StuffPlug 3.9 and 4.0 coming soon
Posted by absorbation on Thu 20 Dec 2007 (22:16 GMT) (24306 views)
StuffPlug creator, TheBlasphemer, has been very busy in recent years. As a result his add-on has took a bit of a hit, mainly trying to get a fully compatible update released for the new Windows Live Messenger 8.5. Despite this TheBlasphemer has been working hard on a new version and has outlined his plans for the future of one of the best add-ons for Windows Live Messenger:

  • The current beta of StuffPlug 3 can be installed using this trick. It's not 100% compatible, but it works.
  • StuffPlug 3.9, to be released soon, will be compatible with WLM 8.5, but not with 9.0.
  • StuffPlug 4.0, to be released somewhere next year, will be compatible with WLM 9.0, but not with earlier versions. WLM 9.0 has changed too many things internally to make a version that is both compatible with 8.0 and 9.0, so SP 3.9 will be the last version for WLM 8.x, and SP 4.0 will focus purely on WLM 9.0.
  • As I'm currently in a rather nasty personal situation, none of the above mentioned release dates or spans are definitive. It all depends on how soon I get my ability to concentrate on this stuff back.
  • The new major version number was mainly due to a complete overhaul of the user-interface, but as having a separate major release for WLM 9.0 makes much more sense, this user-interface overhaul will now be in 3.9 (and in 4.0 too, but it won't be an overhaul then, will it)

Beta testers have been shown ideas for the new UI and we have discussed where we want the add-on to go. Development appears to be positive and you should be getting excited for the new release (whenever that may be).

View TB's news post discussing the update

Yahoo! Messenger for Windows Vista released as public beta
Posted by absorbation on Thu 06 Dec 2007 (22:40 GMT) (159859 views)
Yahoo! Messenger for Windows Vista has been in development for way over a year now. It was officially announced last January and today a public beta has been released to the public. Its features include:

  • Organize your conversations into tabs, or drag and drop a tab out to create a new window
  • Keep up with your favorite contacts by dragging them into the Windows Sidebar gadget
  • Send enhanced emoticons that have some extra oomph
  • Change the color of your IM windows with a built-in skin chooser. Go crazy with a different skin for every IM window!
  • Adjust the display size of your contacts with a handy slider
  • Arrange your contact list into multiple columns just by resizing your window
  • Send instant messages to your Yahoo! and Windows Live Messenger contacts
  • Send files to friends as large as 2 GB
  • Find contacts quickly with the contact search bar. Type in a few letters of the contact's name or ID and they'll come up in filtered results.
  • As-you-type spell checker that's smart enough to know that 'LOL' is not something to correct
  • A preferences menu you can access by right-clicking anywhere at the top of the main Messenger window

Yahoo! Messenger for Vista has its flaws. There are a lot of bugs and everything seems very basic at the moment. However, I can see a lot of potential and the idea totally re-designing the software should be on the table for Windows Live Messenger. I can see the completed product being very popular. You can view a video of Yahoo! Messenger for Windows Vista in action below:

Source: Yahoo! Messenger development blog
View some screenshots of Yahoo! Messenger for Windows Vista
Visit the official website

Windows Live Messenger 9.0 beta expanded!
Posted by the andyman on Wed 28 Nov 2007 (18:27 GMT) (35953 views)
So the first Windows Live Messenger 9.0 beta has finally expanded past just butterflies and MVPs to some specially selected testers of previous versions.

There are apparently about 5000 people officially (on Microsoft Connect) testing version 9.0.1407.1107, described by Microsoft as an alpha version and dubbed in the About window as 'Version 2009'. In the welcoming email to testers the Messenger team said:

Please note that this is a private beta for a very small audience only - Windows Live Messenger 9.0 isn't ready for wide distribution yet. By entering the beta, you're agreeing to use the client and send us feedback, and to not share it with anyone else. Doing so is against the Terms of Use. If the build gets out too widely and starts causing problems on the service we may have to shut it down. We don't want to do that and we know you don't want that to happen, so please keep it to yourself.

Here at Messenger Stuff we are 100% against leaks and don't want to jeopardize the beta in any way. For this reason we will not be hosting or linking to any of the leaked setup files. However, we understand that many of you will like to know the changes, so I'm quoting a small changelog from

  • Sign-in and messaging in multiple locations - You asked for it, now you have it! You can now sign into Messenger from more than one computer at a time, up to four at once. Simply sign into Messenger from one computer, install Messenger on another computer and sign in using the same account. (Only works if all computers are running Messenger 9.0 Beta. Currently enabled only for users whose Windows Live ID country is US or Canada.)
  • Signature sounds – Pick your own personal sound that your contacts will hear when you sign into Messenger (only works if you and your contacts have Messenger 9.0 Beta).
  • Per contact sounds - Pick unique sounds for each of your contacts. You will be able to tell from across the room who is sending you a message.
  • SPIM Reporting - If users send you unsolicited messages or invitations that you consider spam, you can block them and report them as spammers. If you report a user as a spammer, the messenger service will collect this data and put appropriate restrictions on the spammer accounts. All reports of spammers are kept confidential.
  • Animated Display Pictures – Show your moves! Messenger now supports animated .gif files as display pictures.
  • Link in Personal Status Message – URLs in Personal Status Messages are hot and clickable in the Messenger contact list.
  • Behind the Scenes Changes – Architectural changes that modified how things work but shouldn't have changed how things look
    1. Changes to sign-in, connectivity, presence, sending text IM’s, voice & video featuresWindows Live Contacts Server – wlcomm.exe runs in the background to keep your contacts’ information up-to-date and helps Messenger sign you in faster

The current version of Messenger Plus! Live (4.23) is "incompatible" with the new beta but Patchou has already said that the latest version of Messenger Plus! Live (version 4.50), due for release in the first week of December, will be compatible. A version of A-Patch has already been made for the new beta.

View screenshots in our gallery

Coming Soon: Windows Live Messenger 9.0 BETA
Posted by RebelSean on Thu 22 Nov 2007 (18:48 GMT) (8958 views)
For everyone who is celebrating Thanksgiving, we at Messenger Stuff would like to wish you a safe and tummy filled holiday!

A few days ago invitations to the Windows Live Messenger 9.0 BETA were sent to ~1000 testers. At this point we're all under NDA, so no information or screenshots can be made available. The public beta should be starting soon so keep your eyes on your inbox because it's first come first serve. As soon as the word is given, we're going to feature a full review of the beta as well as some possible invites for our readers! So, keep checking back for updates!

Windows Live Messenger 9.0

New Messenger beta has improvements to video calls
Posted by absorbation on Sun 16 Sep 2007 (10:23 GMT) (3767 views)
Looks like this piece of news is a few days old, but nevertheless I'll post it anyway. The new Windows Live Messenger 8.5 beta build released last week, which was believed to contain minor bug fixes and tempt Messenger users into using the new Windows Live Installer actually has significant improvements to video calling:

My name is Aaron, and I'm a PM for the Messenger Voice, Video and Sounds team. We recently released an update to our earlier 8.5 Beta (which Jason pointed out earlier) that has many improvements to video call, especially on Vista. If you've occasionally run into audio jitter or noise in a Video Call, our latest version should help. We also improved echo support and a small issue with the volume sliders.

I want small improvements like this to be applied all over Windows Live Messenger. You all must have a pet hate feature that you find horrible to use (adding emoticons or sending files to a contact for example). I've also noticed the Messenger team are blogging a lot more and there appears to be some new faces.

Source: MessengerSays blog

Windows Live Installer released with new Messenger beta
Posted by absorbation on Thu 06 Sep 2007 (19:14 GMT) (9092 views)
In follow up to yesterday's news, Windows Live Installer has been released and comes with the installation of Windows Live Messenger 8.5 beta 2 (build 8.5.1288).

So what's new? Well nothing really noticeable, just bug fixes according to the offical Messenger blog. Nevertheless, the build is just really to attract users to the new installer as there is no separate download at the moment, unless you download the files below. Here are some facts about the update:

  • Windows Live Installer has come under very heavy criticism, all comments tend to be negative, I believe a lot of this comes down to the speed and ease of use of the program.
  • It is not compatible with x64 editions of Windows. Unless you try this hack.
  • A-Patch and Mess Patch have been updated to work with the new Windows Live Messenger beta.
  • Messenger Plus! Live is fully compatible with the new build according to creator Patchou.

Personally, beta is still bloated and annoying to use for me. All my settings have been modified and I'm finding more and more annoying little bugs. If this is what the finished product will be I'm sticking with 8.1. I'm sure these will be addressed by the final release though.

View our pictures of Windows Live Installer
Download Windows Live Suite Installer
Download Windows Live Messenger 8.5.1288 (English) (Mirror)
Download Windows Live Messenger 8.5.1288 (Spanish)
Download Windows Live Messenger 8.5.1288 (Dutch)
Download Windows Live Messenger 8.5.1288 (Arabic)

Windows Live Messenger 8.5 beta update
Posted by the andyman on Thu 21 Jun 2007 (19:59 GMT) (14997 views)
A new beta build of Windows Live Messenger 8.5 has just been released, labelled as version 8.5.1238.0601.

So far it appears that this update is only available to existing 8.5 beta users through Windows/Microsoft Update as it has apparently only been made "to test how Microsoft Updates are distributed for Windows Live Messenger". Also there are apparently are no changes from the previous build.

The update is listed as "high priority" on Microsoft Update and is only 6.6MB in size, compared to the 18MB of the installer of the last build. This suggests that, in the future, Microsoft will be using QFE ("quick fix engineering" - aka a hotfix) patches to update Windows Live Messenger, as they did a few times for MSN Messenger 7.5.

Here are the details from Microsoft Update:

Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta 1 Update 1
Date last published: 6/21/2007
Download size: 6.6 MB

This update is being used to test how Microsoft Updates are distributed for Windows Live Messenger. While there are no actual changes to Messenger at this time, it's important for Messenger Beta testers to receive this update. Thanks for helping test Messenger!

System Requirements
Recommended CPU: Not specified.
Recommended memory: Not specified.
Recommended hard disk space: Not specified.
How to Uninstall
This software update can be removed via Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel.
Get help and support
More information

Patchou has said that the latest version of Messenger Plus! Live (4.23) is compatible with this new build.

Windows Live Messenger 8.5 leak is now a public beta
Posted by absorbation on Thu 31 May 2007 (19:50 GMT) (11175 views)
The leaked Windows Live Messenger 8.5 beta that seemed to have got a bit of attention this week (bringing down our site with the amount of downloads it had) has now been released as an official public beta.

MessengerSays mentions nothing on the leak, but talks about the build. You could question the release, most MVP's and interns believed 9.0 was the only version in development. The build no longer supports machines running anything older than Windows XP SP2, and finally moves settings into a new directory (Program Files/Windows Live/Messenger), which is creating problems for 3rd party addons.

Messenger Plus! Live will have an update to support the new beta soon, however there are problems where Plus! installs itself (if you re-install WLM, Plus! may no longer hook correctly because it is installed in a different directory).

I just want to note the public beta is no different than the leak of the other day. If you're having trouble installing the new beta, read this (apparently there are a few issues with the new installer).

Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta (English/UK)
Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta (English/US)
Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta (English/India)
Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta (French/France)
Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta (German)
Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta (Spanish/US)
Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta (Spanish/Spain)
Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta (Chinese [Simplified])
Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta (Japanese)

Windows Live Messenger 8.5 beta leaked !?
Posted by the andyman on Sun 27 May 2007 (18:11 GMT) (49736 views)
We all seem to have missed this when it was first leaked on Wednesday but what is apparently a beta of the next version of Windows Live Messenger, branded version 8.5.1235.0517, is now out in the wild.

The build was apparently leaked to the website Messenger Adictos by a Microsoft MVP who managed to get hold of it as it was being distributed to Microsoft employees. Messenger Adictos then compressed the installer inside their own branded installer, to gain publicity, which you can download at their website.

The main changes in the build are obviously the UI and the installer which are so clear when you download and install it that I feel no need to talk about here. The other main change is apparently "reinforced security" including integration with Windows Live OneCare and Windows Live Family Safety.

The leaked build is in Spanish but you can download the English language dll here, or according to "you can copy the old language file ("msglang.dll") of Windows Live Messenger 8.1.0178 over the new one ("msglang.8.5.1235.0517.dll"). Note that the installation directory has also been changed to "C:/Program Files/Windows Live/Messenger" making the transition from MSN Messenger to Windows Live Messenger complete".

You can make Messenger Plus! Live work with it by following MenthiX's instructions at MsgHelp, however you should note that Messenger Plus! Lives chat logging no longer seems to work (as reported here). You can also make most of the StuffPlug features work by moving the msacm32.dll file (located in the old MSN Messenger folder) into the new Windows Live/Messenger folder.

I find it important to note the reliability of the build. Although it is well known that the Messenger team are working the next milestone (version 9) they are known to work on builds that are two or three versions away from the next release. Apparently this leaked build is an internal beta of the next version of Messenger which will be 8.5, an interim release. There was talk of there not being a version 8.5 at all and that this version was just a skin, however the changes in the installer and the interface, both of which seem to be to match the look of other Windows Live software such as Windows Live Writer and Windows Live Mail, and the fact that the installer is digitally signed by Microsoft seem to point to an official 8.5 beta coming soon, even if it is just to prepare us for version 9.

Download Windows Live Messenger 8.5 public beta (US English) (link updated)
Download the English language dll for Windows Live Messenger 8.5 leaked beta
View screenshot 1
View screenshot 2
View screenshot 3
View screenshot 4
View screenshot 5

eBuddy Mobile Messenger Beta
Posted by the andyman on Wed 23 May 2007 (20:36 GMT) (29782 views)
Along with their new web messenger beta, eBuddy are also working on a new messenger client application for mobile phones.

The application is currently in beta and supports most modern phones and allows you to connect to your Windows Live/MSN, Yahoo! and AIM accounts.

I've been testing it for a few weeks and have to say that it is incredibly easy to use and very useful. Wherever I am with just a few button pushes I can see who is online and chat to them (and more) using the feature-filled application.

Now I've written a comprehensive guide, including screenshots, to show you what it allows you to do and how.

Read my tutorial and review on our forums

See if your phone is supported
Find out more about the beta