A selected group of beta testers will have the opportunity to take an early look at MSN Messenger 7.0 next week as the software giant plans the first limited beta test for their next generation instant messaging client.

New features include ways to grab a contact's attention, dubbed "winks" and "nudges." Users can now send a sound animation, called a wink, or make the contact's Messenger window vibrate on screen, a nudge.

According to Microsoft roadmap, a public beta test should follow by the end of the year, while reaching final by the first quarter of 2005. MSN Messenger attracts some 135 million users per month.