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Windows announced that its Live Messenger 2011 now comes with a Games Tab, allowing users to play casual games while chatting with a contact.

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According to the company, the Messenger Tab links to a player’s Windows Live and Facebook account and offers status updates, game challenges, leader-boards and more.

NineMSN’s Director of Marketing and MSN Products, Alex Parsons said, “We’ve made it easier to find and play the games you love while connecting to the people who matter most.”

“You can invite friends to play with you side-by-side within the conversation window, or you can play solo, and then challenge your friends afterwards when you post your high score. Users can connect with friends and play games, but also see their friends’ favourite titles, and even enjoy HD video chat while playing,” added Parsons.

The new Games Tab launches with over 60 popular casual games for Australian Messenger users including favourites like Bejeweled, Plants vs Zombies and Cubis. Games will continue to be added from leading publishers such as Microsoft Games Studios, iWin, PopCap Games Inc., Arkadium Inc. and GameHouse.

Users will be able to see which of their online friends are playing so they can challenge them to a game or chat.

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