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Microsoft delays IM software

The software giant postpones the release of MSN Messenger 6.2 until next week.

Microsoft has postponed the release of the next version of its instant messaging software until next week. The Redmond, Wash.-based company on Thursday introduced a subscription service for playing new games using its MSN Messenger and indicated that version 6.2 of the software would be ready this week. Late Thursday, though, a Microsoft representative said the launch of Messenger 6.2 "has been delayed until early next week." The games, by contrast, "have already begun to roll out," the representative said. The new games, which include online versions of "Wheel of Fortune" and chess, work with an existing version of Microsoft's IM software, MSN Messenger 6.1.

Microsoft's new games service comes on the heels of a new version of America Online's rival ICQ instant messenger, which also features games.