Microsoft will discontinue a tool designed to permit developers to build bots for Windows Live Messenger. Come mid-2009, the Redmond company will completely retire the Windows Live Agents software development kit. The announcement was delivered concomitantly with the availability of the latest version of the SDK, namely 5.1. According to the software giant, v5.1 of Windows Live Agents SDK will be the last of its kind, however, Microsoft failed to offer any reasons as to why it was killing the tool.
“It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce WLA 5.1 is the last WLA release. We are retiring our product and this final version is better suited to take you through the summer of 2009, when official support ends,” a representative of the Windows Live Agents team stated.
“You, our developers and partners, have provided great feedback about our product that we have incorporated into product features, many of which are part of 5.1 release. We would like to thank you for all your feedback and participation. We will no longer accept new hosting requests.”
Referred to as conversational applications set up to integrate with Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Agents are nothing more than bots capable of interacting with users. Bots will carry conversations with the users of Microsoft's instant messaging client on a variety of subjects, ranging from astronomy, to finance, gaming, fashion and lifestyle. Microsoft does offer a gallery of Windows Live Messenger bots, which can be added to the IM client.
“This version of WLA provides a number of features that allow for better and more intuitive agents development experience. As always, we highly recommend you read the release notes about all new features, and use help documentation provided with SDK for any question on usage you might have,” the Windows Live Agents team member added.