, Informative)

    by CoreyGH ( 246060 )
    I'm using the MSN plugin that was included with Miranda IM version 0.3.1 I think that's the latest version. I have "Use MSN protocal v.8" checked in the options.
    • Yes, but that comes as no big surprise, with Miranda rocking the world of instant messaging. :-)
    • Re:Miranda works! (Score:3, Informative)

      by RabidMonkey ( 30447 )
      Miranda is the best 'alternate' im client I've used ... it's features are great, file transfers seem to work where ICQ *AND* MSNs wont (although I can't get ICQ to work through my companys firewall, but their client does, so I must be doing something wrong - anyone seen an ICQ firewall plugin like the msn one that does http tunnels?

      I've gotten quite a few people to switch over, esp friends who ran both clients for years. Yes, it also supports Yahoo, but really, who uses yahoo?

      I think the best
  • On a side note... (Score:4, Informative)

    by zakezuke ( 229119 ) on Thursday October 16, 2003 @04:25AM (#7227516)
    This is not directly attached to Messenger but rather their chat service.

    Oct 14th was the day they decided to also nix their free chat service in favor of their charge people roughly $20 a year for it.

    TK2CHATCHATA06 are 984 users and 45 invisible on 1 servers, this is roughly a 90% reduction from oct 13th.

    Why I bring this up you ask. Well very simple, msn is shooting them selves in the foot really. Their chat service it's very much possible they wanted roughly 90% of their population to leave, heck it's easier to manage. But the policy on Messenger clients, well I can't imagine anything really good will come out of banning 3rd party clients. Your typical user won't notice anyway, where as your power user with multi-clients will make a stand and leave for other services that work.

    But it looks good on paper, I imagine that's their pressent mission is with both Messenger and chat, making a good case for the shareholders why such services are money markers.

    • I don't see how nothaving extra people whogenerate no revenue hurts them. If people use the official MSN messenger client, their is advertising in it that makes them money to offset the cost of running the servers. If you are using a third party client, you are costing them money by using their servers and they are making no money in return from their client advertising. So they lose some power users who are costing them money, and you don't see the benefit of it?
      • I don't see how nothaving extra people whogenerate no revenue hurts them

        Very simple... the cost of advertising is based on viewer ship. Even 3rd party clients are *users* included in the viewship calculations.

        If you are using a third party client, you are costing them money by using their servers and they are making no money in return from their client advertising.

        When your getting the ratings of a TV show, you don't take into account that they might go to the bathroom during the comercial break, o
        • Third party users are not potential viewers. The only people who can view the ads are users of th official client. And internet ads aren't based on number of potential viewers, they are based on either click-through or actual page loads. Third party clients never load the ads, which means they lose out on both counts. They get no money from the ads, as they are never loaded at all.

          As for power users being the trendsetters, I ask why Windows is the OS of choice and AOL is the number 1 ISP is this is rea
    • 100% of their previous chat 'customers' x $0 = $0.
      ~10% of their previous customers x $20 a year = Well, some quanitity above zero, assuming that anyone used it to start with.
    • You might want to consider that the reason given was "age verification to protect children" - however, it requires subscription to a regular service. If you wanted to verify via Credit Card whether somebody was of age or not, a simple $2-3 charge, one time, would suffice.

      More like an attempt at "get 'em hooked free, then make 'em pay for me." Gee... who else uses such a strategy?
  • Go get yourself Kopete []. Then, change ~/.kde/share/config/kopeterc . Here's the snippet (the [MSN] part is already there, just scroll down to it and add the second line)

    UserAgent=0x0409 winnt 5.1 i386 MSNMSGR 5.0.0 MSMSGS

    As usual, Windows users are SOL if you don't want to use the official client.

  • The poster mentions Fire, which is the OS X client that I've been using. I'm annoyed that Fire has stopped working, however Proteus 3.0.3 [] is working fine.

    Of course, Proteus is shareware, not free or open source. Does anyone know of an OS X client that's free and still working? Other than Messenger itself of course - that's ad-supported and I hate adverts.


    • that's ad-supported and I hate adverts.
      Huh? I use the Microsoft MSN client on OSX and I don't see any ads. Then again, I also have a purchased copy of MS Office v.X installed, so maybe the presence of the latter is having an influence?


    • You can use Gaim [] on OS X by installing Fink []. It's not really native OS X though, but who knows - the developers are working hard at splitting Gaim's core and UI, so a Cocoa UI might be feasible.
    • It is being tested... The problem is that the changes rely on the ssl in the libcurl library that 10.1 does not have. Fire is maintaing compatibility with 10.1, proteus does not. Expect a release today.
  • Trillian 2.0... (Score:3, Informative)

    by SlashChick ( 544252 ) <> on Thursday October 16, 2003 @04:40AM (#7227569) Homepage Journal fine with MSN as of now.

    Anyone using an earlier version should upgrade to 2.0 to fix any MSN imcompatibilities.
  • What happened was that yesterday, the older MSNP8 protocol for accessing the MSN Messenger Network was discontinued; only clients capable of the new MSNP9 protocol can now connect.
    MSNP9 is actually better than the previous protocol (as well as incompatible :-( but you can't have everything) because it negotiates via the Secure Sockets Layer; i.e. your IMs are encrypted with a strong algorithm and cannot easily be read by people with NICs in promiscuous mode on your network hardware.

    There already exist third-party clients that can make use of this newer MSNP9 system; if your client does not then maybe it's worth (i)switching, (ii)asking the maintainers to add support, (iii)grabbing the source and doing it yourself you lazy wossname! However, Trillian frmo Cerulean Studios apparently does the business. I am currently connected to the MSN Network by Al's MSN []; you must use at least v0.83 in order to connect.

  • The obvious solution is to ignore MSN and have everybody who wants to contact you use something else. If enough people do this instead of banging their heads against the monopoly brickwall others will follow. Nobody wants to use an IM client that no friend of theirs use. I doesnt use MSN anymore and if anybody wants to IM me they better get some IM that has linux/mac/whatever support.

    We all new this would happen as soon as MS had gotten a big enough userbase.
  • Grrrr (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thrill12 ( 711899 )
    I wish I could say:
    what do we care, we just use any of the other IM's out there...

    But then I think of the people I know that use MSN without protest, who have no problems with their connection, people who use MSN Messenger.
    People I do not dislike for that fact: they know not better. Now the foul sword of Bill cuts the one link we had to try and gain a symbiosis between our species.

    What now?
    Shall we cease our diplomacy and switch over to the other IM?
    Shall we resist our attempts to keep ourselves free a
  • All the clients do (with a few extra bells and whistles) is allow you to talk online. This isn't a big deal. Instead of following the relentless
    upgrade path for all these stupid clients (not just for MSN) that seem to want to go the bloatware route of most browsers , just use IRC or
    just log into a talker program using telnet. If you can't like without a point a drool interface then keep getting stressed about this sort of thing ,
    but if you're actually interested in what these things allow you to do (ie
  • Their Service, Their Hardware, Their Resources, Their Choice... ...
    • Screw them! I'll build my own IM network! [] With hookers. And gambling. On second thought, forget the gambling!
  • Trillian Pro 2.0 is working fine for me.
  • by TCaM ( 308943 ) on Thursday October 16, 2003 @05:43AM (#7227736) Homepage
    Ok maybe a few thousand knees.

    Seriously they announced this a while back as a PROTOCOL upgrade, they are locking out all older protocol versions, including I would assume ancient versions of their own messenger.

    Update your software people.

    • Try reading the submission or the article next time. There is more here than just a protocol upgrade. Microsoft is setting up licensing arrangements for third-parties that wish to continue accessing the network. This is a huge issue if you don't use the official MSN client.
      • I am quite aware of the content of the article. I am also aware that at this point only clients using the older and less secure protocol have been blocked. I and many other people that use current and up to date, non Microsoft clients are still using msn chat services with no problem. Yes Microsoft in previous statements announced that they intended to somehow license access to their network for third party clients, but at this point that has not been implemented. Non Microsoft clients have not as the au
  • Pebrot 0.8.1 [] works fine for me. It's a Python Curses-based MSN client.
  • Amsn have the new protocol gaim does not - gaim just gives a "protocol not supported " message on login. Amsn is working fine :-)
  • Total baloney. MS has not kickbanned anything, they just switched over to MSNp9, which any respectable client has been using forever.

    Shameless plug, KDE/QT lovers should try out Kopete [], a great alternative to GAIM.

  • When MS Messenger was first released, it included the ability to send messages to AIM users. AOL kept blocking MS Messenger connections until Microsoft finally gave up. They complained loudly the whole time about this blocking.

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander. But this is typical MS behavior. Now that they have a stronger user base, they talk a different line.
  • The XML and open standards based alternative works fine here :) Including the MSN gateway.
  • I was reading an article on the net that said that port 80 would work for those behind the firewall, instead of the usual on port 1863. Has anyone found this to be true? What other options do I need to set for this to work fine?
  • All MS Messenger was good for was letting me know when I got more span in my hotmail account...
  • I'm using Miranda [] 0.2.1 with the MSN plugin and things are working fine so far.

    Miranda, in case you were wondering, is a tiny (fits on a floppy) stand alone, low frills IM client.

  • Gaim v0.70
  • Okay everyone, I've seen a lot of misconceptions and misinformation once again on Slashdot about this whole situation.

    Here's the deal.

    MSNP7 was discontinued. NOT MSNP8! This was done because MSNP7 and lower used an MD5 challenge in order to authenticate with the servers. MSNP8 and above use SSL.

    Now, Gaim DOES work with the new protocol, and has for about four versions. All you need to do is install the SSL libraries. It's your choice of either Mozilla NSS or GNUTLS. Information on all of this is found at
  • "MSN officials said that about 98 percent of its customers have made the necessary upgrades."

    MSN officials said that about 98 percent of its customers have made the forced upgrades.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"