EARLY ACCESS TIP: On September 9th, 2008 Microsoft will be officially launching its free video email solution called “Windows Live Video Messages” which is supposed to allow users to freely send secure video messages to friends simply and easily using a web cam.

According to the official Windows Live Video Messages home page this service is not available to the public until September 9th but thanks to a back door entrance courtesy of LiveSide it is in fact open to those of you who would like to give it a shot.

The idea has caught on before and with sites like EyeJot that have much less restrictive requirements than Microsoft you may want to try those over this new offering.

Note: Microsoft, as usual, stupidly requires Internet Explorer to use the free service, a windows Live login and it requires that you install Microsoft Silverlight; for smart people they are not all that bright sometimes.

Some background on Windows Live Video Messages from the “more info” page:

“Send Video Messages to the important people in your life to enjoy when they wish. With Windows Live Video Messages, recipients don’t have to download and play video files on their PC. Instead, videos are stored with advanced security technology on a Web site.

“With Windows Live Video Messages, you can control who gets to see your videos by locking or unlocking the messages you send. Only unlocked messages can be forwarded or saved by recipients of your Video Messages.

“Sending, managing and repeated viewing of Video Messages requires a free Windows Live ID. This is not required for a single video viewing.”

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.