I have been a beta participant in Microsoft Products and was also invited as a part of the closed beta to test out the new Windows Live Messenger 9.0 beta. Here are my views about the latest version of Windows Live Messenger.
Major changes that were rolled out with Windows Live Messenger 9.0
Sign In to Messenger From Multiple PCs
The Windows Live Messenger 9.0 allows you to sign into multiple PCs at the same time. You can sign into up to 4 PCs at the same time.
My 2 cents
Though I see this as a good feature I still cannot understand why one would want to sign in from multiple locations with the same ID. This could be useful though if you want to sign in into your cell phone as well as on your PC at the same time.
Use Custom Sounds While Signing In
This feature allows you to pick your own personal sound that your contacts will hear when you sign into Messenger. Again only works when the other person is also using Messenger 9.0.
My 2 cents
Looks like a great feature to me to use your own sounds but It could turn out to be the most irritating feature too if users decide too use loud or vulgar sounds while signing in. Imagine one of your pals having a NSFW type of sounds to alert he is online and you have a presentation going on with Messenger on.
Pick Different Sounds For Different Contacts
This feature allows you to assign different sounds for different contacts when they send you a message allowing you easily know who is sending you a message. You do not require the contact to have Windows Live Messenger 9.0 beta since this tweak works on your own computer.
My 2 cents
Quite a useful feature if you want to know someone is signing in even when your not near your PC. I used to use this feature to distinguish callers on my old Nokia phone and it was pretty handy as I could simply ignore calls outside my known list without even looking at the number.
Spam Message Reporting
If you receive any unsolicited messages you can easily block them using the new reporting tool. This data will be used by the messenger servers to put restriction on the spammer accounts.
My 2 Cents
I am not a heavy MSN messenger user so have not seen any spam messages coming my way. Of course I have had horrendous experiences with Yahoo Messenger where not only I have received numerous spam messages but also viruses.
With Yahoo though there is a straight forward way to block these spammers out, this is a welcome addition to Windows Live Messenger.
Other notable features include Animated Display Pictures which supports animated .gif files as display pictures and Link in Personal Status Message which allows you to use clickable links as personal status messages.
Issues With Windows Live Messenger Beta 9.0
There are some known issues few of which I experienced. The installation process is a drag and takes much longer then expected but according to the developers this is a known issue and going forward it should be fixed.
Backward compatibility for voice calls from Messenger Beta 9.0 to version 7.0 has been deprecated.
You will be unable to entertain video calls and webcam invites when logged into multiple computers using Windows Live Messenger 9.0 beta from other versions of the software.
You can only use the custom sounds for users on a single installation. Which means that if you have custom sounds for users on one PC they will not be available on another PC.
Expect crashes this is not for the light hearted. Even though I have not experienced one yet it is highly possible you may if you are using the beta software.
Here are the Screenshot’s for Windows Live Messenger 9.0 beta
Windows Live Messenger 9.0 Beta Sign In Screenshot
Nothing changed here but the signing in is a bit of a yawn now as it takes a bit longer than earlier. The reason is that it is now allowing a user to sign in from four different locations so the additional checks to verify the same.
Messenger Version Screenshot
Use Custom Sounds Screenshot
Change Contacts Sounds screenshot
As part of being a beta tester I cannot send you the software but I can promise that whenever I have invites for the Windows Live Messenger Beta 9.0 I will intimate you about it. To keep a close watch on Invites you can subscribe to RSS feeds so that you will have first hand information on invites I will share.
Are you a regular user of Windows Live Messenger? Which messenger do you prefer the most? Do let me know through your comments.