Windows Live Messenger Preview announced


[the new social view for Messenger]

[updated – my mistake, the bits are not quite baked enough for release yet. We’ll be releasing this to a limited number of individuals externally in the very near future, before expanding to a broader public beta, and finally to the full public release.]

The Wave 4 version of Windows Live Messenger has just been made available as a preview following an announcement by Steve Ballmer. You can learn more at 

I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and it has a whole slew of social features built in. Not least, you get a totally new social pane in the main window that shows feeds from Windows Live, Facebook and other services. You see photos your friends have posted from Facebook right there in the Messenger pane. You can also send messages to Facebook directly from Messenger.




Bing search results are integrated, Hi-Def video is supported for video chat and you get a single contact list with your contacts across Live, Facebook etc. Tabbe conversations is just a simple idea that you realise you can’t live without and you can also change your status using a jump list of sorts on Windows 7 via the taskbar.

Over 320m people send more than 10 billion messages every day. I hope they like the new client – personally I think it’s a big leap forward.

Find out more on the Windows team blog


Comments (6)

  1. Mike says:

    Looks nice but it isn’t available for download yet.  The links still go to the current version of messenger.

  2. Schalk says:

    The site seems broken at the moment. Getting a nasty yellow error page

  3. davidacoder says:

    I have a hard time believing that this plan (to have Messenger as a rich client social network client) will work. The main reason: the Live release cycles. When Messenger will be released, it might roughly cover the most popular features. Then, a few months later, Facebook (or some other site) will release a nice new feature everyone will want to use that will NOT be supported in Messenger. The next Messenger version is then a couple of years out, and everyone will move back to the web sites to access stuff.

    I just don’t believe that the current Live release cycle policy has any chance to play well together with the very dynamic social network sites.

  4. Doug Lemon says:

    "Download it now"….NOT

    Dammit Steve…you got my hopes up! 🙁

  5. Northerngeek says:

    Wow,that actually looks pretty nice. Generally speaking I am a bit of an MS fanboy but I don’t like using Messenger, it’s just another service my friends want me to be available on 24/7.

    This on the other hand looks like Windows will become an operating system to have a real social networking hub… and that’s pretty cool. I’ve been getting sick of Facebook recently, same happens with almost every site I use reguarly, but if I can just load this in the background that suits me fine.

  6. Bob Thomson says:

    There is no public download of this version at this point and the preview website is throwing .NET errors (with custom errors off so full stack trace is visible) – not the best.

    The product itself looks interesting, coming at the multiple networks issue from the IM side rather than expanding out of a Twitter client a la Seesmic, TweetDeck etc might be a good angle.

    So many people I know have messenger open all the time but don’t ever ever look at the ads served up within it or use many of the advanced features (I’ve often been in messenger with a friend who has suggested we move to Skype to make a video / voice call), perception I guess.

    I’d also be interested to see if there is any easy way for 3rd parties to extend the range of networks (for example we use Yammer at work) without having to wait for Microsoft to include them in the options.

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