I read Doug Seven's blog entry about the Windows Live Platform session Monday at MIX06 where he includes "The coolest part of the session was the demonstration of Windows Live Messenger Bots (which also work with MSN Messenger). You can test out the Mix06 bot by adding firstname.lastname@example.org to you IM contact list then starting a conversation with it. Follow the directions provided (I suggest typing "speakers" or "maps")." Aaron Bjork blogged in depth, and a quick summary he says "I think it’s brilliant. Basically, Messenger BOTS allow programmers to create an automated catalog (or anything really for that matter) similar to the automated phone services we all love to hate." Robert Burke blogged "Add email@example.com to your MSN Messenger contacts. Try asking it "menu." Then peruse the schedule and let me know which MIX talks I should be attending :)". Scott Swanson, group product planner for the Windows Live Platform team (the team I'm on), compiled a demo script for showing off the Mix06 Messenger activity bot. I modified the slightly for the demo in the Windows Live Platform session with Brian Arbogast. This Messenger bot works with MSN Messenger 7.0 or later as well as the beta of Windows Live Messenger (which I used in the demo). Anyone can try out this bot using Messenger, even pocket MSN Messenger on a Windows Mobile device or SmartPhone. Here's the Mix06 Messenger bot demo script to get started trying it out...
Using Windows Live Messenger bots is easy. Just add the ID of the bot to your contact list.
1. Click the “Add a contact” button.
2. Type firstname.lastname@example.org in the IM Address field.
3. Click “save contact” button.
Bots are treated just like any other contact in your contact list.
The Bot has now been added to my contact list.
“Mix06” bot in the contact list.
Now, lets start a conversation with the MIX06 Bot and see what it can do.
Double click on “Mix06” contact to open the conversation window.
Just like when talking to a friend, I say, “Hello” to the bot.
1. Type “hello” <Enter>
2. Tthe Bot knows me.
Bots can build a relationship with you over time. They remember you and the things you talk about.
Lets see what this bot can do. Ok, so this Bot can tell me a bunch of things about MIX06 and other fun things I can do while in Las Vegas.
1. Type “menu” <Enter>
2. The bot returns the top level menu.
Bots can be used both from Messenger on the desktop and on Mobile devices.
I can interact with this Bot using either the number associated with a command or, by typing the command itself. The numbers are ideal for use on a mobile device where do a lot of typing is cumbersome. The command words work well on a PC where I can type explicit commands all at once.
1. Type “1” <Enter>
2. The Bot will respond by inviting you to the Schedule Activity app.
3. Click “Accept” to start the Schedule Activity.
Now lets try a command using the natural language ability of the Bot.
1. Type “schedule tuesday” <Enter>
Here is an example of how the bot supports both mobile and desktop users. The session schedule is returned in conversation window for mobile devices, as well as in the Activity window for PCs.
The bot will return a schedule listing in the conversation window, and display the full Tuesday schedule in the Activity window.
The Bot can give me speaker Bio info.
Type “Tim O’Reilly” The Bot will return Tim’s MIX06 speaker bio in the Activity window.
There are a lot of rooms around here. I want to know where to get lunch tomorrow…
1. Type “map” or “lunch” <Enter>
2. The Bot returns the 4th floor map. The rooms where meals are served and other.
Since Vegas offers lots of entertainment, lets see what the bot can do to help us find a restaurant for dinner tonight.
1. Type “menu” <Enter>. This returns us to the top menu.
2. Type “activities” <Enter>.
3. Type “1” <Enter> to select Restaurants. The list of restaurants appears.
4. Type “1” for restaurants on the strip.
5. Type “3” <Enter> for Imperial Palace.
6. Click “Accept” for the Virtual Earth Activity to start.
7. The pushpin showing the location of the Imperial Palace.
8. Hover the mouse over the pushpin to show the detail dialog box.
The bot can also help you find shows and golf courses in Las Vegas.
Now lets take a look at one last thing the Bot can do. Windows Live Spaces recently released support for the MetaWebLog API. We thought it would be fun if the MIX06 Bot blogged about how people use it during the conference. We have created a Space for the MIX06 Bot where you get tips and tricks on using the Bot as well as post feedback.
1. Type “blog” <Enter>
2. The link http://spaces.msn.com/mix06botblog/ appears.
3. Click the link
4. Set focus to the IE window displaying the Bot Space.
5. The MIX06 Bot updates the space every 30 minutes with usage information.
Messenger Bots can interact with Live Spaces via the MetaWebLog API.
We want to encourage you to use the MIX06 Bot and Activity both from your desktop PC and any mobile device that supports MSN or Windows Live Messenger. This bot is an experiment that we are sharing with MIX attendees and would love to get your feedback on. Tell us what you like, what you didn’t like. We plan to evolve this conference Bot based on customer feedback and bring it to future conferences.