October 7, 2004 12:45 PM PDT
Microsoft delays IM beta over security concerns
The security concern stems from a feature called "winks," essentially Flash-based animated buddy icons with sound effects that users can send to one another. Apparently hackers can exploit the hole to send their own unauthorized winks to people, causing a "security problem" for the recipient, a Microsoft representative said.
Because of this discovery, Microsoft will pull the winks feature when it releases the MSN Messenger 7.0 beta next week. The software giant had planned to release the beta this week.
Threedegrees services have made their way onto the current version of MSN Messenger, but their presence has been under the radar. MSN Messenger users can find links to download Threedegrees services, along with features that let groups of people share digital files such as music and photos.
In fact, Microsoft hopes to make Threedegrees' collaboration services useful as a way to share song playlists, while integrating features from its MSN Music store.
A version of MSN Messenger 7.0 beta leaked onto the Web last week, revealing other features, such as personalization tools and areas dedicated to MSN Search.