Microsoft Messenger for Mac 8 (beta) full review

Microsoft blows hot and cold in its support of the Mac. For example, Internet Explorer dominates Windows web browsing, but there’s been no Mac version since 2003 – the year Safari debuted. Microsoft Messenger for Mac hasn’t had a point upgrade for two years and even now, this review is of the beta version of the next release.

Messenger for Mac 8 is worth a look for two significant new features though: integrated audio and video. Missing from all versions of Messenger for Mac, these functions have been available to Windows users since 2000 and 2005 respectively. A note to clear up confusion: Messenger 7 supported audio and video over Microsoft Office Communications Server, but not over the net.

So, the Mac version of Messenger finally catches up. Sort of. As expected, it looks the business. It’s slicker and less cutesy than older versions, with a distinct corporate undertone. For example, you can set up Pager messaging. Who has a pager these days? Turns out, this is an SMS feature.

Video worked seamlessly in our tests, with a connection quickly established at the touch of a button. We searched without success for video configuration tools though – you’re stuck with a rather low-quality result.

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