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In case you were thinking today’s news would be all about the iPhone 4 or the imminent release of iOS 4, think again. Apple rival Microsoft is making waves with Monday’s release of a Windows Live Messenger app for the iPhone, and it’s absolutely free.
It would seem that with all of the social networking choices out there today, Microsoft’s aging MSN service (now part of the broader Windows Live experience) would have been left in the dust long ago. The company claims MSN is still the world’s largest instant-messaging network (according to 9to5Mac), which is likely true since the service is still wildly popular internationally, where rivals such as AOL have not become so entrenched.
Be that as it may, Microsoft is now hitting the iPhone platform with their fourth app, this time the ubiquitous Windows Live Messenger, now available free of charge in the App Store. The app offers a complete Windows Live experience, from chat to social networking (including sharing from Facebook, Flickr, MySpace and more), photos and yes, Virginia, even the grand old Hotmail service.
“Windows Live Messenger for iPhone and iPod Touch is the best way to connect with the people that matter most and keep up with the things they are doing across the web,” the app description promises. “Use your iPhone to instant message your friends list, view and comment on your friends’ photos and status updates from Windows Live, Facebook, and MySpace, and at a glance, see what your Messenger friends are sharing from Flickr, YouTube, and many other social and photo sharing sites.”
While there are already a host of IM apps on the App Store that already hook into MSN, apps that offer access to Hotmail itself are few and far between and many are quite expensive. Looks like the market for such apps may now be on the wane thanks to Microsoft.
The 7.2 MB Windows Live Messenger app is ready for your downloading pleasure right now, and promises compatibility with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (note that it’s not a universal app, however). There doesn’t appear to be anything touting iOS 4 compatibility, either, although the app does mention “iOS 3.0 or later” as a requirement.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter