Microsoft Updates MSN 8.5 Beta

Testers of Microsoft's upcoming MSN 8.5 release received an updated beta version this week containing small tweaks and minor interface adjustments. As reported by BetaNews, Microsoft opened the MSN 8.5 beta program last month, inviting current subscribers to join the test.

MSN 8.5 will serve as an interim upgrade before the full release of MSN 9 debuts this Fall. AOL also recently issued a fresh version of its client software dubbed AOL 8.0 Plus, and is beta testing an additional update code-named "Blue Hawaii."

Both Microsoft and AOL have recently pushed for more frequent software updates, offering up new features to combat dwindling subscriber bases due to broadband.

The new MSN beta, build 8.50.0016.0801, now sports the MSN butterfly logo on the Dashboard and startup screen. Other visual updates include animation in the client's address bar. Microsoft has added a "Check Names" button when composing an e-mail message for verifying addresses for errors.

MSN 8.5 Beta may be downloaded via FileForum, but the software requires an MSN account.

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