WLM 8.0 [updated]

//Updated and edited

Did you really think that I would waste my time writing “Windows Live Messenger” in the title? :D
Well, so MSN Messenger 7.5’s replacement has been released today. And with a new name - Windows Live Messenger. “This is the same Messenger you know and love, only better,” says Microsoft. I wanted to try it out.
I knew that it was being released today, so I headed off to the download site to get it. And god! it was one heck of a download at 14.6 MB!! I mean, v7.5 was no more than 8 megs, but fourteen! Anyhow, with a not-so-very slow ADSL connection, it downloaded pretty fast, starting at this speed:

So, well then, I proceeded to install it. The first thing was that they had changed all the Messenger logos in the installer (you see, having never tried the beta version, everything was new to me). After that, you notice that all the systray icons have changed too, for glossy, somewhat better ones. The login page no longer sports the display picture (at least, not for me, it didn’t). The entire blue look of the old messenger (starting from v6 I think) has given way to a new, cleaner, streamlined Vista-like feel - and I like it!

The Login Page

The Main Window

There are many new features, too, like making phone calls (think Skype and Google talk). But as far as I gathered, I have the non-US edition (at least that’s what the installer said) - I’m assuming phone calls ‘n’ stuff is only in the US. Then there’s shared folders (share a folder with your contact), Offline chatting (not tried it yet :) ), and more. You can even search your contact list, and even change the color scheme of the main window, to suit your mood or visual style. Oh yeah, and it creates a new group called “Non Instant-Messaging Contacts”, which contains all your hotmail contacts.

Get it now: Windows Live Messenger 8.0

Update: I tried out the offline chatting thing….it’s pretty nifty - contacts recieve the messages when they sign in; that’s pretty useful, especially if your connection gets disrupted or something. But I don’t know if it’s backward compatible.
Update: Soon, we’ll be able to chat with Yahoo users on Windows Live Messenger!

– Sahil

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