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What is Windows Live Messenger?

Windows Live Messenger is the new name for MSN Messenger. The next version of Messenger won't be MSN Messenger 8, but Windows Live Messenger, or Windows Live Messenger 8. The name has been changed because Microsoft is going to split MSN (MicroSoft Network) into MSN and Windows Live. A new name doesn't mean the program will be entirely different though. You will see all the old features you know from MSN Messenger in Windows Live Messenger, and of course some new ones!

Has Windows Live Messenger been released officialy?

Yes, Microsoft released Windows Live Messenger 8.0.0787 on june 19th 2006. Choose one of the following links to download Windows Live Messenger in your preferred language.

Windows Live Messenger features

WLM comes with a bunch of new features:

  • Sharing folders

    Sharing Folders will be a new and simple way for you to share personal photos, documents, and files with your Messenger contacts. You will be able to create a Sharing Folder by simply dragging files onto a contact name in Messenger. This will create an exact copy of the files on both you and your contact's computers, and create a Sharing Folder that can be accessed from Messenger, and on the desktop. The Sharing Folders will work pretty much like the PC folder experience you already know, so it will make sense right away. Just like in Windows, you will be able to drag and drop, get different views of files, copy, paste, etc. You will be able to access a Sharing Folder from your desktop, to manage files whether online or offline. And a Sharing Folder requires virtually zero setup or configuration, and efficiently handles file synchronization without any fuss.
  • Voice calling

    This feature will let users who sign up for Windows Live phone call (provided by a Microsoft partner) to easily call landline and mobile phones. You will be able to set up a Windows Live Call account through the Messenger interface and start making calls within minutes. You will be able to purchase minutes upfront, then add minutes when your balance runs low. One of the great things about this will be that you will be able to use it to make really affordable domestic and international calls. You will be able to make PC-to-PC calls for free, with no need to sign up for a Windows Live phone call account, so long as you and your Messenger contact both have compatible speakers and microphones (or headsets).
  • A new design

    The design of Windows Live Messenger differs from the design of MSN Messenger 7.5. Take a look at the screenshots below.
  • Offline messaging

    You will be able to send messagas to your contacts even when they're offline. They will receive the message as soon as they sign in again. Sending offline messages is exclusive to WLM users, but everyone with version 7.5 can receive them as well.
  • Add-ins

    Finally, Microsoft adds support for third-party add-ins. Windows Live Messenger exposes an Application Programming Interface (API) so developers can easily extend WLM with their own features! Expect more news and documentation about this soon. Of course you'll be able to download add-ins from Msgweb as soon as we and other developers start releasing them.
  • Integration with other Windows Live services

    . Since Messenger is now officially an important part in the Windows Live Platform, you'll see quite some integration with other Live services like Live Contacts, Live Mail, and Live Today.
  • Search contacts

    This enables you to easily find the buddy you're looking for.
  • Merged messages

    When you receive multiple messages in a row from the same contact, you can choose to merge these messages, so you don't see "Contact says:" before each message.

Windows Live Messenger screenshots

Check out these screenshots of Windows Live Messenger 8:

Is Windows Live Messenger the same as Windows Messenger?

The new name for MSN Messenger might be a bit confusing. Microsoft has always released two versions of Messenger: MSN Messenger, and Windows Messenger. Windows Messenger was targeted to business users. Windows Live Messenger replaces MSN Messenger, but Windows Messenger (without 'live') will stay as well.

Yahoo IM integration in WLM 8

Another great new feature we hope to see in Windows Live Messenger, is integration with Yahoo Messenger. You will then be able to add/chat with Yahoo Messenger contacts in MSN Messenger, and vice versa. Yahoo Messenger is one of the most used instant messaging clients next to MSN. Read more about this 'Interoperability agreement between MSN and Yahoo IM' here. Unfortunately, this feature hasn't been built into WLM yet, but you can expect it soon.

Will Windows Live Messenger 8 be free?

You might have received an email saying Microsoft will make Messenger a paid service. These emails are 100% fake. When it's been released, you will be able to download Windows Live Messenger8 for free.

Addition WLM8 information

You can find additional information about Windows Live Messenger in the official WLM help documentation.

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