Obviously know for the software side of things, Microsoft’s move into the hardware market have previously been limited to just keyboards and mice. But now they’ve added webcams, with the launch of a new line of LifeCams starting with the LifeCam VX-6000 and LifeCam VX-3000.
Optimised for Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger service, the company claims their new LifeCams offer "groundbreaking video and audio quality that opens the door for richer digital communications experiences". The VX-6000 is a 5MP still camera with high definition video, 3x digital zoom and a 71-degree wide-angle lens allows enough room for up to three people to join in the conversation. The VX-3000 offers 1.3MP still imaging and 640×480 video resolution. Both models also feature built-in acoustic noise-canceling microphone and "fun" video effects.
The LifeCams feature a Windows Live Call Button, which makes video calling two touch – press the button for a list of online contacts, click the name and you’re away. There’s also a LifeCam Dashboard, which is built right into the Windows Live Messenger window, providing simple access to the controls used most, including pan, tilt and zoom, along with one-touch blogging, if you want to post pictures direct to your Windows Live Space blog.
Available from August, the LifeCam VX-600o will retail for £79.99, while the LifeCam VX-3000 should sell for £39.99.