Microsoft's MSN division has launched a test version of a free blogging service aimed at consumers, its first attempt to provide this popular activity for the mass consumer market.
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MSN Spaces lets users create an online journal, post photos and digital music lists. Users can establish different levels of visitor access, customise the blog with a choice of different backgrounds and layout templates, and update the blog remotely via e-mail or a mobile phone.
"Spaces is like a scrapbooking service to share whatever you want to share with people," said Brooke Richardson, MSN lead product manager for communications services.
It also features integration with the MSN Messenger instant messaging service and with the MSN Hotmail webmail service.
MSN has also released a public beta version of MSN Messenger 7.0, which features new ways for users to get each other's attention. "Nudge", shakes the chat session window and emits a sound; and "wink", which launches an animation clip in the chat session window.
Juan Carlos Perez writes for IDG News Service