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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So a while back Microsoft has given the general public to the new Live Messenger client. Don't let the number put you off, you actually didn't miss out on 5 previous versions before this. They're jumping from 8.5 to 14 because they're changing the version scheme to the program's revision number to match the schemes of other Windows Live products. It has hit Beta Milestone 3 as of this post.

Aside from changing the layout to the contact and message windows, which you can see in the attached image, they added quite a slew of new features. Let me give you a little showcase:

Scenes:
You may notice images in the windows there. Personally, I didn't like the "backgrounds" feature of MSN 7 and WLM 8. It was good for personalizing, but It ended up bloating things and most of the backgrounds looked terrible unless the resolution was spot-on.

With the new Scenes concept, you can import your own image or select from a pre-made list for your main themes. Personally, I think the default ones suck, so I opted to upload a wallpaper I had of Luna, our one and only moon. Yep, it's a wallpaper. These images are automatically cropped and rescaled (focus on the center of the image) to allow them to fit without distortion and also without having to bog anything down with a 1MB 1600x1200 image for your contact window.

You may also notice that two of my friends there have their own Scenes in their contact window. These are Scenes that they choose for their own clients. They are automatically downloaded when you chat to them. I always used to customize my contacts with colors so I can easily identify them. The Scenes feature allows them to do it for me, and it looks pretty cool to boot. Unfortunately, there's no way to disable them (as far as I know), but that may change in future revisions.


Sounds
Well, like previous versions of the Messenger, you can customize your sounds. Don't like the email noise? No problem. Just change it.

With this version, you have the ability to give custom sounds to any contact you like. If you're busy and want to hear messages sent by one or two ever-so-important people in your life, but you want to ignore the others, you can just give them custom sign-in and message noises. One thing about the custom sounds that I thought was cool was that it comes with a basic sound editor. When you import a custom sound, you can crop it and add fade-in or fade-out effects. I should have put this in the screenshot (if anyone wants to see it, just ask and I'll upload one).

Another thing you can do is add a signature sound for yourself. This sound is heard by other contacts when you sign-in. Personally, I would find this feature irritating, so I don't have a signature sound and I also have other signature sounds muted.


Groups
Frequently engaging in groupchats with your friends, but tired of having to invite everyone every damn time? With the Groups feature you can do this automatically. So as long as three or more people selected for the group are online they can chat as a group with ease. Not all members are required to be present either.

EDIT: It seems Groups are integrated into the Windows Live Groups service when created and are not actually "rooms" at all. Thanks for clearing that up, Squall.


Others
Some other things you may notice is that they changed the status icons. Instead of a clock (Away) or no-entry sign (Busy), they've just added simple colored squares. Green means available, yellow means away, red means busy, and gray means offline. Likewise, the colors apply to the border around the contact's display icon.

Speaking of status changes, they removed many of the redundant ones and just have four: Available, Away, Busy, and Appear Offline. That's really all anyone uses anyway, though Be Right Back still has its uses.

There is now a Favorites contact category as well. Personally, I think this one is a bit redundant, because you could always make a Favorites category manually in previous versions of MSN too. One thing that separates the Favorites category from a manually-made one is that it has its own separate set of options. You are able to manually arrange your contacts in this category. You can put your best friends on top and your work colleagues further down if you wish.

Also, they brought back the feature used in MSN 7.5 (I think, it's been a while) where you can make display pictures appear in the contact window, rather than just status icons. I don't have that feature enabled. This is another feature that you can apply separately to the Favorites list rather than the entire list of contacts.

Another little trivial option is the ability to hide the toolbar in the message window. They added new games too, if you're into that. They also changed the voice calls and webcam functionality, but I don't know to what extent because I use neither of them. If someone would like to add to this then feel free to do so.

Now, I know you're all wondering this. How much memory does it consume? Well, I find it actually takes up less memory than the previous version, even with all of these fancy themes and whatnot. When the contact window is dormant its footprint is reduced quite a bit as well. Though, this may change depending on your computer and what features you wish to use. I have mine stripped down using A-Patch, so that likely reduced the footprint as well.


So who's using this besides me? Tell us what you like about it. Do you prefer the older versions? Have any information or questions to add? Join in the discussion!

Get Windows Live Messenger 14 (beta) here!
A-Patch can be found here, if you're interested. Use at your own risk!

Oh, and this isn't a thread for advocating the superiority of other clients (Pidgin, Trillian, whatever). Save it for another topic. This is a thread about Windows Live Messenger 14, so let's keep it to that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How many critical issues left unfixed ?

Version 9/2009 sounds more like a downgrade crafted to fit into a Live ecosystem.
Sticking to 8.5 for now.
What critical issues? I've never had a problem with 8.5 in terms of stability, etc. This one isn't really any worse either. It's important to realize that this is still in its beta phase too.

Regardless, I don't see how this is exactly a "downgrade." Can you explain please?
 

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why are you posting about this now? the beta has been out for months. not to mention we are mere days away from the RC release, with over 200 bugs fixed.

also..

Groups
Frequently engaging in groupchats with your friends, but tired of having to invite everyone every damn time? With the Groups feature you can do this automatically. Basically what you do when you create a Group is make a chat room and give select friends access to it. So as long as three or more people selected for the group are online they can chat in the room. Not all members are required to be present either.
No, Groups is integrated into Live Groups and shows the members of that group, as well as providing options to modify group settings.

Sounds like Mako Eyes has been asleep for a few months.

btw, you can invite all your friends to an invite by right clicking on a category title and clicking send message to category.
 

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Pilgrim
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I never like the backgrounds when chatting.
I hated them.

People that you are chatting with send you a flower as a background. bleh

But looking at the screenshots, it looks nice.

Btw Mako I am a David too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
why are you posting about this now? the beta has been out for months. not to mention we are mere days away from the RC release, with over 200 bugs fixed.

Sounds like Mako Eyes has been asleep for a few months.
Well, no, I knew about this for ages. I tried it out months ago but didn't really enjoy it, so I decided to check it out again just a few days ago. I didn't say I just discovered it, I made the thread because one didn't exist yet. What's the big deal?

I wasn't aware that an RC was close to release, though I kind of figured that it would be soon because M3 has been out for a few months now.


No, Groups is integrated into Live Groups and shows the members of that group, as well as providing options to modify group settings.

btw, you can invite all your friends to an invite by right clicking on a category title and clicking send message to category.
Ah, well that clears it up then. I guess I misunderstood how the Groups feature worked.

EDIT:
Btw Mako I am a David too.
Haha, yeah, we aren't a rare lot that's for sure.
 

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I never like the backgrounds when chatting.
I hated them.

People that you are chatting with send you a flower as a background. bleh

But looking at the screenshots, it looks nice.

Btw Mako I am a David too.
Sending backgrounds is now disabled (everyone hated it)
 

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Games menu has been removed... and instead loads in a side bar attached to the convo,... I prefer the msgplus activity launcher script anyway...

Changes from 8.x
Sharing backgrounds is removed (yay)


Changes/Fixes from Beta
Signature sounds has been removed.
Layouts has been improved
Display picture is now on left, instead of right (i prefer it this way)
Messenger Scenes can now be overriden by setting Tools > User Default Scene.
Contact Cards has been replaced with a glassy menu list.



(The ads are not present on the contact list because of APatch. i don't recommend removing the convo ad message, since this drops the tools at the bottom of the window below the task bar, if its set to autohide.)
 

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no signature sounds anymore? **** you ms

so rc is out? downloadable with that crap live installer?
 

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people abused the signature sounds with, ****ing bandwidth hogs.
 

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Curiously Cheddar
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Installed the new RC1 today. No crashes so far... which is more than I can say with my experience with the beta.

Adequately solid overall... Real pretty. Good to see that Messenger Plus! still works relatively well on it. Seems to be a decent improvement over 8.5.
 

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Curiously Cheddar
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Plus barely works at all :p
Tabbed browsing still works.

It works relatively well :p

The two other things that I'd really like to see fixed soon are the chat logs and user name colours.
 

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Scripts icon doesn't appear anywhere,
Tabbed chats doesn't flash the tbar item when you recieve a message.
/* quick text commands don't work.
Emoticons replacer doesn't work.

You must be flipping kidding,

Kudo's to all the other teams, excluding the WLMessenger team for doing a great job with their apps,

As for the WLMessenger Team, it seems you've completely lost your rockers,

The way backgrounds worked in 9.0 dogfood, was fine, why did you have to go and screw with it, I don't want to see this big empty space of white down the left and bottom sides of the screen, when a Background image (previously) would sit nicely under all the white space. What tom foolery is this.

You're going backwards for no reason at all. By changing how it works, you've now broken a whole bunch of my larger images, because your image scaling simply Sucks, and i have all this white that i really don't want. You are supposed to be expanding the capabilities of the application, when on several accounts you have now reduced it.

The removal of sharing folders i thought was the worst hit it would take, but this is..... argh, what the heck were you thinking!, do you guys not consider, or even ask for the general consensus of your users before doing things like this, or do you seek to force half assed apps on us like the Yahoo developers did with their Messenger 9.
Indeed Squall.. indeed.
 
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