We are committed to providing a safe, secure and positive experience for our more than 300 million customers across the globe using Windows Live Messenger every month. To deliver on that commitment, beginning on August 25, we started asking our customers using versions 8.1, 8.5 and 14.0 to upgrade to the newest version of Messenger. The upgrade will provide customers with the latest software updates including code fixes and feature enhancements, as well address vulnerabilities discussed in the Microsoft Security Advisory 973882 that existed in previous versions of Windows Live Messenger.

The upgrade process will take place in a phased approach over the next several weeks:

First Phase, Optional Upgrade:
The optional upgrade will happen in two stages:
Starting Aug. 25, customers using versions 8.1 or 8.5 were asked to upgrade their client.
Starting early Oct., all customers using versions 14.0 (but not the latest release 14.0.8089) will be asked to upgrade their client.
The upgrade at this time is optional. Customers who haven’t upgraded during the optional phase will be required to do so during the second phase. 

Second Phase, Mandatory Upgrade:
The mandatory upgrade will happen in three stages:
Starting mid-Sept., all customers using Messenger 8.1 or 8.5 will be required to upgrade their version of Windows Live Messenger.
Starting late Oct., all customers using Messenger 14.0 will be required to upgrade their version of Windows Live Messenger.
To ensure that we are protecting customers, those who do not administer the upgrade will not be able to sign in to Messenger after this time.

Please Note: It will take several weeks for the upgrade process to be completed, as the upgrade will be rolled out to customers over the course of several weeks. 

Below are some examples of the prompts that you will encounter during the upgrade process. 

Notification to upgrade.

Want to upgrade now?  You don’t have to wait for the notification. In fact, we encourage you to download the updated version of Messenger right now by visiting http://download.live.com .

If you aren’t sure which version you have, you can go to the Help menu and select About Messenger.  Help –> About Messenger.  If you have a version that is lower than 14.0.8089 you will need to upgrade.

New Features and Improvements

There are a ton of great new features and improvements in the current version of Windows Live Messenger (14.0.8089) that we know you will be impressed with. In fact, Windows Live Messenger won both the Editor’s Choice distinction by PC Mag as well as a 2009 Webware 100 award from CNet honoring the people’s choice for the best Web 2.0 apps and services. Learn more about all the new features in Windows Live Messenger here.

Users upgrading from 14.0

Customers currently using Windows Live Messenger 14 are already enjoying the new features of the latest version of Window Live Messenger. We’re doing our best to minimize the impact this upgrade may have on our customers and apologize for any inconvenience it may cause.

To answer any questions you may have, we’ve provided a short FAQ about the upgrade process below.

Thanks,
The Windows Live Messenger Team

FAQ – Windows Live Messenger update

What are the changes with the new upgrade?
The changes vary depending on which version of Windows Live Messenger people currently have on their PC. The process will upgrade customers of Windows Live Messenger 8.1 or 8.5 to our latest version. Separately, customers who installed Windows Live Messenger client 14.0 before August 19, 2009 will receive a code fix, but there will be no visible feature changes. 

What is new in the latest version of Windows Live Messenger?
With the current version of Windows Live Messenger, several new, socially oriented features and an entirely new look and feel were introduced:
Personalization. Add a profile picture or video, display a personal scene in the chat window, update the status message with your news, add a favorite link, or add what song you’re listening to. 
Integration of “What’s New” feed. With the “What’s New” feed in Messenger, you can stay in touch with the latest updates from your circle of friends at a glance, without any need to log in across multiple destinations.
Photo sharing. Photo sharing lets you share and comment on pictures while you’re chatting.
Favorites. Identify your most important contacts and they will appear at the top of your Messenger window, for easy access. It’s like speed dial for your Messenger contacts.
Groups. Create groups on the fly and chat simultaneously with up to 20 members at the same time.              

Who will receive the upgrade notification?
All Windows Live Messenger clients with versions 8.1, 8.5 or 14.0 will receive the upgrade notification. Beginning August 25, customers of Messenger 8.1 or 8.5 were prompted to upgrade their client. Customers who installed the latest Windows Live Messenger client (14.0) before August 19, 2009 will start receiving an upgrade notification in September 2009. Customers of older versions of MSN Messenger on Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 95, Windows Me or Windows 98 will not receive an upgrade notification.

Update (Aug 28 6:30pm PST) 

Hi everyone, we’ve had several comments about what happens if you are running an operating system on which you cannot install the latest version of Messenger.  In this case, you will NOT be prompted to upgrade and can continue to use the version you currently have.

To clarify, if you are running Messenger 8.1, 8.5 or 14.0 on the following operating systems: Windows XP 32bit, Windows Vista (32bit/64bit), Windows 7( 32bit/64bit) or Windows Server 2008, you will receive the upgrade notice.  See this link for the system requirements of the latest version. http://download.live.com/SystemRequirements


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