The new Windows Live Messenger version 9 is currently in beta and supports a number of changes to the current 8.5 release.
New Message Window
The main messenger window has been updated, with updated background graphics and enlarged glowing fonts. Like the current version, users have a choice of colours for the main and conversation windows.
If your like me the number of contacts on your messenger list has grown over the years to include a couple of hundred. Some of which you chat to more than others. WLM 9 allows you to elevate a contact to be a Favourite. Contacts appearing in the Favourite section have more detailed information displayed. A thumbnail, as well as their stauts line.
Not only can you modify notification sounds, but you can individualise the sounds (including alerts, nudges, contact online etc) per contact. Pick from a number of built in sounds or add a sound of your own.
Improved contact control
In the past you may have received invitations to add someone you don’t know, only to find out it’s an automated bot or spammer. You can simply right click their name in the contact list and select not only ‘Block’ but ‘Block and report as spammer’. Assuming Microsoft has the correct procedures in place, it should avoid anyone else suffering from the same problem.
Updated Conversation Window
The conversion window didn’t escape the update brush either, being painted with a new, more customisable design. Instantly WLM users will recognise the participants images have been shifted from the right to the left of the window.
Something new in this release is the ability to hide the top toolbar and image to the side to reveal a very simplistic, almost old-school chat window.
It’s common practice to include a hyperlink in your status comment, until now users have had to copy+paste the link to a browser. Well no longer, version 9 adds active hyperlinks in the status text, this is a very handy addition.
Simultaneous logins, multiple locations
Most people these days use multiple machines, home, work, and on the go (laptop), with WLM installed on each machine. Signing in / out of messenger on each system is painful for those doing it often. Well this release recognises and addresses the problem. Users are able to be signed into WLM on multiple machines simultaneously, furthermore you can remotely log out of messenger, problem solved.
While the changes in version 9 of Windows Live Messenger aren’t revolutionary, they’re representative of a well developed software application. The changes that have been made are beneficial, so all we do from this point, is wait for final release.