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30 Jun 2013

Windows Live Messenger

Windows Live Messenger

Windows Live Messenger
Windows Live Messenger icon.png
Developer(s) Microsoft
Initial release July 22, 1999; 13 years ago as MSN Messenger
Discontinued 2012 (v16.4.3508.205) (October 2, 2012; 8 months ago) 
Development status Disputed; see § Discontinuation
Operating system
Available in 50 languages
Type Instant messaging
License Proprietary (Freeware or bundled)
Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger) is a deprecated instant messaging client developed by Microsoft for Windows, Xbox 360, Blackberry OS, iOS, Java ME, S60 on Symbian OS 9.x and Zune HD. It connected to the Microsoft Messenger service while also having compatibility with Yahoo! Messenger and Facebook Messenger. The client was first released as MSN Messenger on July 22, 1999 and was marketed under the MSN branding until 2005 when it was rebranded under Windows Live and has since been officially known by its present name, although its previous name was still used colloquially by most of its users. In June 2009, Microsoft reported the service attracted over 330 million active users each month, placing Messenger among the most widely used instant messaging clients in the world.
Following the acquisition of Skype Technologies, Microsoft began to promote Skype and introduced the ability to merge their Skype accounts with a Microsoft account, allowing users to communicate with Messenger contacts via Skype, which had additional features and a wider user base. This led to the discontinuation of Messenger across the world, excluding mainland China.


MSN Messenger (1999–2005)

MSN Messenger logo, 1999–2006
Before the product was renamed Windows Live Messenger, it was named "MSN Messenger" from 1999 to 2006. During that time, Microsoft released seven major versions as follows. The first version of MSN Messenger Service, version 1.0 (1.0.0863), was released July 22, 1999. It included only basic features, such as plain text messaging and a simplistic contact list. When it was first released, it featured support for access to America Online's AIM network. America Online continually tried to block Microsoft from having access to their service until eventually the feature was removed, and it has not re-surfaced in any later versions of the software. AOL did this by exploiting a buffer overflow bug in AIM, which causes it to execute a bit of machine code sent by the server. When this code runs, it determines if the client is AIM and sends a message back to verify the client. Since then, the software has only allowed connections to its own service, requiring a Windows Live ID (.NET Passport at that time) account to connect. Microsoft released the first major update, version 2.0 (2.0.0083), on November 16, 1999. It included a rotating advertising banner and the ability to customize the appearance of the chat window. It came as an install option for Windows Me. This version was followed the next year by version 3.0 (3.0.0080), which was released May 29, 2000. It included file transfers and PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone audio capabilities with Net2Phone, one of the first VOIP providers.
Along with the release of Windows XP came version 4.6 of MSN Messenger, on October 23, 2001. It included major changes to the user interface, the ability to group contacts, and support for voice conversations. In this version, the client software was renamed from "MSN Messenger Service" to just "MSN Messenger," while the underlying service became known as ".NET Messenger Service". This version was only compatible with Windows 95, 98, Windows ME, NT 4.0, and Windows 2000, because Microsoft provided a scaled-down new program for Windows XP, called Windows Messenger, that it originally intended to replace MSN Messenger with on Windows XP.
That strategy changed when version 5.0 of MSN Messenger was released on October 24, 2002. It was the first version that was allowed to be installed along with Windows Messenger on Windows XP. It included UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) based file transfers, minor changes to the user interface artwork, and a Windows Media Player interface plug-in.
The next year, version 6.0 of MSN Messenger was released July 17, 2003. MSN Messenger 6.0 was a major overhaul of the whole platform, upgrading its simple text-based interface to include customizable elements such as emoticons, personalized avatars, and backgrounds. An update, version 6.1, focused on improvements to the conversation window, enabling users to hide the window frame and menu bar, and also the ability to change the theme color. The theme color could be set differently for each user. Another update, version 6.2, was released April 22, 2004, and it was the last version of the MSN Messenger 6 series. The most notable changes were a dedicated Mobile group for mobile contacts, a connection troubleshooter, and the Launch Site feature was renamed to Fun & Games.
MSN Messenger received a major upgrade to version 7.0 on April 7, 2005. This version brought wink features that were previously only available in threedegrees. This version also advertised items to sell to you including animated display pictures, emoticons and backgrounds. The contact list window style was also updated to match instant message windows. This version also introduced the Xbox Live Integration feature. This is the last version of MSN Messenger that runs on Windows 98 and Windows Me. This version also introduced digital ink and handwriting recognition support.
The last version of MSN Messenger before the name change, version 7.5, was released August 23, 2005. New features included the Dynamic Backgrounds feature and the "msnim" protocol handler, which allowed Web sites to provide links which automatically add a contact or start conversations. Additionally, a new Voice Clips feature allowed users to hold down F2 and record a message for a maximum of 15 seconds and send it to the recipient. The window for conversations was changed slightly with an added video button. This version also introduced the Windows Installer for its auto-update feature.

Version 8.0–8.5 (2005–2009)

As part of Microsoft's Windows Live effort, which rebranded many existing MSN services and programs, MSN Messenger was renamed "Windows Live Messenger" beginning with version 8.0.
The first beta of the newly renamed Windows Live Messenger, Beta 1, was released on December 13, 2005. Major changes and additions included offline messaging, an option to change the color theme of the windows, separated send and search boxes, a word wheel search box in the main window, and additional details for contacts when hovering over their names in the contact list window.
The second beta of version 8.0, Beta 2, was released on February 26, 2006. The overall theme of this version was improved, fixing and improving several smaller places in the program. Major changes and additions included the introduction of Windows Live Contacts, the reintroduction of single file transfer, improvements to the "Add a Contact" dialog box, improved color themes, minor changes in the conversation window, and revert of the "Busy" status icon back to the normal dash icon.
The final beta version, Beta 3, was released on May 2, 2006. Major changes and additions included new icons for the program, PC-to-phone calling, an updated look for the Windows Live Call window, a new default display picture, the Windows Live Today window, improvements to the grouping of sequential messages from each contact, Rhapsody integration in the U.S., and an option for sounds to be edited and/or turned off.
The official release of Windows Live Messenger version 8.0 was on June 19, 2006.Although no notable changes were made between Beta 3 and the final version, the change from MSN Messenger to Windows Live Messenger brought some additional changes, such as customization for the nicknames of individual contacts, timestamps on messages, the ability to see a contact's name only once if the same person writes multiple messages in a row, and color schemes for the entire application. The main authentication system, Microsoft Passport Network, was replaced with Windows Live ID at the same time. A refresh to version 8.0 was released on August 10, 2006. It included audio and video improvements and fixed up minor bugs.
The first update to Windows Live Messenger was previewed on October 30, 2006, with the release of Beta 1 of version 8.1. No major changes were made, but several minor changes were included. These include the addition of the roaming identity feature (so that the same user's display name and picture would appear on any computer), a new contact card appearance, a "recently used" list for the emoticon, wink, display picture and background menus, an SMS phone book in the main menu allowing the association and editing of a phone number to the contact and allowing text messaging to a contact, a "sign out" button, a "report abuse" option in the help menu, interoperability with Yahoo! Messenger, and improvements to user status on Windows Vista
A minor update, the Windows Live Messenger 8.1 Beta 1 Refresh, was released on December 13, 2006,and fixed bugs that were causing some people to be unable to sign in and others unable to see their contact list.
The final version 8.1 was released on January 29, 2007. No changes were made from the Beta 1 Refresh. All versions of Windows Live Messenger below version 8.1 were rendered obsolete on September 12, 2007, due to a security issue identified when a user accepts a webcam or video chat invitation from an attacker.
On September 12, 2007, the Windows Live Messenger blog posted a fix that resolved a security problem. It reported of a security vulnerability in versions of Messenger older than 8.1, that the released fix would resolve. This led to an auto-update being released to all older versions. Versions running on Windows 2000 and below were required to update to a new version of MSN Messenger 7.0, and versions running on Windows XP and above were required to update to Windows Live Messenger 8.1.
On August 27, 2009, the Windows Live Messenger blog posted that due to a security problem, all users of versions 8.1 and newer need to update to the latest version, 14.0.8089. The mandatory upgrade requirement will be fully phased in by late October 2009 and began on September 15, 2009.
The first beta of Windows Live Messenger 8.5, Beta 1, was released on May 31, 2007 An update was released on June 21, 2007, to test updates being installed by Microsoft Update. This version required Windows XP SP2, compared to previous versions requiring Windows XP SP1. It was the first version to be installed in a "Windows Live" folder under "Program Files," with the shortcuts placed in a "Windows Live" folder in the Start Menu.
Major changes and additions in Beta 1 included a new installation program in conjunction with the release of Windows Live 2.0, a new look for all of its windows that matches the aesthetic styles of Windows Vista, a new "bunny" emoticon, and integration with Windows Live OneCare Family Safety. Beginning with this version, updates could be downloaded and installed through Microsoft Update.
The second beta of Windows Live Messenger 8.5, Beta 2, was released on September 5, 2007. Several issues were fixed in Beta 2, but no significant changes were applied. Compared with the first beta, the build does not say "Beta" on the top of the window, although developers had noted that it was not the final release. The new Windows Live Installer, which is used to install Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta 2, does not run on Windows Server 2003.
The final release of Windows Live Messenger version 8.5 was released on November 6, 2007, and it introduced no major changes.

Version 14.0–16.4 (2009–2012)

Windows Live Messenger 2009 was originally designated version 9.0, it was later assigned the technical version number 14.0, in order to be unified with the other Windows Live programs and Microsoft Office programs.
In a presentation to the Georgia Institute of Technology's IEEE Student Branch, Microsoft employee Andrew Jenks reported that the Messenger team had been working on multi-person audio/video chat, and they are also attempting to create interoperability with AIM/XMPP/ICQ. There is a basic internal version that works with XMPP already. However, these features were not seen in any versions of Windows Live Messenger 2009.
Microsoft sent an invitation to participate in the Windows Live Messenger "9" beta program to Microsoft Connect members on November 20, 2007; a week later, Microsoft began sending out emails welcoming them to the Windows Live Messenger "9" beta program for the first release, known as Beta 0.
A fan site for Windows Live Messenger,, claimed to have a new build of Windows Live Messenger "9" on August 11, 2008, and published screenshots along with a brief summary of new features. The screenshots featured a new user interface design matching the "Wave 3" design in development by Microsoft. The images were later removed by the site after a DMCA notice was received. The installer for the same build was leaked through private forums on August 23, 2008. It would later be discovered this build was a preview of Milestone 2, or M2.
News web site LiveSide published an article on September 4, 2008, with screenshots of M2 of the newly minted "Windows Live Messenger 2009," which had become version 14.0 instead of 9.0 as previously expected. LiveSide summarized its new features, including protection against messaging spam, the ability to stay signed into the application from several computers (referred to as "Multiple Points of Presence Support"), animated GIF files in the photo area, per-contact customized sounds for various user actions, and clickable URLs in the status area.
Microsoft began the official beta program for Windows Live Messenger 2009 on September 17, 2008, when it released a new beta officially known as Windows Live Messenger 2009 Beta (Milestone 3, Build 14.0.5027.908), which was made available to the general public as a free download. The ability to submit feedback, however, was restricted to select participants of the Microsoft Connect closed beta program.
Notable changes in Milestone 3 include a new revamped and refined user interface to follow suit with the rest of the Windows Live "Wave 3" design, the ability to set a "Scene" by customizing the background image and color of the contact list, and the display of these scenes in conversation windows for improved contact identification and window management.
Milestone 3 also brings a new "Groups" feature that allows users to create a continuous group conversation between select contacts, newly redesigned status icons which now resemble small gems rather than the previous "Messenger Buddy" icons, a new default "Favorites" category in which you can place your favorite contacts for easy access to them, a new Photo Sharing utility that allows contacts to quickly and easily browse photos together, and a "What's New" section at the bottom of the contact list to outline recent contact updates. Display pictures have been moved over to the left side of conversation windows, and new colorful borders appear around display pictures to display the current status of that contact. Milestone 3 is the first version of Windows Live Messenger to use the standard window frame on Windows Vista in accordance with the user experience guidelines.
Several features were removed in version 9.0 however, such as the ability to use add-ins, the ability to transfer files when the recipient is signed in as offline, the "Be right back," "Out to lunch," and "In a call" status options, the Go to my space button, the ability to adjust webcam settings during a video call, the Send button, some games (depending on your localization) and integration with Windows Contacts. Other features were replaced, such as Sharing Folders (replaced by integration with Windows Live SkyDrive) and background sharing (replaced by the "Scene" feature).
On December 15, 2008, Windows Live Messenger 2009 RC (Build 14.0.8050.1202) was released together with the other Windows Live Wave 3 software applications, now renamed as Windows Live Essentials. This version saw a removal of the custom sign-in sound feature however it is still possible to select a sound for other individuals, as well as changes to how the background image chosen is applied to the conversation windows. This build also included over 200 bug fixes including the "Custom Emoticon Bug" and saving of pictures when using the Photo sharing feature. On January 7, 2009, the same build was released as the final version of Windows Live Messenger 2009.
The last QFE update for Wave 3 was released on May 12, 2010, and saw the removal of some features from Windows Live Messenger. Specifically, the ability to independently show only your own webcam or your contacts' webcam (one way webcam) and without an audio call is gone. It is only possible to start a video call which starts the webcams of both people communicating and which also automatically starts audio calling. Also removed is the ability to import and save/export instant messaging contacts to and from .CTT files.
On June 14, 2012, Microsoft has made the update from 2009 to 2011 mandatory for those using Windows Vista or 7. 2009 continues to be usable for those still running XP. This can be circumvented by running Windows Live Messenger in Windows XP compatibility mode, thus making it believe it is running on Windows XP.
In late March 2010, a beta of Windows Live Essentials Wave 4 was leaked onto the internet and has since spread to various BitTorrent networks, which included a private beta build of Windows Live Messenger Wave 4. However, as the software was designed for private beta testing, non-beta testers cannot sign into this leaked build.
The new software features a revamped interface which brings the "What's new" section of Windows Live to the new "social pane", similar to the way a social networking site presents updates. Among the new features are tabbed conversations, a redesign of the old emoticons, integration of Bing results, built-in video message support, HD video chat, in-line commenting of social updates, a new social photo viewer that supports commenting (for Facebook and SkyDrive photos), badges support, synchronised status updates, availability by categories, as well as integration with Facebook chat. However, several features had also been removed from the previous version, such as the removal of display names, handwriting tool, one-way webcam requests and import/export of instant messaging contacts feature. The "Wave 4" release of Windows Live Essentials, which includes Messenger, also dropped compatibility with Windows XP and only runs on Windows Vista or Windows 7. 

The new Windows Live Messenger for the iOS became available on the App Store on June 21, 2010, in addition to other mobile versions of Windows Live Messenger for Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Symbian mobile platforms.
On June 24, 2010, a public beta of Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 was released as part of the new Windows Live Essentials beta A "beta refresh" of Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 was released on August 17, 2010 as part of an upgraded Windows Live Essentials beta. The final version of Windows Live Messenger 2011 (Wave 4) was released on September 30, 2010. On the same date, a version of Windows Live Messenger for Zune also became available.
On August 7, 2012, Microsoft delivered a new version of the Windows Essentials 2012 suite, which includes Windows Live Messenger 2012.


On 6 November 2012, Microsoft announced that Messenger and Skype services would merge in the first quarter of 2013, with users of Messenger client software moving to Skype. On 8 January 2013, Microsoft emailed Messenger users and informed them that with the exception of mainland China, the Messenger service would stop working on 15 March 2013 and users would not be able to sign in.
On 15 February 2013, ZDNet wrote the discontinuation email was only sent to one percent of Messenger users, a test group. On the same day, Microsoft announced its plans to phase out Messenger in vague terms: What Microsoft calls the "update" process would start on 8 April 2013 with English users and would end on 30 April 2013; Messenger would remain available in mainland China. According to ZDNet, this might only apply to the ability to sign in with Messenger client; Microsoft would keep its Messenger service running for another year. "Windows Live Messenger Upgrades to Skype," as they were referred to by Microsoft, started on April 8, 2013. This transition took place language by language. Brazil was the last country to be "upgraded," on April 30.


In addition to its basic functionality and general capability as an instant messaging client, the latest version of Windows Live Messenger offers the following features:

Album Viewer

Windows Live Messenger's album viewer is based on Windows Photo Gallery and provides users a photo viewing experience for photo albums shared via SkyDrive and Facebook. The album viewer is interactive and supports full screen and slideshow modes, as well as viewing and uploading comments on Facebook and SkyDrive albums. It also supports people tagging for SkyDrive. The album viewer closely resembles the Microsoft Silverlight counterpart for web photo albums present on SkyDrive.

Appear offline to individuals or categories

Windows Live Messenger allow users to appear offline to particular individual contacts, as well as to an entire category within Windows Live Messenger, while appearing online to other contacts.
This is a recent feature of Windows Live Messenger 2011, and is a departure from the previous versions of Windows Live Messenger, where blocking a contact would prevent the "blockee" from sending the user any messages to the "blocker". With the "appear offline to" configuration currently implemented, "hidden from" users can still send "offline messages" to the target.

Social networks integration

Users can connect services such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn using Windows Live Profile, and display their contact's Messenger social updates within the "Full view" of Windows Live Messenger. Users can also post status updates and photos directly to the connected services within Windows Live Messenger. Additionally, Messenger also imports all contacts from the connected services and integrates with Facebook Chat (via the XMPP protocol) for instant messaging support with users on Facebook.

Offline messaging

One can send messages to contacts who are offline; they will receive the messages once they come online. Additionally, a user can start conversations even when his or her status is set to Appear Offline in Windows Live Messenger 2009 or before.

Games and applications

There are various games and applications available in Windows Live Messenger that can be accessed via the conversation window by clicking on the games icon, and challenging your friend or contact to a competition in a game, or inviting them to launch a shared external application.

Messenger Companion

Windows Live Messenger Companion
Windows Live Messenger Companion was an add-in for Windows Internet Explorer that detects when a user is on a website that one of their friends has shared content from and surfaces that update so that the user can instantly view what their friends have shared and leave a comment to the shared content on Windows Live. The service utilizes Windows Live ID and integrates tightly with Windows Live Messenger to obtain the user's contact list and their shared contents. The features of Windows Live Messenger Companion include:
  • Sharing links to webpages with the user's friends on Windows Live within the web browser
  • See links to webpages the user's friends have shared
  • Add comments to the links the user's friends have shared
Windows Live Messenger Companion was made available as part of Windows Live Essentials 2011. However, Microsoft discontinued Messenger Companion in its newer Windows Essentials 2012 suite.


Windows Live Messenger uses the Microsoft Notification Protocol (MSNP) over TCP (and optionally over HTTP to deal with proxies) to connect to Microsoft Messenger service—a service offered on port 1863 of ""
The protocol is not completely secret; Microsoft disclosed version 2 (MSNP2) to developers in 1999 in an Internet Draft, but never released versions 8 or higher to the public. The Messenger service servers currently only accept protocol versions from 8 and higher, so the syntax of new commands sent from versions 8 and higher is only known by using packet sniffers like Wireshark. This has been an easy task because – in comparison to many other modern instant messaging protocols, such as XMPP – the Microsoft Notification Protocol does not provide any encryption and everything can be captured easily using packet sniffers. The lack of proper encryption also makes wiretapping friend lists and personal conversations a trivial task, especially in unencrypted public Wi-Fi networks.

Content filtering

The content of users' messages is filtered on server side of the client. For example, the user can't send the links to The Pirate Bay's pages neither from the Windows Live Messenger, nor through other clients supporting the protocol. However, links to other P2P networks are allowed.

"i’m" initiative

The i’m initiative was a program Microsoft launched in March 2007, that connects the user with ten organizations dedicated to social causes through Windows Live Messenger, only for conversations sent or received in the USA. Every time someone had a conversation using i’m, Microsoft Corp. shared a portion of the program's advertising revenue with the organization of the user's choice. There was no set cap on the amount donated to each organization. The more i’m conversations the user had, the more money went to one of the ten causes. Each participating organization was guaranteed a minimum donation of $100,000 during the first year of the program. The i’m initiative worked with version 8.1 and above.
On March 2010, the initiative concluded, having raised over 3 million dollars.



On October 13, 2005, Yahoo! and Microsoft announced plans to add interoperability between their messenger services. The announcement came after years of third-party interoperability success (most notably, PowWow by Tribal Voice, Trillian, Pidgin) and criticisms from Tribal Voice and iCast that the major real time communications services were locking their networks. Yahoo! and Windows Live Messenger became interoperable on July 12, 2006. For six years, Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger users in possession of up-to-date software could communicate across the two networks. Instant messaging as well as transmission of emoticons, nudges, offline messages, presence information and personal status messages were supported. On December 14, 2012, the interoperability ended.
Interoperability with Facebook Chat was added on September 30, 2010 with the launch of Windows Live Messenger 2011.

Xbox integration

Windows Live Messenger support was included in the Xbox 360 spring 2007 dashboard update released on May 9, 2007. It is known as Xbox Live Messenger and, less commonly, as Windows Live Messenger 360.
Those using Windows Live Messenger are able to see the Gamertags of friends logged into Xbox Live, including the games they are playing. Xbox 360 users can chat in-game (or while watching a movie). Although only text chat is supported, Microsoft has suggested that voice and video chatting may come in a future update. Support for child accounts was added in December 2007.
To coincide with the arrival of the integration of Windows Live Messenger with Xbox Live, Microsoft released a new Xbox 360 keyboard adapter called the Xbox 360 Messenger Kit for easier text input. The keyboard device attaches to the standard Xbox 360 controller through the headphone jack and features a QWERTY-style key layout with 47 backlit keys. However, any USB keyboard is also compatible with the Xbox 360.
Microsoft also announced on June 14, 2010 that users on Xbox LIVE with the controller-free Kinect will be able to have real-time video conversations with Windows Live Messenger contacts. This feature was enabled at launch.

Microsoft Messenger for Mac

Microsoft Messenger for Mac (previously MSN Messenger for Mac) is the official Mac OS X instant messaging client for use with Microsoft Messenger service and is developed by the Macintosh Business Unit, a division of Microsoft. However, the feature list is limited in comparison to that of its counterpart Windows Live Messenger. The client is still maintained and updated but still lacks a number of features that its Windows counterpart contains. However, several third-party applications that have support for the Messenger service, such as Trillian (software), Adium and aMSN, incorporate some of the features missing from the official client.
The versions 3.x and later of Microsoft Messenger for Mac feature new Aqua graphics, whereas version 2.x and below have graphics similar to Windows Messenger 4.0. Versions 5.x use the brushed metal theme.
  • Version 2.5.1 is an update to version 2.5, which is a mandatory update to version 2.1 that is available for users running Mac OS 9.2.2.
  • Version 3.5 for Mac OS X revisions older than 10.2.8
  • Version 4.0.1 for Mac OS X revisions 10.2.8 and newer
  • Version 5.1.1 for Mac OS X revisions 10.3 and newer
  • Version 6.0.3 for Mac OS X revisions 10.3.9 and newer
  • Version 7.0.0 for Mac OS X 10.4.9 or newer was released on April 29, 2008.
  • Version 7.0.1 for Mac OS X 10.4 or later includes minor bug fixes.
  • Version 7.0.2 for Mac OS X 10.4 or later: improves overall quality and conversations with Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2.
  • Version 8.0.0 beta for Mac OS X 10.5 or later, for Intel Macs only: Official Beta released on March, 24th 2010. Adds A/V conferencing between Mac OS X users and Windows Live Messenger 2009 users.
  • Version 8.0.0 for Mac OSX 10.5 or later, for Intel Macs only: Released with Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac in October 2010 and bears a visual similarity to previous Windows counterparts. It features somewhat more stable functional voice and video calls.
With the release of Microsoft Messenger for Mac 7.0, Microsoft has discontinued the client's support for older versions of their Corporate messaging systems (such as Live Communications Server 2005). The latest version to support these older systems is Version 6.0.3, which is still available for download on the Microsoft website.
Webcam and audio support was delayed due to Windows Live Messenger's webcam and audio engine being reworked, which meant that the Mac version had to wait until this was complete in order for both platform releases to function correctly.




TokBox Inc
Type Private
Headquarters San Francisco, California, California
Founder(s) Serge Faguet
Ron Hose
Key people Ian Small, CEO
Roelof Botha, Board Member
Scott Friend, Board Member
Bernd Girod, Board Member
Jawed Karim, Investor
Owner Telefónica Digital a subsidiary of Telefónica
Alexa rank positive decrease 62,978 (April 2013)
Type of site Videoconferencing
TokBox provides a free API that allows anyone to add group video chat features to their own websites. Experienced programmers use the OpenTok API to build custom interactive video chat applications. More casual users can download OpenTok plug-n-play apps that provide the same group video chat capability when users drop them into their personal blogs or websites.
TokBox was founded by entrepreneurs Serge Faguet and Ron Hose and is financed by Sequoia Capital, Bain Capital and Youniversity Ventures. As of 2010, TokBox has received $14 million in series A and B funding and is headquartered in the South of Market district in San Francisco, CA. TokBox was acquired by Telefónica Digital a subsidiary of Telefónica in October 2012.
In 2011, TokBox changed its focus from running a branded video conferencing service to building the OpenTok API platform.


Multi-party video chat

TokBox's OpenTok platform allows users to start a multi-party video chat with up to 20 people. The API does not require download for use and it is set up to allow the creator of the video chat to invite non-tokbox users into the call via email, instant messaging or by publishing the URL on their Twitter / Facebook / MySpace accounts.
OpenTok plug-n-play apps are downloadable widgets that allow users to quickly add group video chat functionality to their websites and blogs.

TokBox Platform & Partnerships

TokBox makes the OpenTok API available to partners who wish to add multi-party video chat to their own websites or applications.
TokBox lists SlideShare, eBuddy, Bibbil, ProctorU, McKinney, and PokerView as partners who use the API.


August – Series A funding from Sequoia Capital
October – Launched
November – Launched multi-party chat and partnership with Meebo


April – TokBox Version 2 launched
July – Series B Funding from Bain Capital Ventures and Sequoia Capital
September – Launched the TokBox platform/ API


Added document collaboration tool—Etherpad (now owned by Google)


January rolled out its first set of paid features--$9.99 per month.
November announced the OpenTok API


February TokBox announced that as of April 5, 2011 they will be discontinuing the TokBox video chat and video conferencing service to focus solely on their API, OpenTok.


TokBox was the subject of controversy when 50% of their engineering staff was fired in July 2009. This happened around the time TokBox changed CEOs. The VP of Marketing is stated as saying the firings were part of the CEOs new restructuring plan. None of the original founders are currently with TokBox.
Around 2007, one of the users had privacy issues—his friend was able to connect to his account—allowing his friend to view and hear him talk to himself. However, Tokbox seems to have addressed this issue now.

29 Jun 2013



Qnext Logo White2.png
Developer(s) Qnext Corp.
Stable release 4.0.4 / June 21, 2010; 3 years ago
Operating system Android, iOS, Linux, Macintosh, Windows
Type Mobile-PC, multi-messenger, sharing and access
License Proprietary
Qnext is a multi-protocol instant messaging service for Linux, Mac OS, Windows, and mobile devices. Qnext lets people connect to their digital content when they have access to the internet.
Qnext desktop client runs on Linux, Macintosh, and Windows.
Qnext Mobile solution includes an iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) application that can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, and a Qnext Mobile Web Application (no download or installation needed) that works on any mobile device equipped with a WebKit based mobile browser, such as Android, iPhone, iPod Touch, Nokia, and Windows Mobile 7 devices.


All clients are freeware.
Users that don’t wish to share any content or have access to their content, but would like to use the multi-protocol IM on their mobile device, do not need to install the Qnext desktop (PC) client. In any event, those users will be able to view and access shared content from other Qnext users on their supported mobile device.
Qnext services run in a multi-tasking mode, which lets users perform multiple tasks at the same time, such as talking to a group using video, transfer files, download files, view content, share content, carry IM conversation with others and more.


Qnext combines multiple technologies to connect users, facilitate communication, manage shared content and deliver shared media to anyone in an efficient way. Qnext uses Java, services-delivery architecture, Unicode, hybrid P2P / Web 2.0 (Peer2Web), Peer2Mobile and cross-platform technologies. Qnext services are plug-ins to the Qnext core with a high security level using SSL encryption. With Qnext, users can share and provide access to their digital content directly from their computers without the need to upload any of the shared content to external servers.

Desktop (PC) client features

In addition to the multi-protocol IM and access to shared content as shown above, the Qnext Desktop client (Linux, Macintosh, Windows) lets users import email contacts from AOL Mail, GMail Hotmail, and Yahoo! Mail, to enable the sharing and streaming of shared content to any email contact, 8-way VoIP, 4-way video conferencing; drag and drop file transfers of any size, remote PC access and shared applications. Users can quickly share unlimited number of files of any size, documents, presentations, videos, photos, and music streaming to anyone, even if a recipient does not have Qnext installed.
Multi-protocol (universal) instant messaging for AIM, Facebook Messenger, Google Talk, iMessage, ICQ, XMPP (Jabber), Myspace IM, Microsoft Messenger service (MSN), and Yahoo! Messenger sends and receives IM messages and keeps users truly connected to everyone from a single contact list.[6][7] Qnext IM implementation supports avatars (animated GIF and images), emoticons (smileys), spellchecker, themes, nudges, time-stamp, multi-chat, chat history/message logging, online messaging, and more.
Qnext file transfer is a fast and secured way to get a file or folder of any size to any Qnext user and can end the need to use FTP or send CDs via courier or deal with email attachment limits. Drag and drop any file or folder of any size on anyone on a contact list, and that is all. The recipient will get a message to allow the transfer, and the content will be transferred. Files are sent using SSL encryption via peer-to-peer (P2P) connection directly to the recipient computer.
With no servers in the way to slow down, file transfers occur as fast as the Internet service connection and computer system will allow. Also, transfers cannot be hacked or intercepted.
Qnext also allows sending and receiving files from other instant messaging services. Most services (such as ICQ, Microsoft Messenger service, and Yahoo! Messenger, etc. have a file size limit and the transfers travel through a server infrastructure. This may compromise security, privacy and quality of service.
Voice chat (audio conferencing) is multi-user voice conferencing (up to eight users at once). Qnext uses direct P2P routing to find the best available network connection; the quality of the user’s online telephone call is high. Linux, Macintosh, and Windows, users can all join a video or voice call together.
Video conferencing is a multi-user Video Chat (up to four people at once). This is where individuals or groups from around the world can meet face to face in real time, to interact for as long as they want, without any costs. Initiating a video conference is straightforward and easy. Qnext automatically detects video & sound devices.
Photo sharing is a way to share photos with anyone in seconds, even if the recipients don’t have Qnext.Any photos at any file format and resolution can be shared with any IM or email contact. Unlike other photo sharing tools, Qnext does not limit the number of photos users can share at a time, or the size of each individual photo. Just select the photos to share, choose your audience (IM or email contacts) and recipients will receive a link that lets them view, zoom, run a slide show, or download any or all photos in small or original format and resolution. No need to upload any photos to public websites.
File sharing is a means to get big files where they need to go, fast. Share an unlimited amount of files or folders of any size. Select the IM or email contacts you want to share with and that is all. Recipients will get a link in an email or an instant message and be able to download any or all of the shared files from any web browser in the world.
Streaming media (music) allows listening to an entire music library and iTunes or Windows Media Player playlists from anywhere in the world. Choose up to 700,000 songs and select an audience; the tunes will be streamed quickly to any who are chosen. Whether users want to share with themselves or with friends, this is the only way to stream your music to any web browser. The users’ library can be browsed by artist, album or genre, or created and shared user’s favorite playlist. Your audience can make their own playlist from your tunes.
Qnext users can access share content directly from the Qnext application. Data transmission is secured using SSL encryption.
Secure remote PC access and share applications for Windows. Qnext remote access technology allows users to remotely access their computers from any Internet connected device in the world, through a standard web browser. It’s an easy and secure solution that enables Qnext users to remotely access their content, emails, files and programs. Qnext users can:
  1. Set permission to allow themselves or others to remotely access their PC from any web browser.
  2. Allow a person or a group to view and/or control specific applications on their computer as others watch in real-time (ideal for software demonstrations).
  3. Request one-on-one assistance from any Qnext contact by allowing them to access your computer, as you watch their action in real-time.
Games can be played privately in real-time and can be accessed directly from the IM window. The user that initiates the game can invite any Qnext user to participate and others to watch as the game is being played by others. Free games include Backgammon, Checkers, Chess, Go, and Poker. All Qnext games have the option to play against the computer.

iPhone application features

Qnext improves iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch use by providing tighter integration to the device features and abilities. The devices become one more device in the users worldwide network. Some of the key features of Qnext for iPad and iPhone include:

Mobile Web application features

A web application (Web App) is a computer software application that is hosted in a browser-controlled environment which is accessed over a network such as the Internet or an Intranet. The Qnext Mobile Web Application has the same features as the Qnext iPhone application.
Using the Qnext Mobile Web App doesn’t need any downloads or installation and it should work on most of the smartphones and devices with a WebKit based mobile browser, such as: Android, HTC, iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), LG, Motorola, Nexus One, Nokia, Palm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Windows.
Qnext Mobile Web App can be used in two ways:
  • From a mobile device using a mobile web browser. Note that some browsers may not display the app correctly.
  • From any computer using a web browser and opening the Qnext Web application. This is a live implementation which operates the Qnext Mobile Web App in real-time.




Playxpert widgets.jpeg
The Tunes, Diagnostic, and Friends widgets of PLAYXPERT
Developer(s) PLAYXPERT, Inc.
Stable release 2834 / October 14, 2011; 19 months ago
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type In-game Toolset
License Freeware
PLAYXPERT is an in-game tool set designed for anyone who wants to remain productive while engaged in a full-screen, immersive media experience on their PC. It was originally designed for gamers. It was built by former Xfire users, who wanted to reduce system overhead for in-game overlay, and give users the necessary tools to build their own in-game widgets. It features several in-game widgets, such as multi-protocol instant messaging, web browsing, a media manager, and others, all of which can be opened in-game, eliminating the need to minimize whatever game, or other full-screen application you may be running. All in-game widgets have adjustable opacity.


PLAYXPERT's in-game overlay is run on an in-house engine, called PLAYXPERT True Overlay. The performance impact is minimal, as the overlay works at the operating system's kernel level. This also means that it supports any game, and doesn't depend on explicit support from the game developer.


All in-game widgets are controlled by the Dock feature, which is an interface with all the widget buttons, which can be dragged anywhere on the screen, and has an adjustable opacity.

Instant Messaging

In addition to its own proprietary instant messaging service, it also supports Facebook Chat, AOL Instant Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, Sony Station Friends, MSN, Yahoo! Messenger, and Xfire.

Web Browser

The Web Browser widget supports tabbed browsing, an in-game download manager, and bookmarks.


The Diagnostics widget is an in-game Task Manager of sorts, which allows you to monitor your CPU usage, RAM usage, network bandwidth usage, and also a process manager, which allows you to end system processes while in-game.


The Arcade widget is essentially a game manager, allowing you to launch all your games from it, and see what games your friends have. It also serves as a server browser. The Arcade widget became a standard widget as of February 27, 2009.

User-Made Widgets

PLAYXPERT supports user-made widgets, and offers them for download in the Widget Gallery section of their web site.


PLAYXPERT officially supports 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7, Vista, XP and 2000. PLAYXPERT supports the in-game overlay for games that use DirectX 8, 9 or 10. DirectX 11 is supported in beta as of January 2011.


28 Jun 2013

Pidgin (software)

Pidgin (software)

Pidgin Logo
Initial release 1998 as Gaim
Stable release 2.10.7 (February 13, 2013; 4 months ago) 
Preview release None 
Written in C (C#, Perl, Python, Tcl are used for plugins)
Platform Cross-platform
Available in Multiple languages
Type Instant messaging client
License GNU General Public License
Pidgin (formerly named Gaim) is an open-source multi-platform instant messaging client, based on a library named libpurple. Libpurple has support for many commonly used instant messaging protocols, allowing the user to log into various services from one application.
The number of Pidgin users was estimated to be over 3 million in 2007.



Pidgin running on Ubuntu
Pidgin provides a graphical front-end for libpurple using GTK+. Libpurple supports multiple instant-messaging protocols.
Pidgin supports multiple operating systems, including Windows as well as many Unix-like systems such as Linux, BSD, Mac OS X, and AmigaOS (through the X11 engine). It has built-in support for NSS, offering client-to-server message encryption for protocols that support it. The program is extendable through plugins, including "Off-the-Record Messaging" and Pidgin encryption, providing end-to-end message encryption.
Pidgin features some of the standard tools for an instant-messaging client, such as a contact list, file transfer on supported protocols, and conversation and chat logging. Tabbed conversations is an optional feature on Pidgin. The IM window consists of the message window, formatting tools, and an edit box.
Users can add contacts (usually known as "Buddies") in the "Buddy List" window or in the IM window. As a client that supports IRC and other chat programs, Pidgin can also add different IRC channels and IM Chats. Contacts with multiple protocols can be grouped into one single contact instead of managing multiple protocols, and contacts can be given aliases or placed into groups.
To reach users as they log on or a status change occurs (such as moving from "Away" to "Available"), Pidgin supports on-action automated scripts called Buddy Pounces to automatically reach the user in customizable ways.
Pidgin supports some file transfers, with the ability to cancel transfers and observe multiple transfers in a separate window, while lacking some protocol-specific features like the folder sharing available from Yahoo. Older versions of Pidgin did not support direct, peer-to-peer file transfers over the MSN protocol and instead relayed file transfers over a slower connection via the MSN servers. However, direct connection support has been added since Pidgin 2.7.
As of version 2.6 (released on August 18, 2009) Pidgin has a voice/video framework which uses Farsight2 and is based on Mike Ruprecht's Google Summer of Code project from 2008. That release provides the ability to have voice/video conversations using the XMPP protocol (including Google Talk), though the implementation is not yet fully complete. The framework will also allow for voice/video conversations on other protocols, such as MSN and Yahoo, in the future.
Further features include support for themes, emoticons, spell checking, and notification area integration.

Supported protocols

The following protocols are officially supported by libpurple 2.9.0, without any extensions or plugins:
Some XMPP servers provide transports, which allow users to access networks using non-XMPP protocols without having to install plugins or additional software. Pidgin's support for XMPP means that these transports can be used to communicate via otherwise unsupported protocols, including not only instant messaging protocols, but also protocols such as SMS or E-mail.
Additional protocols, supported by third-party plugins, include Microsoft OCS/LCS (extended SIP/SIMPLE), QQ, Skype via skype4pidgin plugin, and the Xfire gaming network (requires the Gfire plugin).


Various other features are supported using third-party plugins. Such features include:


Gaim 2.0.0 beta 6 running under GNOME 2.16.0
The program was originally written by Mark Spencer, an Auburn University sophomore, as an emulation of AOL's IM program AOL Instant Messenger on Linux using the GTK+ toolkit. The earliest archived release was on December 31, 1998. It was named GAIM (GTK+ AOL Instant Messenger) accordingly. The emulation was not based on reverse engineering, but instead relied on information about the protocol that AOL had published on the web; development was also assisted by some of AOL's technical staff. Support for other IM protocols was added soon thereafter.

Naming dispute

In response to pressure from AOL, the program was renamed to the acronymous-but-lowercase gaim. As AOL Instant Messenger gained popularity, AOL trademarked its acronym, "AIM", leading to a lengthy legal struggle with the creators of GAIM, who kept the matter largely secret.
On April 6, 2007, the project development team announced the results of their settlement with AOL, which included a series of name changes: Gaim became Pidgin, libgaim became libpurple, and gaim-text became finch. The name Pidgin was chosen in reference to the term "pidgin", which describes communication between people who do not share a common language. The name "purple" refers to "prpl", the internal libgaim name for an IM protocol plugin.
Due to the legal issues, version 2.0 of the software was frozen in beta stages. Following the settlement, it was announced that the first official release of Pidgin 2.0.0 was hoped to occur during the two weeks from April 8, 2007. However, Pidgin 2.0 was not released as scheduled; Pidgin developers announced on April 22, 2007 that the delay was due to the preferences directory ".gaim".
Pidgin 2.0.0 was released on May 3, 2007. Other visual changes were made to the interface on 2.0.0, including updated icons.


  • Passwords are stored in a plaintext file. This password file is readable by anyone who has physical access to the computer, access to the user or administrative accounts, or (potentially) to anyone who is able to exploit security vulnerabilities on that computer. The developers recognize this as a security concern, but believe that the requirements of Pidgin (and the nature of instant messaging) make it infeasible to encrypt the password file, though they have said that they welcome solutions to integrate Pidgin with application-level security solutions.
  • Pidgin does not currently support resuming paused or incomplete file transfers in any of the applicable chat protocols
  • As of version 2.4 and later, the ability to manually resize the text input box of conversations has been altered—Pidgin now automatically resizes between a number of lines set in 'Preferences' and 50% of the window depending on how much is typed. Some users find this an annoyance rather than a feature and find this solution unacceptable. The inability to manually resize the input area eventually led to a fork, Carrier (originally named Funpidgin).
  • Pidgin does not allow disabling the group sorting on the contact list.

Supported Languages

Pidgin is translated into many different languages, thanks to the generous contributions of our volunteer translators.
  • Afrikaans                           
  • Albanian
  • American English
  • Arabic
  • Armenian
  • Armenian
  • Australian English
  • Azerbaijani
  • Belarusian Latin
  • Belarusian Latin
  • Bengali
  • Bokmal Norwegian
  • Bosnian
  • British English
  • Bulgarian
  • Canadian English
  • Catalan
  • Chinese
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch, Flemish
  • Dzongkha
  • English
  • Esperanto
  • Estonian
  • Euskera(Basque)
  • Finnish
  • French
  • Galician
  • Georgian
  • German
  • Greek
  • Gujarati
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hong Kong Chinese
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Kannada
  • Khmer
  • Korean
  • Kurdish
  • Lao
  • Lithuanian
  • Macedonian
  • Malay
  • Marathi
  • Mongolian
  • Myanmar (Burmese)
  • Nepali
  • Norwegian Nynorsk
  • Occitan
  • Oriya
  • Pashto
  • Persian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Portuguese-Brazil
  • Punjabi
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Serbian
  • Serbian
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Sinhala
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Spanish
  • Swahili
  • Swedish
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Thai
  • Traditional Chinese
  • Turkish
  • Ukranian
  • Urdu
  • Valencian-Catalan
  • Vietnamese
  • Xhosa
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