MS Messenger 6.0 for Mac Released

Written by: Alex Curtis

Categories: News

MS Messenger 6.0

Publisher: Microsoft
Software Version: 6.0
Price: FREE
Processor: Universal (Intel/PPC)
More Information: Microsoft Messenger 6.0

Today, Microsoft released a new version of their instant messaging app, Messenger, version 6.0. This version brings Intel based Mac support as a universal binary, and packs a other new and notable features:

  • Yahoo! Instant Messenger compatibility with the standard Windows Live Messenger (WLM) Service account (used to be an MSN or Hotmail account).

  • Spotlight searches of previous IM conversations.

  • Spellcheck as you type.

Version 6 has a few other customizable niceties as well. In the status menu, it lets the user create their own away messages as well as show the currently playing iTunes song. Those that like to have fun with emoticons—Messenger has you covered—by allowing you to “[c]reate, send, and receive custom emoticons with personal contacts.”

Messenger 6 lets you communicate with others on different IM platforms in two different ways. As noted above, the standard WLM account gets you access to other WLM users and Yahoo! IM users. However, for those in the corporate world, if you have a MS Office Live Communications Server, you can use it as a gateway to not only IM with folks in your corporate setting, but also members of AOL IM, Yahoo! IM, and iChat (AOL IM users through .Mac).

You can find out more about Microsoft Messenger 6.0 here at Microsoft’s mactopia website.

I’m downloading it now and plan to leave my impressions of it in the comments below or as a later post.

There are 13 comments on MS Messenger 6.0 for Mac Released:

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  1. Alex Curtis | Sep 27 2006 - 01:11

    Quick update:

    For instant messaging, I’m a tried-and-true Adium ( user. Its versatile libgaim underpinnings allow you to login to a ton of different IM, VOIP, and ICQ services (

    To try out MS Messenger 6, in Adium, I logged off my MSN/Hotmail/Windows Live Messenger account, so I didn’t run into any conflicts.

    After running the nice setup wizard provided by Microsoft which asked for my user account, I was up and running with my short contact list in a brushed-metal window. A few things to note right off the bat–Messenger 6 pulled in my user account’s mug shot, which was a nice feature. However, unlike iChat or Adium, Messenger 6 doesn’t seem to have pulled the contact information from Address Book–only listing contacts that the WLM server had previously registered that I’ve talked to. I don’t have very many friends on the WLM platform–but of the few I have, Messenger 6 failed to list them all.

    The next new feature I wanted to try was Messenger 6’s cross-IM-platform capabilities. I don’t have an MS Office Live Communications Server available, so I just tried the Yahoo! Messenger compatibility. In Messenger 6, I added my Yahoo! user name to the contact list manually–again, too bad Messenger just didn’t scan my Address Book to find all the pertinent Yahoo! contacts. I was logged into Yahoo! IM via Adium and for whatever reason, my Yahoo! user was listed in Messenger 6, but it indicated I was offline even though I was online. Double clicking on it, it just asked me if I wanted to email the Yahoo! user because clearly I wasn’t online. Hmm…

    Thinking that maybe the Gaim Library that Adium uses hadn’t been updated, I downloaded the Yahoo! Messenger client (ver. 3.0 Beta 1). After getting setup and logged on, MS Messenger 6 finally showed my Yahoo! account as logged in. Quitting out of Yahoo! Messenger and switching back to Adium, MS Messenger 6 figured it out and Adium and Messenger 6 seemed to work fine. Hopefully, Adium can fix this glitch.

    Communication between the two services seemingly worked fine. There are no advanced features, though–like sending files, voice, or video.

    If you’re a Mac user with a Hotmail/MSN/WLM account and a load of friends only on Hotmail/MSN/WLM or Yahoo!, you can give Messenger 6 a try. I know the “Which IM Is the Best” debate is as heated as “Mac vs. PC,” but I’ll stick my neck out here anyways and say that I think you’re probably better off with the more advanced features of Adium or iChat.

  2. Danny Greg | Sep 27 2006 - 04:56

    I was praying for iSight support….. no such luck – still no web-cam features.. that is just awful!

  3. Ian Farrell | Sep 27 2006 - 08:17

    Disappointed in lack of Webcam support (again!).
    At least Skype is moving in the right direction.

  4. Simon | Sep 27 2006 - 10:19

    Yeah, without the iSight support, there really doesn’t seem to be any advantage over clients like Adium.

    Well, I guess we’ll just have to start waiting for version 7.

  5. Dave | Sep 27 2006 - 11:26

    I too tried this new offering from Microsoft and really think this is only a .5 offering.

    Like Alex, I use Adium and really would not change unless another app offered some more functionality or killer features.

    The only positive from this MS release is at least it is a universal app.

  6. Simon Mirfin | Sep 28 2006 - 07:26

    Disappointed and a tad confused as to why windows has not yet supported iSight? However the positive is I have just downloaded Adium and until I had read this page I had no idea it existed so well done MSN erm I think :-)

  7. Peter | Sep 28 2006 - 10:50

    I’m very happy with this release. The company I work for use the Live Communication Server SIP stuff. Now I can connect to my contacts at the office. Plus it’s better then that Windows version because it have the built in Spell Check.

  8. Alex Curtis | Sep 28 2006 - 10:39


    With the server that your company has, does it allow you to do VOIP via SIP?

    Just wondering.

  9. Peter | Sep 28 2006 - 02:37

    Does our SIP service allow VoIP, I’m not sure. beleive it does internally. I know a few IT guys with soft phones that seem integrated. Externally, I highly doubt it.

    I’m not on the team that manages the servers so my information is just a guess.

  10. Tracy | Sep 29 2006 - 01:03

    I downloaded this just to see if it was any nicer than Microsoft Messenger 5 for the Mac. Other than the couple additional preferences, this is the same clunky, feature-poor Messenger. Oh well… yea for Adium ;-)

  11. undalux | Sep 29 2006 - 04:17

    well, after all these commenst I dont want to waste my time in watchin any microsoft logos and bull***t so I’ll keeep on using Adium since it seems to be the only way to keep in touch with MSN contacts…

  12. Mark | Oct 02 2006 - 02:46

    why bother with this? Is there a decent chat app that performs like ichat in the video department? and works cross platform? Yahoo chat has awful video performance. Is skype any better?


  13. Andy | Nov 12 2006 - 11:07

    Thanks a lot ofor the reviews. It looks like I shall be sticking to Adium as well :-)