June 13, 2006 11:25 AM PDT

Windows Live gets a LifeCam

Microsoft has announced a line of Webcams that work with its Windows Live Messenger program for video messaging or calling.

The announcement, made Tuesday, is not a complete surprise. In March, Microsoft voiced intentions to expand its voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, and video products as part of its push for Windows Live services.

LifeCam

The LifeCam VX-6000, a silver Webcam tentatively priced at $99.95, is capable of 5-megapixel (interpolated) still photography and 1.3-megapixel high-definition video. A 71-degree wide-angle lens allows for more than one person in the frame.

The LifeCam VX-3000 is capable of 1.3-megapixel (interpolated) high-definition still photography and 640-by-480-pixel resolution video. It comes in black and is estimated to be $49.95.

Both Webcams, available this August, have built-in noise-canceling microphones. They also come with software that integrates with Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft's instant-messaging and PC-to-phone calling application with video capability

Windows Live Messenger was released as a public beta version in May. A company representative said the official version would be available "soon" but did not give a specific date.

The LifeCam software includes features for automatic face tracking--to keep subjects in focus--and one-touch blogging. It enables people to instantly initiate a video chat with buddies currently online via a Windows Live buddy tool. There are also visual video effects like virtual snowing.

The recommended system requirements for running a LifeCam include a 1.4GHz Pentium 4 processor, 100MB of free hard-drive space, a USB 2.0 port and high-speed Internet access.

Microsoft's Hardware Group will play a significant role in the development of Windows Live Messenger, according to a statement by Martin Taylor, corporate vice president of Windows Live and MSN at Microsoft. Microsoft also plans to announce more LifeCam products this September.

PC maker Dell said on May 31 that it would offer an audio-video package for its new XPS M1210 and XPS M2010 computers that includes a Webcam with a microphone and Skype software for video conferencing.

See more CNET content tagged:
Microsoft Windows Live, Microsoft Windows Live Messenger, webcam, VoIP, microphone

15 comments

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That strategy isn't new.
Clearly, Microsoft with its enormous markeshare will have more
people video chatting. Can't argue that.

But that strategy isn't new, Apple longtime has recognized the
significance of video chatting and has already been adding web
cameras to its computers for years. Along with the popular
application called Ichat its still miles ahead of Messenger.

Sadly because of Apple's minimal marketshare, Microsoft will
probably take all the credit for what Apple has already
recognized in this market with Ichat and Isight.

And the Microsoft innovative machine just keeps rolling...
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That strategy isn't new.
Clearly, Microsoft with its enormous markeshare will have more
people video chatting. Can't argue that.

But that strategy isn't new, Apple for a longtime has recognized
the significance of video chatting and has already been adding
web cameras to its computers for years. Along with the popular
application called Ichat its still miles ahead of Messenger.

Sadly because of Apple's minimal marketshare, Microsoft will
probably take all the credit for what Apple has already
recognized in this market with Ichat and Isight.

And the Microsoft innovative machine just keeps rolling...
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Reply Link Flag
iChat + iSight + AIM BUILT IN
Out of the box, on a Mac OSX computer, for several YEARS now...

Plus you can have a 4 WAY teleconference meeting with three other iChat/AIM people as well.

The webcam is built into all iMacs & Mac notebooks
running on Intel Core Duo chips for video & audio teleconferences, telecommunters, family gatherings & long distance friends.

NOT A NEW INVENTION, only new to Citizen Gates & windows... just because the tiny refrigerator bulb of a brain came on in Redmond's Jurassic Park, does NOT translate into a new invention.

Once again Gates playing catch up to Steve Jobs.

NOT NEWS C/NOT.

been there, done that, moving onto the future...
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
think different....
I went to Bestbuy 3 years ago and saw a Sony Vaio laptop with built-in web-cam, right above the screen (just like the current macbooks). This was 2 years before Steve Jobs came out with iSight built into the computer itself. I don't remember the exact model of Sony but I found this report dated May 24th 2004:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://products.sony.co.uk/article_12.asp" target="_newWindow">http://products.sony.co.uk/article_12.asp</a>

So it's actually Apple who 'stole' the idea from a PC company.

If you look around, you will find that you can do teleconferencing with MSN messenger and Yahoo messenger as well, and that has been there for years too.

Just because you are ignorant about these things doesn't mean they don't exist (or existed before Apple 'invented' them)... but for some, ignorance is bliss

Besides, you can't seriously compare a 5 megapixel camera which microsoft is coming out with to a VGA camera (VGA = 0.3 megapixel) that comes with Macs. It's like comparing a S class Merc to Dodge Neon
Posted by ggupta7 (137 comments )
Link Flag
iChat + iSight + AIM BUILT IN
Out of the box, on a Mac OSX computer, for several YEARS now...

Plus you can have a 4 WAY teleconference meeting with three other iChat/AIM people as well.

The webcam is built into all iMacs &#38; Mac notebooks
running on Intel Core Duo chips for video &#38; audio teleconferences, telecommunters, family gatherings &#38; long distance friends.

NOT A NEW INVENTION, only new to Citizen Gates &#38; windows... just because the tiny refrigerator bulb of a brain came on in Redmond's Jurassic Park, does NOT translate into a new invention.

Once again Gates playing catch up to Steve Jobs.

NOT NEWS C/NOT.

been there, done that, moving onto the future...

check it out:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/imac/isight.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/imac/isight.html</a>
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
See Vista's web cam future TODAY
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/imac/isight.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/imac/isight.html</a>

been there, done that for YEARS, moving onto the future...

have fun &#38; be patient, Citizen Gates is cranking the copy machines in Jurassic Park (Redmond One) as fast as he can to keep up with Apple.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
As always, Apple lags in the past
Sony had cameras built into their laptops long before Apple. They also has 1/2 way decent software
(funny if slightly racy ad, and not even for their first model)

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-596357525020519671" target="_newWindow">http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-596357525020519671</a>

ah well, if something isn't invented until Apple condescends to copy others, I guess your right.
Posted by catch23 (436 comments )
Link Flag
Message has been deleted.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
Will the latency be as low as the iSight?
This will be a big advance if you connect directly to the person you are talking to, not through a server. Then you can expect low latency during calls, not annoying delays. I will be happy to catch up with Apple.
Posted by emersk (6 comments )
Link Flag
It's too bad
That Logitech so far hasn't added some bigger resolutions to it's webcams. You still get up to 640x480 and if you do a "Full Auto Mode" the FPS goes down below 15FPS.

Logitech, Wake up! we need cams with MUCH better resolution, responsiveness and full support for USB 2.0, FORGET the USB 1.1 already!
Posted by hetzbh (43 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This won't change a thing
Unless every computer maker gives one of these away with every
purchase this will not change anything,webcams have been
around for years (granted not in this quality) but the reason
Apple (and yes Sony) built them into their products is that there
is no point in having the software available if nobody has the
hardware,if you want to make a video conference you are reliant
on at least two people going out and buying a camera and you
know how lazy people are.
Posted by The Governator (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
iSight or LifeCam?
Doesn't the latest iMac have the iSight built it? The cool technology is Apple getting a patent for a LCD screen to work like a cam. This LifeCam doesn't seem that bad though.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.techknowcafe.com/content/view/528/42/" target="_newWindow">http://www.techknowcafe.com/content/view/528/42/</a>
Posted by mystereojones (46 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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