Microsoft launches video messaging service, webcams

Show and tell with Microsoft

Fun seems to be the message with this year’s webcam and communications launches from Microsoft at its Hardware Anywhere event. This week the software giant announced that it is not only releasing two new webcams but also launching a video messaging service through Windows Live Messenger.

The new service is designed to help busy people take advantages of the benefits video chat offers. According to Microsoft's Bennie Soto, plenty of research was conducted during the development of the service. Microsoft found that the big problem for most users wasn’t the video process itself but “trying to arrange for that video call — making sure some one else will be there on the other end”.

“It’s about communicating with friends and family … but we want to be able to communicate with friends and family any time and anywhere”, Soto said.

The service will run in tandem with Windows Live Messenger, which gives Microsoft a strong user base, particularly in Australia. Users will be given two gigabytes of storage, which is enough for several hundred videos. Any message that is sent isn’t actually transferred: it simply stays on the sender’s personal page and a link is distributed. This allows users to delete and manipulate their messages later on.

The president of Microsoft's Entertainment Devices Division, Robert Bach, gave this example to highlight the vision for the service: “So if I want to be able to leave my mum a video birthday card, we’ll be able to do that. My kids will be able to deliver that message, and whether she’s on the PC at that time or not won’t matter because she’ll get the message; she’ll see us in video and she’ll be able to have that special experience.”

Users will be able to access their messages in two ways: Windows Vista owners will have the option of a gadget on their desktop, while a Web interface is also on offer.

Microsoft has also launched two new webcams. Sporting a new software suite that allows a host of entertaining image manipulation options (gigantic eyes, huge smiles, funny hats etc.) the goal is clearly for people to enjoy themselves. “This is the kind of thing [people] want”, says Michael Cowan, webcam product marketing manager for Microsoft. "They want video effects so they can have fun.”

The LiveCam Show features a variety of mounting options, including the ability to attach to the back of a notebook lid. It is designed to allow users to show off their surroundings. The LiveCam VX5500 comes in a variety of funky colours so people can personalise it as they see fit. It also folds flat for easy transportation. Both units will be available in October and will retail for $179.95 and $99.95, respectively.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Andrew Kliem

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?