In a presentation to the Georgia Institute of Technology's IEEE Student Branch yesterday, Microsoft employee and Georgia Tech (edit:
graduate former student - Jenks went to work for MS before graduating) Andrew Jenks had some surprises in store. "It wasn't originally planned to be announced yesterday, but when he found out he was coming down (since this is his alma mater) he wanted to announce it", so instead of his planned talk on "Life and development at Microsoft", he spent the hour announcing a new Messenger API - "the Tech Preview will be released during MIX 08 and the Beta 1 will be released when WLMessenger 9 ships in late 08 or early 09", according to Steven Hollingsworth (known online at Neowin and elsewhere as AmpCoder), a Georgia Tech student and IEEE Student Chapter member who attended the presentation.
According to his "Ampcoder" post at Neowin, Hollingsworth said "The API is very basic right now but by the time the first beta is released, the team hopes that they can include full support for everything that the full messenger client uses, including audio/visual protocols and other things on top of the basic text messaging and nudge messaging that the API currently includes". Hollingsworth was upset that he didn't bring a camera, but did take notes on the presentation:
Internal builds are already at WLM 9 and includes many of the API components. They have a team working on multi-person audio/video chat for WLM that may or may not be in 9, but should be in by 10. They are also trying to work out a way for WLM users to chat with AIM/GTalk/ICQ users like the way Yahoo! works now, and they have an internal version that works with GTalk already (but very basic). MS will no longer update the MSN Messenger for Mac, but they are going to release a brand new client for Mac OS X that is according to him "Really, really cool and awesome" but he would not provide anymore details due to his NDA.
Those plans may change, Hollingsworth quoted Jenks as saying, but "this is the current schedule". Apparently Jenks provided quite a detailed demo, described by Hollingsworth: