It seems appropriate to mention this straight away – it turns out the MSN network blocks certain chat-lines. An example: Say “hi there, go to http://www.download.com/download.php and get my new piece of software”, press enter, and the message is apparently sent. However, it never reaches the recipient. And you are never told your message was blocked.
This would be less bad if Microsoft had told us about it. However, it doesn’t really inspire trust when an instant message service just ignores certain phrases without saying a word to you. Considering that sending lines of text really is the main feature of instant messaging, screwing that up is pretty silly. Will be interesting to hear official word on this (it might be out there already, of course, I haven’t really done my googling on this yet).
Naturally, there are good arguments for blocking certain phrases – ie “please change your amazon contact details here: http://amazoncontactdetails.shadydomain.com” or similar. But without letting you know? And with phrases as generic as “download.php”? I don’t think so…
The point of this story? If you want to reach your conversation partner with your instant message, you’d better stick to a different network, such as Jabber or Skype. (Yep, it’s blocked in the network, not the client – I’ve tried it with Trillian.)
By the way, can’t find anything on Google News on this – is it because it’s not news, old news or not news yet? (A Norwegian article on the subject here: http://forbruker.no/digital/nyheter/article1226188.ece.)