Microsoft attacks with first ever webcams

If you’re one of the millions using Messenger to make it the ‘world’s largest instant messaging network’, take a gander at these two LifeCam webcams.T

If you’re one of the millions using Messenger to make it the ‘world’s largest instant messaging network’, take a gander at these two LifeCam webcams.

The pair are Microsoft’s first assault on the webcam world – a land ruled so far by Creative and Logitech – and are designed to play nice with the new version of MSN Messenger, Windows Live Messenger. A bit like Apple’s iSight and iChat.

From what we can see, there are only two real ways the cams actually ‘talk’ to the software. The first is a button on top of the camera that launches your buddy list to save you clicking it up on-screen; second is the inclusion of camera controls in Messenger, so you can pan and tilt the webcam.

Pleasant enough, but hardly killer stuff. More enticingly, the LifeCam VX-6000 (above left) promises hi-def video recordings up to 1280 x 960 and interpolated (cheat) 5MP still snaps. The cheaper VX-3000 offers lower res in the shape of VGA vids and 1.3MP stills. Both come with a built-in mic and wide angle lens.

Eagle-eyed Stateside readers will recognise the duo, as they’ve already been on sale in the US over at Amazon. Our versions are slated to arrive in August for £40 (VX-6000) and £80 (VX-3000), by which point Windows Live Messenger fans should be able to chat with mates on the Yahoo Messenger network.

Further LifeCams are expected to arrive with the cavalry in September.