Windows Live Messenger (MSN Messenger 8.0) Beta!
December 8, 2005
For those of you who can’t wait, it looks like you can download the bits and then run a patch (here or here – download at your own risk) of some sort to make it work – they’ve locked it down by user account, so you need to trick the MSN service into thinking you’re running Messenger 7.5 if your account hasn’t been enabled for the beta.
So without further delay, let’s take a looksie! To the left is the new login screen. Like I said when I reviewed AIM Triton briefly, I’m a big fan of updated look & feel and Messenger 8.0 doesn’t disappoint. I like the new color scheme – except for the green messenger guy. I like the old blue-greenish guy better, but oh well.
Next, we have the actual contact list and IM window itself.
It looks remarkably similar to Messenger 7.5 with the addition of a few interesting bits:
- MSN Video sell. You can watch videos off of MSN Video straight from the contact list.
- There’s a find as you type box that dynamically filters your contact list while you type in a search phrase. It seems to key on your contacts’ display names, personal messages, and e-mail addresses.
- Folder sharing – it looks like you can setup folder shares with other people pretty easily. Just create a shared folder and drag-drop stuff in there.
- Enhanced contact card – they seem to be gradually increasing the amount of info you can store in Messenger’s contact list. They now have general contact info, personal info, work info, and a notes field. I hope there’s a plug-in API/infrastructure; if so, it’s time for a Plaxo plug-in!
- You can change the top bar color – neat and probably relatively easy personalization feature
There seems to be an invite feature, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to invite anyone to the beta – I wasn’t provisioned any invites.
Well, that’s it for now. It looks like the IM arena is really heating up (check out my review on the new AIM if you haven’t already).