Messenger for Mac 7.0 adds videoconferencing for biz users

While consumers are still not able to use the audio-visual features of Microsoft's instant messaging client for Macs, a new version adds support for AV for businesses.

In order for businesses with Mac clients to be running Microsoft's Messenger for Mac 7.0 with video support, an organization must be running Exchange server and Microsoft Communicator. Video and audio chats will be available, as well as multi-party conferencing.

Video and audio conferencing on the platform is something that the Mac Business Unit (BU) has been talking about for quite some time, in fact as early as 2006 in an interview with BetaNews.

However, it said at the time adding the functionality would be a rather large project. Apparently it is still ongoing: Microsoft said that consumer video and audio chats are still in the works, and the Mac BU is still working with the Windows Live team to implement it.

"We are making progress and working on the delivery of Audio and Video for the personal service and are looking forward to getting the feature out there and in your hands as soon as we can," the Messenger team said.

Download Microsoft Messenger for Mac 7.0 from BetaNews FileForum now.

In addition to the multimedia functionality, enterprise users will also gain the ability to use a personal status message, and search for contacts via Exchange's Global Address List functionality.

Consumers aren't completely ignored: Searching for contacts via name or e-mail address has been added, as well as the option to assign nicknames to contacts. For both corporate and personal accounts, support for Mac OS X's Bonjour functionality will be available.

Messenger 7 for Mac requires Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later, the company says.

Microsoft's Mac business unit had published a blog post last November detailing its plans for audio and video support in the client.

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