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Monday, August 08, 2005, 03:00 pm PT (06:00 pm ET)

Microsoft to roll out Messenger 5.0 for Mac

Microsoft on Tuesday is expected to announce the immediate availability of Microsoft Messenger for Mac 5.0 with improved security and broader collaboration features, AppleInsider has learned.

According to sources, the free software should be available for download from Microsoft's Mactopia website by morning. It will feature an evolved user interface to better match that of Mac OS X, security enhancements, and other new features currently available with the Windows version.

Additionally, the new Mac version will sport a dual-tab interface to separate corporate and personal messaging accounts, integration with the Global Address List, and enhancements to overall usability.

Sources say the software will allow users to post separate away messages to their personal and client messaging accounts as well as offer improved integration with corporate messaging. The software will feature support for animated emoticons, inline user photos, and other refinements to match the experience of Messenger for Windows.

Microsoft Messenger for Mac 5.0 is expected to make realtime communication and collaboration easier and more secure for corporate Mac customers through added support for Microsoft's Live Communications Server 2005.

When used in conjunction with Live Communication Server and a Public IM Connectivity license, users will be able to communicate with and add users from other messaging services (AIM, Yahoo, etc.)  to their corporate messaging tab.

Microsoft last updated Messenger for Mac in October of 2004, when it released Messenger version 4.0.1.