Posted By Lonn

2008 was a busy year for the Windows Live Messenger team and we’re really proud of what we accomplished.  We started the year with an important update to the previous version, and finished the year with an entirely brand new beta release (link to video showing new features), which recently received the Editor’s Choice pick from PC MAG.

“Among the big three IM apps, Windows Live Messenger is my favorite. Though it’s technically still in beta, the product is mature enough to rate, and it’s worth our Editors’ Choice.”

This is in addition to recognition that we’ve received all over the world including being rated the top Instant Messaging application in Germany’s largest computer magazine, ComputerBild, and appearing on the front cover of Micro Magazine in France.


We couldn’t have done it without all the support and help from our users who continue to provide ideas and feedback on how to make Windows Live Messenger better with every release.  Thank you.

It’s also important to note that not only did Windows Live Messenger release a new version, we released new beta versions off all the Windows Live Essential applications which include the popular Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Movie Maker, Windows Live Writer etc.  You can get all of these plus the latest Windows Live Messenger at

Another thing that we’re really proud of from 2008, were the results from the first full year of the IM campaign that we ran in the US.  We donated $1.3 Million to great causes from March 2007 – March 2008. This was all thanks to the generous support that all of you showed by adopting the IM icon in your user names.  It’s never too late to start supporting a great cause, and if you’re interested just take a look at the blog post that Dharmesh wrote or visit the IM campaign site.

Support one of these great causes just by updating your display name.

Here’s a video on how to do it.

In 2008 we also announced a deal with Telefonica that let’s you call people all around the world using your PC and Windows Live Messenger at very low rates, introduced the Windows Live Translator agent, and a handful of great new games for Windows Live Messenger, like World Championship Diving.

Last but not least, I wanted to let you know about the cool 3D emoticons that the Windows Live team in France just created.  Click here to go to the site, then click on ‘installez gratuitement’.  And yes, the site is only in French. 🙂 

Here’s what they look like in my Windows Live Messenger text area.  You can’t tell from my screen capture, but they are animated and take on a life of their own.

Of course, there are many more things that went on in 2008 but I just wanted to highlight a few of them for you.  On behalf of the entire Windows Live Messenger Team, I’d like to wish everyone a great Happy New Year and best wishes for 2009.

P.S. Here are some photos of the holiday cookies I made for the team.  They were my first ever attempt at making cookies and I may have ‘bit off more than I could chew’ (pardon the pun).  Nonetheless, a few of them did end up looking like the Windows Live buddy icon… although, as you can see, some of them also did not. 🙂  Next year, I’ll make a cookie cutter to improve the consistency.