Microsoft Corporation announced Tuesday that it would be releasing versions of its popular MSN Messenger application for the Macintosh, WebTV, and Windows CE platforms, as well as for cell phones and a new generation of wireless devices. The company says that over 2.5 million people have already downloaded the Windows version, making it one of the most popular instant messaging programs.

"Because MSN Messenger will be available on various platforms, I’ll be able to instant message with my parents on WebTV and my brother on his Macintosh at school," said Deanna Sanford, Microsoft’s lead product manager for MSN.

And by making MSN Messenger available on a number of obvious platforms, Microsoft hopes to make instant messaging as ubiquitous as the phone.

"Our goal for MSN is to provide people with information and the ability to communicate anytime, anywhere, from any device," Sanford says. "I should be able to stay in touch whether I’m using my desktop PC, Windows CE device, WebTV, Macintosh, or wireless device.