Microsoft has updated its Instant Messenger software for OS X with a strong emphasis on integrating Mac users with Microsoft's corporate instant messaging technology as well as introducing a more cohesive “Mac” style to the application.

Version 5.0 will also include new features that allow customers to develop their online personalities with customizable display pictures and the ability to view animated and custom emoticons, however there is no mention of video support.

“The latest version of Messenger for Mac is ideal for both office and personal communication,” said Scott Erickson, director of product management and marketing for the Mac BU at Microsoft.

“Our customers told us they needed a business tool to enable corporate messaging, so these requests were a primary driver in the development of the new version. Messenger for Mac 5.0 allows for greater collaboration in corporate environments and yet still presents a fun way to chat with friends and family.”

Messenger for Mac 5.0 also introduces tabbed viewing. Users may simultaneously access corporate and personal Messenger accounts and set a unique user status on each.

Corporate customers can also deploy the Live Communications Server 2005 Public IM Connectivity license, enabling their Mac users to IM with contacts outside the network who use services from AOL, MSN and Yahoo!

Microsoft Messenger for Mac 5.0 will be available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish. Customers may download this version for free at

http://www.microsoft.com/mac

.