Some days ago, Microsoft released the betas of the latest versions of its Windows Live Suite – dubbed “Wave 3”, which will also encompass a huge redesign of all the entire Windows Live product line, online and offline. In this update, all of the Windows Live family components have had a redesign, but the biggest has had to be Windows Live Messenger 2009.
Actually, the old versions of Windows Live Messenger or MSN, as most of us used to call it, has gained rich users through out the world. But, just like other software tools from Microsoft, they also bring much complaining. So how about the new Live Messenger? I just upgraded to the latest Windows Live Messenger today and I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised with the major changes they have made with the UI and the features.
This 14MB download took just a few minutes in my tests, though we had to proceed with care to prevent Windows Live Messenger from installing unwanted items, such as a desktop shortcut or Rhapsody music software. Once installed, Windows Live Messenger displays a drop-down menu of features along the top, contacts within the center pane, a search box on the bottom, and tabs for eBay, Rhapsody, and other services along the left. Microsoft fans will like the integration with MSN Spaces and the company's other properties. However, we wish we could hide the animated panel of ads at the bottom.
Then I fantasized a while in the new features of Live Messenger 2009. Because I've been using Windows Live Messenger formerly MSN Messenger for over a more than 5 years, I found that now it really has developed into a fine messenger. After initial testing, I found very little to complain about; in fact, while I could spend an entire week talking about all the cool things, I decided to isolate my reviews on several to new cool features which make Windows Live Messenger 2009 better.
New Vista style look of the main UI
The main sign-in screen has a new clean look with warm colors. A clean and a well defined layout. Taking a page from Vista, Messenger 2009 features a brand new “glassy” look on all the client’s windows, helping it to mesh better with Microsoft’s latest OS. The crystal-cleanliness of the entire client gives the IM a sleeker look outside the original blue and green outfit.
The background is now customizable, like it has been in MSN v8.5; but this time, you can add a preset theme, or “scenes”, or create your own with an image of your choice. As well, you have also the choice to mix and match the colors, with one can be the color for the header, and another can be for the color of the bottom part of Messenger. We suggest you stick with the same color for both, but this feature is pretty interesting.
New contact organization and displaying
The biggest out of the redesign is the contact list (see left). The entire thing has gotten a massive redesign, but still has not departed from the original idea that there should not be any menu bars.
Before you start organizing your contacts into groups, be forewarned: the 2009 Messenger experience is a little different from version 8.5. Now, your friends will go into “categories.” Meanwhile, you can pair different folks into “Groups” which help facilitate Messenger 9.0’s powerful new group chat feature. The development illustrates a strong commitment to streamlining communications and the group chat feature is no exception.
We all have a small circle we talk to most on IM and now, Messenger 2009 makes it easier to find them on our contacts list with the “favorites” category. Organize this section at anytime; when your favorites sign-on, you’ll see them up top, front and center. Simple and effective.
Another brand new thing is “Favorites”, which allow you to make a list of “favorite” contacts. This, effectively, is not a new category, but just a section where you can drag and drop friends or family members that you like. As well, the Favorites section is given a different activity indicator setting, but you can change that as well.
Customizable chat window
Greatly improved video phone call
Windows Live Messenger video call quality is better than ever. With the most recent Messenger release and a quality webcam, you can now experience a clearer, sharper picture with full-screen VGA video. True VGA video (640x480) is up to four times better resolution then prior solutions when switched to full screen. To experience a true VGA video call, you will need the latest version of Windows Live Messenger, a webcam, a PC with a dual core processor and broadband Internet connection.
However, the evolution of Windows Live Messenger between 8.5 and 9.0 in terms of video call capabilities does not stop here. The instant messaging client now brings to the table superior connection time when users initiate a video call, as well as a video-centric interface available outside of full screen mode. Starting with version 9.0, Windows Live Messenger is now a part of Windows Live Essentials, a package designed to centralize all the components that have been separated from the Windows operating system.
An interesting MSN webcam recorder for you
The video call of Live Messenger has evolved to a new and higher level. But there is no recording function. It is really a pity, because so many users of MSN are eager to be able to record MSN webcam video and save on the PC. Here I would introduce a Third-Party software tool which could help you easily to achieve this objective. Camersoft MSN Video Recorder
is a professional recorder software for Windows Live Messenger. It could record MSN webcam during video call with your friends or family and save as AVI video files on your PC or laptop.
This MSN webcam recorder is very easy to use, only a few mouse clicks are needed to complete MSN recording work. In addition, the MSN video recorder is integrated with an advanced Video Converter component, which could be used to convert your videos, whether the recorded AVI or other videos like FLV, MP4, etc... to many formats and support rich portable players and mobile devices like: iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry, Zune and so on.
It is very useful feature and I could convert the recorded files to my iPod and share with others, really very interesting and joyful.