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Microsoft’s bottom-up IM

February 25, 2003

Microsoft has decided that if it wants to be relevant to the future market, it has to make software that speaks to the needs of the Net Generation, even if that software doesn’t make sense to the aging executives producing it.

One result is their new messenger software called Three Degrees which takes IM to the next level: your group of friends is constantly represented graphically on your desktop and you can wink at them, fart or send any host of cute/annoying little gestures. You can also listen to music with them in real time or share photos simply by dragging the files. It’s like a slumber party whenever the PC is on. While some older computer users fail to see the real merit of some such features, the 10-16 year olds who inspired those features ARE the future market; job survival for aging execs may rest on their willingness to let these customers dictate R&D.

The software will be freely downloadable at

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