Server 2003, Novell Popup messaging equivalent ??

I will be removing a Novell Server soon and the users are asking for an alternative for the Novell "send a message" service. This is the "send a message" option available to logged in users. The thing they really like about it is the fact the messages pop up in the forground and the individual has to see it to clear it.

Is there a free equivalent for Microsoft Server 2003, in a workgroup environment ??
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In XP workstations and earlier, you can use the "net send" command, which relies on the Messenger service.  This functionality has been removed in Vista because Messenger is often used for malicious purposes by spammers and virus writers.

Hope this helps.

Laura E. Hunter - Microsoft MVP: Windows Server - Networking

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Rob WilliamsCommented:
There is the built in messaging service. Rather crude but works. Message is sent from a command line using:
Net Send ComputerName  Message
The message can be lengthy and does pop up in a standard Windows message box, with an "OK" button to clear. You can also use the users account name rather than the computer name in a domain, not sure if that will work in a workgroup. You do have to turn on the windows messaging service on all machines.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Sorry Laura I should have refreshed before posting.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
I actually wrote a little DOS/Batch/Script once to make use of this service. Opens a DOS window that prompts you with a list of users and asks to whom you wish to send a message. Enter the user # and the message. It stays open and prompts if you wish to send another. Much quicker to use. My kids, many years ago, used this as a crude chat program within the confines of the LAN. If interested, let me know, but as Laura stated there are definite security concerns with having the service enabled, especially considering your user name <G>.
There's certainly a -reason- why Vista had the net send capability removed entirely - most security checklists and best practice guides will recommend disabling the Messenger service across your entire enterprise, which is the service that net send relies on.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
I know you said free, but just food for thought. You mentioned workgroup, do you also have mobile users? Microsoft introduced a great new application last year called Groove. This allows a group of individuals, local and/or remote, to share documents, discussions and send messages between the members of your Groove workspace. As soon as any two users of a Groove workspace are connected to the Internet all contents are updated automatically. There is a server version but it can run independently. The messaging service actually uses MSN which is not terribly secure, but the Groove workspace is supposed to add encryption and make communication much safer. This messaging service is intended for use between a group of users and much closer in "look and feel" to the Novel service. Something you may be interested in having a look at or keep in mind for future use: 
ParanoidOneAuthor Commented:
I knew about the command line stuff and these users would never figure that out, much less go to that much trouble. I think Groove may be overkill, badly on there part. They need something simple.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Wasn't thinking Groove would be a solution for just your messaging needs but pointed it out as it has a good inter-office messaging service as well as it would also offer other collaborative benefits in a workgroup environment, especially if you also have mobile users.

Have you done a search for free inter-office messaging tools? There are dozens of 3rd party ones available such as:
Look into these carefully as many still make use of the Windows messaging service, which as pointed out earlier can be very risky.
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Windows Server 2003

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