posted by Leah



1.  The release has begun! Users are now getting prompted to upgrade to the newest version.

2.  Yesterday i had a typo: the correct verson number is 8.0.0566

3. Biggest and Best news: The beta is now available in EVERY market we ship to (all 26) So where ever you are – go to and sign up.

4. We’ve already begun collecting your comments which we’ll use to toward the next version. Thanks to everyone who has told us what they like and politely told us what they’d like to see changed.


In this post you’ll find:


  • A short explanation of the MSN Messenger to Windows Live Messenger transition. Learn what this new release is all about, and what our next steps will be.
  • Screenshots and feature description of the brand new Windows Live Messenger being released to all current WLM users early this week.



Windows Live Messenger: Then, now, next.


July, 1999 

“…And on the 4th day, Microsoft created MSN Messenger. And it was good.”


Nov, 2005

Microsoft announces the birth of Windows Live Messenger, which will eventually take the place of MSN Messenger. 

Dec, 2005

Microsoft releases the first version of Windows Live Messenger in beta to a small set of users in select markets. The purpose of the limited invite-only release was twofold: First, to slowly/gently move people onto our updated servers as we test new features; and second, the limited audience helps streamline feedback for perfecting WL Messenger before the worldwide release.


Dec, 2005 – Feb, 2006

All of the Windows Live Messenger beta users began inviting their friends and families into the beta. Soon, anyone who signed up to join the Beta on (provided they were in one of the markets we were testing) received an invite as well.


The Messenger Team collected user feedback from all sorts of places: Blogs, forums, emails, web chats, feedback surveys, etc… We prioritized and made as many changes as we had time for based directly on the feedback.


Jan, 2006 –

Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson started having, um, issues.


Feb 28th! 2006

An updated version of Windows Live Messenger will be released to all current WLM beta users. If you’re not a beta user but want to be, sign up on our short wait list at


Beyond, 2006

This year will see the final (non-beta) release of Windows Live Messenger. Before we get there, the following things will happen:

  1. We will collect more feedback from you guys (try it out, and send us your thoughts).
  2. We make the changes you want most
  3. More people will join the Beta at faster and faster rates. If you have invites to share, USE THEM, you will get more. If you run out, email me –

Windows Live Messenger 8.0.566 –  Final Screenshots & Feature list.

Check out a side by side comparison of the two betas.  

New Beta!…………..vs………….Old Beta




New Beta…………..vs………….Old Beta



New Feature

  • Live Contacts are Live! Click the button on the back of your contact card to enter in all your information (phone number, address, job, spouse , etc).


With your permission, friends can see your entered info on your contact card. Anytime you update it (new phone? new job? new wife? ) they’ll see it.


Similarly, subscribe to get your friends’ Live Contact information by clicking the backs of their contact cards.


New Functionality

  • See that transfer status of the files you’re sharing in your Sharing Folders.
  • Get your File/Edit/Actions/Tools/Help menus by clicking the arrow next to “minimize” in the main window/conversation window
  • Colorization colors the whole main window, not just the header
  • Scrolling on the emoticon/nudge/wink tool bar. If you keep your window small, you can still get to everything. Oh. We reordered them too so it looks cleaner
  • Users in English-speaking markets – link to This Blog! from the "Help" Menu.
  • Contact sorting back to the way you said you liked it alphabetical instead of by status.
  • Sharing Folders are AWESOME but sometimes you just want to send over one file. Pick your prefered method of file transfer from the sharing button.
  • Way improved "Add a Contact" Dialogue.


  • Left-aligned your display picture (version 522 had it on the right)
  • Slid the ink and handwriting tab over to the right of the conversation window


New Icons

  • Buddy List view (where you sort, or chose to show more details)
  • The Windows Live Messenger Beta logo at the top
  • Search button at the very bottom.
  •  Brought back status icons so you can tell “busy” v. “away” If you think it looks outdated – we agree – we’re working on icons that are both good lookng AND show  “busy” v. “away”

Eliminate Waste (of space)

  • Contacts are closer together so you can fit more in your window
  • The ME area above your contacts is smaller to make more room for you contact list
  • Tightened up the space between the display pictures in the conversation window
  • Removal of Text in several places:
  • “Search” on the search box in the main window
  • Names of buttons in the conversation window
  • “Send” & “Search” are now both smaller and moved inside the text entry box
  • Turn off your tabs in Tools–>Options–>Tabs