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Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review
Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review
Date: 21-03-09
Topic: Reviews & Previews
Author: I did it all for the n00ki3!

Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

Windows Live Messenger 2009 Review

Hey everybody,

I just upgraded to the latest Windows Live Messenger today and I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised with the major changes they have made with the UI and the features.

I've been using Windows Live Messenger formerly MSN Messenger for over a more than 9 years now and it really has developed into a fine messenger. I've used other messengers like Yahoo, Skype, AOL, etc. too, but WLM has been my favourite till date.

Here's a quick preview of the new features on WLM that I noticed off hand.

The main sign-in screen has a new clean look with warm colours. A clean and a well defined layout.

On the main screen, you can notice a lot of changes. The whole messenger has more of a hud feel that has all the controls integrated. None of the buttons seem out of place. First off you would notice that the mail button has been moved to the far right, in contrast to the till date followed layout of having the mail button on the far left.

To my surprise, Messenger Plus fully supports the WLM and that was a major go ahead with me, since it helps me to log my chats.

You would also notice, there is a favourites group on top, it's a really cool feature that allows you to add your favourite contacts for easy access. Better yet you can also select the size of the contacts display card shown in the main messenger window. The new messenger also allows you to choose from a wide variety of options in the layout section, making the WLM UI totally customizable.

I've been thinking about this for a very long time and I don't know, maybe through telepathy, Microsoft heard me out. I love the feature of Skype, that one can sign into multiple places at a given time and messages will be sent out to all the places that the user has signed in from. It used to be an issue for me, when I had to log in from my classes, knowing the fact that I'd be logged out from my home and when I finish with my classes, I'd be logged out from both places for a good one or more hours.

Sign in from Multiple places at a given time.

And Microsoft has introduced a new feature in WLM 2009, the option of logging in from multiple places. What's totally cool is, it would give you a list of places that you have logged in from. So any rouge access will never go undetected. Note:- This feature is only supported when all the messengers being used to sign in are WLM 2009, otherwise signing in from a different messenger version would sign you out from WLM 2009.

New mouse over contact menu

The new mouse over contact menu comes with a fancy glass look, with several options to select from. All in all, a great integration and alternative to the usual right click menu.

What's new toolbar

The What's New Toolbar allows you to keep a tab on the latest updates amongst your contacts. The toolbar can be disabled from the settings and can be fully customized to receive particular updates.


The new WLM comes with new default sound scheme, it's more on the lines of Vista's minimalistic sound scheme. The nudge sound isn't that loud anymore, though the contact sign in and new message sound could've been louder.

Chat Window

The chat window has drastically changed, with a new top hud and most of the side bar being shifted from the right to the left. It looked a bit odd at the start, but it settles in and its all the same!

Here's a closer look at the top hud, like I mentioned before, nothing looks out of place, the integration of the tabs has been perfectly achieved.

The sidebar can be concealed as always, but the transaction is smoother, there is a smooth flow of the sidebar as it shifts and conceals itself. Contrary to earlier versions where the sidebar would just vanish. Rolling over to the sidebar gives you a gleam effect. Wonderful!

Background/Scene Selection

WLM has always had the option of selecting personal background colors for your Messenger and background images for the chat window, but now it allows you to personalize the Main Messenger Window background to a wide variety of MS provided backgrounds or select from your own personal library of pictures.

The option has been very tactically placed, giving it a good look. Moving your mouse over the top right corner, a book-page-flip animation comes up, clicking on it takes you to the Scene Selection menu.

The scene selection menu

Although, MS has given a wide variety of options to select from, I'm disappointed to say that even after selecting a high resolution wallpaper for the background, the end result is highly pixelated. The image is 2560X1600 resolution.

Hope you liked the review. Constructive criticism/Comments are more than welcome.



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By vijayninel 24-03-09
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

I really wish that gtalk also improve their features soon. Its really getting a bit outdated.
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By initpidzero 24-03-09
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

looks quiet promising, though i am not much a m$ fan!
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By Aragorn 24-03-09
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

nice review mate ....
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By stonedsurd 25-03-09
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

Love your author tag!

And like I said in the other thread, good job on the review!

EDIT: Repped and Dugg too
Last edited by stonedsurd; 25-03-09 at 05:13 AM..
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By kauffmann 29-03-09
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

Heh thanks guys, I wanted the author tag to actually be my main tag line, the one that displays under your nick whenever you post something?

Also I'd specially like to thank vijayninel, for taking his time out and formatting the whole post in this wonderful article format.

I'm trying to add some info to the article, is there any way I could do that?
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By ɱɑɖɖʏ 23-04-09
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

Nice Review mate..Repped
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By arcade47 25-04-09
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

nice review
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By Sonu 25-02-10
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

Well I for one don't prefer this new messenger. The messenger upto 8.5 version was decent. This v9 aka 2009 feels way too bloated.

It's a shame that you can't run v8.5 anymore have to use 2009 or it won't let you connect. You can use it via compatibility mode with but with reduced features.
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By himanshuaieee 03-04-10
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

Nice review there///

Thanks, excited me to install Windowws Live Messenger onto my system!!
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By ViKiD 03-04-10
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

Nice review....

Gtalk is getting buggier IMO...
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By kauffmann 04-04-10
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

@Sonu - I agree, the new messenger is a bit fruity for my taste, I prefer the old messenger over the new one, but I don't think its bloated in any way, it is def eye candy, but that doesn't always mean bloated Alot of people still use the old messengers by changing the version on the messenger exe's to fool the servers into thinking they're the newer versions. I'm sure good how-to's are available online.

@Himanshujee - Thanks mate! Been using WLM for the past 6 to 7 years now, its the goodens.

@Vikid - Vikid my man! Thanks and I feel what Gtalk is really lacking is the webcam support and the ability to conference without having to open a window in the browser, those features should built into the messenger. I use both and Skype too.

@Arcade & Maddy - Cheers mates!
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By mav2000 04-04-10
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

Well done....nice review and well written.
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By Sonu 06-04-10
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

I'm running 8.5 through some trickery as well but the new version...I just don't like it. I mean they could just release 2 versions Lite & Full. Lite just let's you send messages, video call. Instead of all that Live Journal & what not
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By himanshuaieee 10-04-10
Re: Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Review

K... I tried installing it, but being a huge file I was not able to install it properly,... two times actually../

So please can anyone PM a link to its offline installer that works in Win 7 x64 please???
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