posted by Leah


Some questions have come up so far, which i’ve answered at the end of this post. I may periodically add to this FAQ

Spring was supposed to bring all kinds of wonderful things including  and  , the birthday of our very own Test-master Marty , and the first full non-beta release of Windows Live Messenger 8. Well, spring fulfilled almost ALL of its promises…


For two Betas now, we’ve been paddling down a steady stream of beta tester feedback, the good, the bad, & the ugly, er, aesthetically-challenged.   We’ve been trying new things out, experimenting, and attempting to answer the question "what IS Windows Live Messenger?"


Originally, we’d planned for springtime to mark the end of the Beta, but like your mom’s* home cooking, good things take time. So we’d like to run one more version by you.


Go to to get the third version of Windows Live Messenger Beta 8.0.689 and send your feedback our way.


FYI: This version is like a final draft – a last chance to make any crucial changes/bug fixes. You won’t see many changes between this version and the final release. Feel free to keep making feature requests, though – we’ll add them to the list for the next versions.  



If you’re new to Windows Live Messenger, check out this post and this post, which explain the changes in the last two betas.


What’s New in Windows Live Messenger Beta 8.0689?


Signing In:

Integration with the Windows Live the new Windows Live Sign-in Assistant for IE makes life way easier if you often sign-in with multiple accounts or share a computer (with people you trust). The assistant lets the web sign-in page use your saved credentials just like messenger does – so you can just pick the ID you want instead of retyping it everytime. Oh, and while we’re on the topic of sign-in, Messenger remembers the display pictures/main window color of each ID, so when you switch you’re KNOW you’ve picked the right one.



  • It’s no Jitterbug or Macarena, but check out the new dancing buddies during sign-in. Can’t see a difference? Besides better-looking icons, they’re actually spinning the other direction (we didn’t want them to get dizzy). Also – the dance is shorter because Login time is WAY faster than in the previous Betas.



Hey Good-Lookin:

  •  Sweet Colorization Of the Main Window


  •  Eye-catching Eye-cons.


  • Totally new look for Windows Live Call, Computer to Phone Calling (brought to you by Verizon, now the MCI is no more)


  •  “To: Line” moved locations, check it out:


  •  For you minimalists, you: Hiding Display Pictures in one conversation window now hides them in every conversation window


  •  More fun for the minimalists – now you can keep your windows small, but still get at all the functionality thanks to scrolling toolbar on the conversation window…. 



  • …And the main window.


  • New default display picture (actually, I think it’s a little strange – Jasmine thinks "spooky" i think "sad & cold"…maybe it will encourage people to get a real display picture)



Features & Functionality:


  • Overall Performance Improvements. EVERYTHING is faster than it was in 7.5


  • Return of the Today Page, known in a previous life as MSN Today. I wonder if the Today Page team somehow made it sunny in Seattle…


  • My personal favorite feature: No more “so-and-so says:” separating consecutive IMs from the same person. (Turn this on in the Options Menu)


  • Copy & paste your friends’ personal messages – especially good if your friend puts a URL as their message.


  • Rhapsody Integration, US only…more on this later this week.


  • Answer a Call straight from a toast (until you get a handset, that is)


  • New Sounds Management – turn on exactly which sounds you want to play when. Upload your own sounds to personalize the music of messenger.

Go! Now! Download! And don’t forget to come back and tell me what you think.


*success! I’ve been trying to work "your mom" into a post for a while now.


Q: What about Tabs?

A: Tabs are there, i just have them turned off, so my screenshots show no tabs, sorry for the confusion


Q: What if someone updates their friendly name, and i have a nickname set for them, i’ll never see the change.

A: good point! i’m investigating why this changed…i will file a bug on this.


Q: I want the file menus back.

A: no problem! In the little dropdown with file, edt, etc, the last option is "Show Menu Bar"


Q: Is this release public?

A: This release is not *quite* public yet, in that you still have to go sign up before you can sign in, but that takes seconds and everone is accepted.


Q: Is your color scheme saved for each sign in

A: Yes!