Microsoft has launched a test version of a web-based MSN Messenger client that allows users to connect to the instant messaging (IM) service without installing a client application.
The beta version comes a week after Microsoft accidentally gave a sneak preview of the web-based IM client.
The company removed the pages hosting the web messenger on an MSN test website after the service attracted attention from MSN Messenger enthusiasts and the media.
The web-client test is aimed at users in the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan. Microsoft plans to roll out the service more broadly later this year, a company spokeswoman said.
A web-based client can be useful when installing the full client is not possible. This could be on a public computer in a library, at school or at a conference or when using a locked-down corporate system, for example.
Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service