Recently, a new Windows Live site called Windows Live Video Messages was revealed. Here you can record and send personalized videos to your friends and family which they can access from anywhere they have an internet connection. The Video Messages website is set up very much like an email inbox, with folders for Received, Sent, and Unviewed messages. It will also display the counts of your unviewed messages and the total messages you have in your inbox.
The site will automatically import your Windows Live Messenger buddy lists, which is certainly a handy feature. You can use then use those buddy lists to create your “top 6 list,” which features your favorite contacts and is located in the left sidebar above the rest of your buddies.
The site itself is very simple to use – you just click the giant green plus sign to create a new video message. If the webcam is a Microsoft LifeCam (such as one of the two brand-new ones just released), it will be automatically detected. However, you can use your own webcam too. There are two different views for seeing your messages – an organized grid view and a more fun “scattered” view that displays the videos strewn across the web page. You get 2 GB of storage for saving messages and a recycle bin for clearing out older videos.
To use the site, you’ll need to be running Silverlight. It also requires an ActiveX plugin, which explains why I had trouble viewing it in other browsers besides IE. I hope that they will extend support to more browsers when the program leaves beta. But other than that, the video messages site is great service and a nice complement to the Windows Live set of tools.