Citing a security hole in one of MSN Messenger 7.0's new features, Microsoft suspended the product's beta version this week, according to various reports, so it can rethink how to implement the feature. MSN Messenger 7.0 includes a feature called Winks that lets MSN Messenger users send each other animated graphics and sounds. Attackers can use the feature maliciously, however, so Microsoft has stripped it from the product's most recent beta version, which the company will make available to testers next week. To protect testers against potential problems, all MSN Messenger 7.0 users will be forced to "downgrade" to the publicly shipping version 6.2 when they log on to the MSN Messenger service today.
Microsoft still intends to ship the Winks feature in the final version of MSN Messenger 7.0, which should ship publicly in early 2005. Other new MSN Messenger 7.0 features include a new UI for the Contacts window, a Nudge feature for getting the attention of other users, and deeper integration with various MSN services.