What is MSN Messenger?
Windows Live Messenger (WLM), formerly known as MSN Messenger, is a freeware instant messaging client for Microsoft Windows first released by the Microsoft corporation. It is part of Microsoft's Windows Live set of online services. Amongst its users it is still often referred to as "MSN," (referring to pre-8.0 versions) primarily because many people don't understand that the MSN brand is being phased out from this software or possibly because they haven't heard of Windows Live. Some people just call it MSN because it is familiar and easy to say. In some parts of Latin America and Spain it is known as simply "Messenger". Windows Live Messenger is often used to refer to the .NET Messenger Service (the protocols and server that allow the system to operate) rather than any particular client. The business-oriented client for Windows is called Office Communicator. It is possible for virtually any computer with an Internet connection, Windows XP and Internet Explorer to connect to the Messenger Service by using MSN Web Messenger, or one of the unofficial equivalents (which have advantages such as compatibility with browsers other than IE, but do not have an interface that mimics the one of the MSN Messenger 7.5 application).
The Sharing Folder feature of Windows Live Messenger is an alternative to the "direct transfer" method of file distribution. When a user wants to deliver a file to another person on his or her contact list, the "sharing folder" window appears, which is an individualized representation of all previously shared items.
When files are added to the "sharing folder" for that particular person, the file will automatically be transferred to the corresponding computer when they are online. This means that the folder is literally "shared" between two computers. If a user deletes a file, for example, the file will also be deleted from the corresponding computer's shared folder.
To minimize risk of virus-infected transfers, the "sharing folder" feature is bundled with an anti-virus program. The "sharing folder" feature can only be used on computers with NTFS-formatted hard disks.
In addition to PC-to-PC calls that have been supported in previous versions, Windows Live Messenger now supports PC-to-phone calls. The rates during the beta period are 2.3 cents per minute to and from North America and Western Europe.