MSN 8 to Arrive in Late October "MSN 8 perks will include an improved email client with better junk-mail filtering and parental controls; improved Web services such as online investing, money management, and photo sharing; and a special version of MSN Messenger 5. A free version of MSN Messenger 5 will be available to non-MSN users, but the version that MSN 8 customers will receive will include enhanced, server-based parental controls; an integrated MSN Today view from the MSN Messenger UI; an improved address book; a Web-sharing feature called "Browse the Web Together"; and contacts searching and sharing. Windows XP users will also get exclusive access to videoconferencing through MSN Messenger and will be able to install MSN Messenger along with Windows Messenger. This new dual-installation feature will let XP users simultaneously log on to two Microsoft .NET Passport accounts, one through MSN Messenger and one through Windows Messenger, which could be important for users who maintain separate home and work personas. Microsoft will also offer MSN customers a steep discount on the company's recently released Microsoft Broadband Networking products, which include wireless and wired network adapters and base stations."
Ahh -- so it's a feature to be able to/have to use multiple clients for multiple simultaneous accounts. This looks more like pragmatic tactical marketing than strategic product alignment.