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Microsoft Debuts Subscription Game Service Via Instant Messaging

Microsoft Corp. has launched a new subscription service for playing games via is MSN Messenger instant messaging (IM) application. The offering matches similar products from America Online's ICQ IM program and Yahoo!'s which also include games. MSN Instant Games Clubhouse offers four games: "Wheel of Fortune," "Upwords," a word game, chess and a billiards game. MSN offers U.S. customers a free 14-day trial of the product, after which time monthly subscriptions cost $4.99 per game, except for the chess game which is $3.99 per month. MSN Messenger currently offers seven free games. MSN's IM service has about 120 million users per month, Microsoft said.
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