Now it's leaked: What do users think of Messenger 2010?
Posted by absorbation on Tue 23 Mar 2010 (19:30 GMT) (107239 views)
In case you didn't already know, Windows Live Messenger 2010 build 15.2.2583.119 leaked last week and has since been floating around on various BitTorrent trackers. Although the build was never intended for public release, it gave Messenger fans their first hand-on with what Microsoft has been developing over the past year. I've been analysing what the community has been discussing and asking users for feedback.

The initial flow of reactions came from the Messenger Plus! forums, where users started to discuss the leak and post screenshots. Unfortunately most feedback was on the negative side. Commenting on the new social networking features, one regular member said:

It's OK. Not liking the social mode much yet, although maybe once it'll allow me to connect to Facebook and Twitter properly it may be better ...

I liked the look of the emoticons from the preview screenshot, but after using them I dislike them.

Another user enjoyed how Windows 7 compatiablity was complete:

Only thing I remotely like is the Win 7 integration which it all finally seems to be working right ... It's no great improvement to WLM 2009 I reckon. If they want Windows Live Messenger to become a "social networking hub" then they need to implement different steps. The social stream has the potential to work but the split screen contact list alongside the stream does not work well, the text is bulky and large, doesn't work well without images.

MenthiX, scripts and skins database manager for Messenger Plus! had a more positive view:

I don't think the leaked build is a good version to base our opinion of Live Messenger 2010 on. The leaked build is still a very early version with a lot of missing features and bugs. I don't recommend people install it other than on virtual machines. We already saw screenshots of newer builds over a month ago which are more polished, these just aren't available to the public yet.

As far as the new features go: I think they are heading in the right direction by making Messenger more social. While I'm not a huge fan of the social networks, it is the global trend and Messenger is currently loosing users to Facebook and Twitter. People are already creating scripts to sync their personal messages with their social networks, what Microsoft is trying to do in Messenger 2010 seems like a natural step. And for those who don't like it there is a single option which will turn the contactlist back to what we are used to from Messenger 2009 and you'll never have to see the social stream again. Both type of users can be happy. But the interface needs more polishing, especially the social mode looks bloated. Fonts are oversized and there is just too much going on. A giant square ad isn't helping either ...

All together, when the polish up the interface and make it look cleaner I think Messenger 2010 can be a nice new version. Hopefully we'll get to see improved builds soon."

Our admin Chris seemed to think the application needed a face lift:

The idea behind it is good, connecting everyone to their social networks they are apart of, but they need to rethink the design, its 2010 - which in my opinion is all about clean, simple user interfaces.

When asked about the leak, Jonathan Kay, a Microsoft Most Valued Professional and Messenger enthusiast told Messenger Stuff:

Well I don't think it's really a big deal, we'd all seen the leaked screenshots anyway so any "damage" was already done. As most of the new social functionality doesn't seem to be working, we can't even really see what that's completely all about. I don't think there's much incentive for anyone to actually use it right now either.

Perhaps more interesting is how one of the exclusive testers of the leaked build, Nigel Ansell, detailed on his Facebook profile an estimated timeline for Wave 4 product releases:

  • 28 April VIP testers will get access to latest builds
  • 18 May WL2010 M3 RTW
  • 3 June Complete Public disclosure
  • 7 June Public Beta Day
  • 7 June iPhone main languages Messenger
  • 25 August iPhone additional languages Messenger + PUBLIC RTW

I can agree with most of the reactions within the community. I'm not a a fan of the new social panel, nor do I believe Microsoft has revolutionised its IM client enough to compete with new social networking challenges. Overall, considering this build was never meant to see the light of day, Microsoft are making features that users have been asking for, even if they may not yet be fully ready.

Windows Live Messenger 2010 leaked: Details and screenshots inside
Posted by absorbation on Sun 21 Mar 2010 (20:40 GMT) (86545 views)
It has been a long time coming, but the first build of Windows Live Messenger 2010 has leaked, confirming many of the features we have seen in our coverage over the past eight months.

The build number, 15.2.2583.119 has been floating around the Internet since yesterday, after reports from LiveSide confirmed the leak had occurred earlier in the week. We at Messenger Stuff have installed the beta and had a close look at what Windows Live Messenger 2010 has to offer.

Below are some important notes concerning the leaked build:
  • The build is perhaps many months old. Believed to be milestone 2, website cnBeta has posted screenshots of milestone 3 from over a month ago. We can only assume much more has happened since.
  • Only certain Live IDs are able to sign into the beta as is the case with most internal releases. Wikikou has posted a protocol down-grader to allow users to sign into the leak, however conservations are highly unstable.
  • The leaked version is extremely buggy, despite its initial polished appearance.
  • There appears to be signs of Facebook Chat integration.
  • Tabbed chats are confirmed.
  • You can revert to the classic style contact list.

We at Messenger Stuff don't provide links to leaked beta builds, particularly ones that are unstable. Even with the workaround to sign in the leaked beta is too unpractical to use in its current state.

With the bugs aside, Windows Live Messenger 2010 looks almost ready for a public release, and I think we can expect a public beta soon.

View our gallery of screenshots of the leaked beta


Messenger for Mac 8 internal beta leaked
Posted by absorbation on Sun 22 Mar 2009 (21:53 GMT) (16461 views)
Recently I am embraced the Mac. I'm currently writing this post from my new unibody Macbook, using OS X and I'm finding it a really pleasurable and a less frustrating experience. Nevertheless, the current Messenger for Mac, or "Microsoft Messenger" as its program is really called, lacks several of the core features required for the day to day interactions with our contacts. In many ways, it looks better than it performs.

Build has been circulating around the web, and offers audio and video support. This feature has been long-waited, but in the leaked build, the short-comings of the program make it highly unstable and not worth the download for these highly desired set of features. This is an early build, and a lot of work is still required.

Ever since Macs went Intel based, their potential has become wider. It appears that Microsoft may make Messenger for Mac 8 an Intel only build, a common trend among many pieces of Mac software. The transition period to Intel based Macs should mean the minimal amount of users are affected by this change. This however, is still unconfirmed by Microsoft.

Microsoft Messenger for Mac is shaping up to be a feature packed, highly-polished product. Although nothing can compete with the customization options within Windows Live Messenger for Windows, the program is intentionally designed to be simple; the cooperate mode shows it is not just meant to chat to friends, it is designed to enable productivity. When the complete version is released, expect an in-depth feature on all the individual changes.

View more information and a selection of screenshots
View the Microsoft product page for Messenger for Mac

Windows Live Messenger 9 build 14.0.3921.0717 leaked
Posted by absorbation on Sun 24 Aug 2008 (11:39 GMT) (161429 views)
There were rumours that M2 of Windows Live Messenger 9 would be released to testers sometime this week. Today a new version of Windows Live Messenger 9 was leaked, showing what was seen in the leaked screenshots of last week. This however, is of the M1 build testers have had for a while, not the new M2 build, which was expected to be out this or even next week. Notable changes include:

  • The program now has real Window handlers, at least in Windows Vista
  • URLs in personal messages now are clickable
  • The groups feature has been updated and become more customisable
  • You can now have a favourite contacts list, which appears before other contacts
  • There are several glossy effects used within the program
  • Display pictures have been moved to the left in conversation windows
  • Conservation messages are now in bullet points when sent
  • You have now the ability to share photos with contacts

The new build does not currently work with Messenger Plus! Live, and will be unlikely to until Windows Live Messenger 9 is officially released.

Screenshot: Contact List
Screenshot: Conversation Window
Screenshot: About Box

Design update: Windows Live Messenger 9
Posted by absorbation on Mon 11 Aug 2008 (21:50 GMT) (12345 views)
Our post this week gained some extreme attention, which has seen a sharp spike in users. Well the snowball effect seems to be in place as it appears Inky, once a Windows Live intern, has published some exclusive screenshots of the new version of Windows Live Messenger:

In the feature department quite a few things have been added and changed as well. The biggest of which is the new Groups feature (while the old groups are renamed to Categories). A Group is a special chat room to which you can invite your buddies, and which stays on your contact list until you delete it (making it an instant multi-party conversation). The group will appear to be online when a another buddy in the group is also online. With a group, you can share files, photos, chat history, etc. (More coverage on Liveside). Aside from groups, there's another new entry in the contact list: the Favorites category. This category is always shown at the top, and when contacts are added to them their full details are shown in your contact list (similar to the "Show all contact details" feature in v8.5). The favorites category is also shown on older clients, where it will display as a regular category.

Along with the new UI of the conversation window (most noticeably the display pictures appearing at the left side of the conversation), a new feature has also been added: photo sharing. You can add or remove photos from the current session, and browse through them while you and your buddy discuss the currently displayed photo. Although we couldn't try it out in detail yet, this promises to make it much easier to show all those holiday and party photos to your buddies.

The build in question is the first milestone after the questionable BETA period which was closed at the end of June, with a new second milestone already coming up. We can't wait to see what turns up in the next few months... Seeing as the most-requested features haven't been added yet (Messenger Team, we're looking at you!). We will keep you posted.

Well, it appears Microsoft haven't really integrated the WPF effects very well, if at all, in these leaked screenshots. However I make one thing clear: it will be coming, and we have seen it. I guess now we will have to wait to see how things develop.

Edit: Apparently the screenshots shown are not of the latest build and are believed to be old. Our inside source claims the design has been tweaked and changed again in the latest version, using the WPF effects we talked about this week.

Screenshot: Contact list
Screenshot: Conversation
Screenshot: Sharing photos
Screenshot: About box


Update: See this newer post for more exclusive information regarding the next version of Windows Live Messenger, its new interface, and these leaked screenshots.

Windows Live Messenger 8.5 beta leaked !?
Posted by the andyman on Sun 27 May 2007 (18:11 GMT) (49757 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

Windows Live Messenger 8.1.0064 leaked!
Posted by absorbation on Fri 08 Sep 2006 (15:33 GMT) (3465 views)
I have got my hands on the new Windows Live Messenger build and it is looking good. There are limited places you can download it so I have hosted the file myself due to such demand. The changes are great, it seems more focused on improving old features than adding new ones. However, the installer is still the same and that is the thing I hate most about Windows Live Messenger, hopefully it will be changed soon. Enjoy!

Note: This is a beta and was not indented for the public to use. Use at your own risk.

Download Windows Live Messenger 8.1.0064 beta

Looks like that news yesterday has come right into our very hands. That's right that new 683 build of Windows Live Messenger has been leaked! The news really is the same as posted by the andyman, but I have some views of my own to.

First beware this is an internal build and believe me the installer was very shaky, it took ages to install and some things crashed when doing so, so be extra cautious with this build. But I bet half of you don't even care about that.

The name of Windows Live Messenger has finally been placed everywhere, no more "Messenger Beta" guys and the new GUI we saw is there are working my eyes like magic. Yet, this build lags my system a lot, more than the 566 build, but I think a lot of bugs have been tackled and fixed, just needs some fine tweaking now and I think Windows Live Messenger is ready for public release.

Yet, MSN Messenger is still where all the data is stored for use and this build still installs in the MSN Messenger directory. Looks like it is hard to fully get rid of the MSN Messenger trademark. But don't let me speak for you, download and install for yourself, I think you will enjoy this build much better.

(Please note: You download and install any leaked builds or downloads we offer you at your own risk. We cannot and will not take responsibilty for any damages caused by dowloading or installing this build or anything else from this site or any mirrors given. Microsoft does not support or endorse downloading or using an unofficial releases/builds of any software.)

Download Windows Live Messenger 8.0.0683.00_Branches

Messenger Discovery Live ... leaked!
Posted by absorbation on 28 Mar 2006 (3732 views)
Leaks are everywhere these days. Messenger Plus! Live has really stirred things up but yet another popular add-on for MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger has been leaked, this time the famous Messenger Discovery Live.

Messenger Discovery is known, for one thing, bugs. It is completely laced with them; the creator has been accused of sloppy coding or rushing the program. Personally, I think it is rushed. It has tons of features, a lot that look bad and hardly work. That being said, I think Messenger Discovery Live has changed this. But no, not at all. Still the same problems as before, yet I must say it seems a little better.

There are some features that I love, nice things like changing the 'MSN Messenger' text and re-signing in if messenger signs you out. The system tray problem has also be looked at, this time you have the option of adding the program to your system tray, but if you don't a floating menu appears instead, and it is rather ugly. Yet, I hope that this is a rough beta phase and maybe these bugs will be fixed in the future and if it is, you are waiting for a great program.

View a screenshot of the hot new program

Messenger Plus! Live ... leaked!
Posted by absorbation on 26 Mar 2006 (3155 views)
Oh noes, it is like a flashback again as MSN Messenger's most respected add-on has been leaked. So what info can I tell you, well the bear minimum, although I know rather a lot I am using other sources to compare what is in this post. First, the build version, was leaked last night, this is in fact one of the betas, but nowhere near the latest. The file size is 9MB in size and there are no issues installing and using.

However, if you do come across this beta, you may find yourself trapped in one of the many viruses out there, but if you are lucky enough for that not to happen to you, there is something you should be aware of. First, as it is a beta is maybe laced with many bugs, which can damage your computer. This is a warning, but then again I doubt that will stop you.

However, what will stop you is this. Patchou, will find the leaker and they will be struck from testing. In addition, the new leaking method means Patchou can turn the beta on/off by the flick of a button, you may find with the beta you cannot sign into Windows Live Messenger. So using the Messenger Plus! Live maybe impossible.

I cannot reveal anything, I have been trusted not to do so, so no features will be revealed unless they are made publicly on another website, I currently have one screenshot from, which is all you can get out of this at the moment. Sorry if the post sounded downhearted but it has ruined testing for us all. Messenger Plus! Live maybe delayed because of this situation. Have a nice day everyone!