Today, Microsoft launched new versions of Messenger and Spaces, two free tools available as part of its popular online service, MSN Messenger, Microsoft's instant messaging client (a direct competitor to AOL's Instant Messenger) has graduated to version 7.0, and after four months of public "beta" testing, Spaces, a tool for creating blogs, a kind of online diary, has made its official debut.
Messenger 7 offers improved audio and video tools, tighter integration with other parts of MSN, and a slew of new icons, avatars, and other animations. You can now launch both audio and video conferencing with a single click, and expand video feeds to full screen. Also, according to Microsoft, audio conferencing now has little trouble working with most network firewalls. The client now even offers the ability to perform word searches on any word or phrase within the message window.