Software

Windows Live Messenger for iPhone: Putting the IM in timing

With perfect timing, Microsoft has launched Windows Live Messenger for iPhone on the day iOS 4 is set to arrive

Good old Microsoft. Amid the Apple hysteria before the launch of the iPhone 4, the boys and gals from Redmond made us chuckle with the timing of the launch of Windows Live Messenger for iPhone, an instant-messaging app that may well be rendered obsolete as iOS 4 arrives just a few hours later.

The Windows Live Messenger app does exactly what it says on the tin. Adding Windows Live buddies is a piece of cake: enter their Hotmail address and get chatting. There are push notifications for chats, so you won't miss anything.

The wheels come off the horse with the whistles and bells Microsoft has added. The app is supposed to support Yahoo IM as well, but it didn't work for us -- the invitation from the app never arrived in Yahoo, and when we tried it in the opposite direction Yahoo Messenger thought the Hotmail contact was offline.

Microsoft is all a-twitter about the fact the app lets you follow social updates from your mates' Twitter and Facebook activity, but again this is a mission to set up and didn't work for even the most socially active Cravers on the team.

Still, teething troubles no doubt. You can also upload photos, and add captions to the photos taken with your phone. One extra feature that does work very well is the access to your Hotmail account, allowing you to send and receive emails without any fiddly setup in the iPhone's onboard mail app.

Microsoft is also planning a separate Hotmail app, which seems like a waste of time, but who asked us? Nobody, that's who. Download the app for free at iTunes.

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