Get attention. Consumers can reach out to friends and family by sending a "Nudge," an alert that shakes the contact's conversation window with an audible notification, or a "Wink," animated pictures that include sound and that can be virtually "thrown" onto the screen of a contact's Internet message (IM) window. New emoticons, backgrounds and theme packs from Microsoft Corp., including advertiser-sponsored packs such as for "Halo® 2",* round out the experience. Stay connected. Through integration with MSN Messenger, consumers can automatically let their contacts know that they have updated their MSN Space. The MSN Messenger Contact icon "gleams" when an update is made, notifying others to visit the Space via the Contact Card. Access the Web anywhere. MSN Web Messenger, shipping in 25 markets and 15 languages, enables consumers to access their MSN Messenger account and contacts from virtually any PC with an Internet connection. Choose your online status. The beta release of MSN Messenger gives consumers more control over how they're seen online by enabling them to choose their availability status before logging into Messenger.
View online status anywhere. Through integration between MSN Hotmail and MSN Web Messenger, in select markets, consumers are able to see Messenger availability status even on PCs that don't have MSN Messenger client software. Learn more about Contacts. MSN Hotmail consumers who have an MSN Spaces site will have a Contact Card visible in the Hotmail address book, providing friends, family and other online contacts with one-click access to their Spaces site.
Looks to me as if MSN is getting on par with what Yahoo has been offering for a long time already.
UPDATE: Thinking a little bit more about it, MSN Web Messenger is different from anything else I know.