New Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 screenshots

A new group of Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 screenshots have been revealed by livesino.net, a month after Neowin originally posted the first screenshots. Since our previous post, the Windows Live team improved on the Windows 7 taskbar integration, adding in quick status markers for available, away, busy and appear offline.

Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 will come with tabbed conversations, much the same way Internet Explorer 8 works. One other noticeable change is the 'x' close button at the bottom of users' chat windows, possibly allowing people to hide the advertisement.


Other changes are in the "Select an Emoticon" menu, with a rearrangement of icons with Winks now included. The 'Sharing Photos' feature has been updated to allow the user to share their on-line photo albums and search for photos on the Web, with their contact, using Bing Images.




All above images courtesy of Livesino.net

Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 will also display Twitter, Facebook and blog posts directly in your contact list.

Reminder: These are likely to be shots from early builds so may not reflect the final UI.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Google and HTC building a tablet to take on Apple?

Next Story

Nexus One hands-on video

161 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

wow that is the new look for the msn! I am quite puzzled to this as it looks slightlly outstreched saying that its zoomed for viewing and mite not be actual size! well the most visual part of this that I dislike straight away is the advertisment area way to big for windows live as its a consumer and part of windows software. I dont think that it needs to be this big I mean people already purchased windows why implement adds on these products I think it anoys people, they thinking more about revenue than giving consumers a more biger expirence, as far as the new social feeds aspect I think its ok as loads of people are on social networking sites these days and on msn so quite a good feature to keep it all as part of the social interaction when talking to friends on msn, Icons could of had a revamp and some design aspects of it but as its not the final version anything can be expected,

Why couldn't Microsoft keep it simple like they did with the Mac version of Messenger? Sure, it can't do video conferencing for personal accounts (it can for enterprise), but all of that bloat in the Windows version makes me go ballistic!

apatch removes ALL adverts as mine has none. Will end up using an updated apatch for this version as well.

Them that complain about adverts etc, use it.

Anymore it just looks like they want to turn the whole application into something that resembles Myspace :P (The website not the messenger)

Wow, just horrid. I know you can disable the ads and stuff, but it still looks bloated. I remember one concept that was around sometime ago, just before the release of live messenger 8, it looked awesome. If they're going with a split screen system, why not do something like this? miles better, imho.

I like this and the what you missed thing can be used for feeds , facebook posts etc.. and shared photos to me though is past dated .. i mean that is what facebook is so if u can share pics on there and link it to facebook they got a winner.. As for the UI its clean and simple could use abit more color but this is an older build of msn with some mods but clearly it works.. but microsoft wants adverts so even this wont work..

It may just be me, but I feel like Microsoft needs to focus on the online half of this equation. The "Live Gallery" and "My Live" are both of the last era of the style and really need to be updated, especially the gallery with all the gadgets being labeled "Windows Vista" vs., maybe, "Windows 7" to just keep that bit of history under the carpet.

I hate how screenshots always blank out most of the content with a big white box. I want to see this stuff in context to get a better idea of how it looks. If you're that worried, use a blur filter.

It's odd, I haven't used WLM in a long time on a regular basis, even though I sign in daily, but I certainly hope that there are some revisions to be made to this look before it's finalized since a bit of it looks like a mess.

yikes, I used to like WLM but it has become a huge mess. I also stopped using Windows all together but that's off topic hehe.

A bit off topic...but should a staff member be advocating the removal ads from a service, for which the ads pay for, when you'd moderate, warn or outright ban someone for even suggesting doing that here? Just sayin'.

The decision to prohibit the use of ad-blockers on Neowin was made by the admins, not me. I don't care about Microsoft's loss of ad revenue simply because I disabled ads in Windows Live Messenger. And my opinion stands, as a member (not a staff member). Don't let my lime green name get to you!

iamwhoiam said,
A bit off topic...but should a staff member be advocating the removal ads from a service, for which the ads pay for, when you'd moderate, warn or outright ban someone for even suggesting doing that here? Just sayin'.

I agree. As a staff member I think you have to be above such things...

Anaron said,
The decision to prohibit the use of ad-blockers on Neowin was made by the admins, not me. I don't care about Microsoft's loss of ad revenue simply because I disabled ads in Windows Live Messenger. And my opinion stands, as a member (not a staff member). Don't let my lime green name get to you!

You may not care about Microsoft's loss of ad revenue, but your comment does prove that Neowin is very much a hypocrite when it comes to such matters. My opinion stands as well. And your lime green does absolutely nothing for me. Sorry.

iamwhoiam said,
You may not care about Microsoft's loss of ad revenue, but your comment does prove that Neowin is very much a hypocrite when it comes to such matters. My opinion stands as well. And your lime green does absolutely nothing for me. Sorry.

He's a moderator. He just said. He's not staff.

As long as he "works" here, that makes him part of the staff. Since they don't want people to block ads here, they shouldn't for others.

iamwhoiam said,
As long as he "works" here, that makes him part of the staff. Since they don't want people to block ads here, they shouldn't for others.

Mods, afaik, are just volunteers. They're still allowed to have opinions, especially if they were not and won't be involved in the decisions.

What a mess and waste of screen estate. Hopefully the Mac version won't turn out like that if and when it finally arrives.

I don't like how the main contact window looks. It looks too full and bulky.

I'm glad Microsoft are finally updating WLM. It seems like forever since they did a proper update.

So you people think it's ok to judge software based on a few pictures before you can even use it and see what the options are.

Yeah rightio not a very good way of going about things.

Yes I do. If the designers had any sense, they'd be paying attention to what people think of these early designs and changing them.
Not that I have any hope they're actually going to do that...

Jimcando said,
Yes I do. If the designers had any sense, they'd be paying attention to what people think of these early designs and changing them.
Not that I have any hope they're actually going to do that...

We're not meant to see anything until they make it publically available therefore they have no reason to take notice besides everything people are saying is BS until people get to use it for real.

Software like this takes time .. hense now why they do not do as many upgrades now.. Microsoft is trying to make things more stable for one, as well as include as many features as they can within that .. its sorta like buying a car with a lot extras.. sometimes things break and the more things you have the more problems your likely to have.. same with anything else in life actually! Designers & programmers everything into account.. when doing such things tabbed conversation where tested awhile back internally .. but there are reasons to why it was not included until now.

yes Pidgin is an opition and many others that do not use a lot of hard drive space.. and are free based without the ads.. I keep telling microsoft but they say use a-patch and there will be more integration with things soon!

djstar8 said,
yes Pidgin is an opition and many others that do not use a lot of hard drive space.. and are free based without the ads.. I keep telling microsoft but they say use a-patch and there will be more integration with things soon!

Microsoft says use A-Patch? Hm...

Oh, and that's 31! lol

I look forward to making a portable sandboxed version of this ;)
Not installing this crap on my machine, the bloat is disturbing.

A-patch .. as well as if they design windows live 2010.. mess patch might put together or have something in store too

djstar8 said,
A-patch .. as well as if they design windows live 2010.. mess patch might put together or have something in store too :)

Do you develop A-Patch? I ask since you've mentioned it like 30 times in the article comments... LOL

I honestly thought with WLM 9 things wouldn't get any worse.
Well I was clearly wrong.

I rarely use MSN these days but when I do it's either on MSN 5, MSN 7.1 or WLM 8.5.
It's nice knowing how the connection-authentication method works so you can get old versions working fine.

funny cause those no longer work .. so I am guessing you do not go on and with web messenger being discontinued what are you going to do..

Humm, did you not read?

I worked out years ago when MSN 5 stopped working (but still worked on NT) how the MSN client authenticates, what information it sends... So using that, I tried a couple of things, and to my surprise; you can make any version of MSN still work by doing a 'small hack', takes about 20 seconds.

Very handy

djstar8 said,
Well that is illegal .. so be my guest to hack ill be forwarding that to admin here and then on to microsoft.

Rofl! Loser

djstar8 said,
dont **** me off i can have u band from all together :)

LOL! You need a time out! Out of the sandbox!

I still prefer google talk's browser plugin. clean, simple, efficient. Maybe I'm getting too old to grasp why anyone would want all that crap in a communication program.

I do agree with you .. the ads are alot.. but that is what a-patch is for .. Microsoft knows that too.. but they say a lot of the average people meaning not technically advanced type people know this so they still make money!

This bears repeating:

Afaik, the main window does not have to show the social stream. The icon in the top right almost certainly switches it on and off.

If you hate it, you can turn it off. That it exists as an option won't kill you.

They are are not fake cleary.. I was told these would change come final build and skinning.. will have a role in that too .. placement of things is key :).. otherwise It just annoys and makes things look worse

djstar8 said,
They are are not fake cleary.. I was told these would change come final build and skinning.. will have a role in that too .. placement of things is key :).. otherwise It just annoys and makes things look worse

What do you mean "clearly" they aren't?

This was the thread where those picture appeared: http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?show...857214&st=0

Notice the lack of an options link? I seriously doubt they'd entirely hide the options. Perhaps not fake, but at least the long, looong name is messing with the design.

thank god for a -patch.. to get rid of all the **** .. microsoft stuff it and bloat the installer too and have **** for features.. clearly nobody will use this.. wonders when facebook will come out with there own

Kirkburn said,
Clearly you should wait and see.

We shall wait and see a-patches popularity rising faster then the messenger update will xD

Digix said,
We shall wait and see a-patches popularity rising faster then the messenger update will xD

Well, that means people will be using it, right?

Neowin you failed at this post.

* First of all it's LiveSino, not LiveSuno
* You posted your own *old* screenshot at the bottom of the post like that one is still in any way relevant and added "All images courtesy of Livesino.net" directly below it.
* You say "Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 will also allow Twitter, Facebook and blog posts directly in your contact list" while there is no sign anywhere of that in the screenshots, where do you base this on?
* The first screenshot in this post is edited, while LiveSino originally posted it back in December 28 without blanking out anything so you can see the contacts list: http://livesino.net/archives/2386.live
* The order in which you show the screenshots doesn't make sense in combination with the text text between it. Reading LiveSide's post will make much more sense: http://liveside.net/main/archive/2010/01/0...s-revealed.aspx

I agree. I've said many times before that Andrew Lyle's writing skills are getting worse.

Sorry Andrew, but it's true.

the UI ... is changing they are just doing a pre-layout then will skin after they find out where everything is going

djstar8 said,
the UI ... is changing they are just doing a pre-layout then will skin after they find out where everything is going :)

I hope so. Because this is rather ugly.

Clearly this is the ugliest thing I have ever seen from microsoft.. oh wait they fill every ****ing thing with ads.. greedy greedy .. Just use facebook its got a free chat messenger and if you must get a blackberry with blackberry messenger and no ads.. i mean I am a beta tester for this product.. and I hate it already microsoft is going backwards not forwards.. Yahoo messenger has better UI and features.. Microsoft get your act together!... what customers want.. not full of ads to make money

Facebook got ads. Yahoo! Messenger has ads too. Microsoft is a business, and business can't just produce softwares for free.

Who said the big ads are to stay anyway? Wave 4 isn't even in beta stages yet and we're making assumptions about the ads. Check the screenshots carefully, at least two screenshots i can see shows that the new version still has the good ol' text ads.

Yes they do have ads but .you can provide software for free .. not everyone designs things for money...that is wrong with society you think Uniux or any of those no they are free web based.. Microsoft has enough money.. cleary they are just trying to build a monopoly.. then have people end up paying for the service in the end.. they are trying to buy facebook for that exact reason..

djstar8 said,
.. not everyone designs things for money...that is wrong with society you think Uniux or any of those no they are free web based..

A good percentage of *nix developers DO GET PAID for developing *nix and quite a few distros are pay for. So yeah, they do design stuff for money as well.

djstar8 said,
Yes they do have ads but .you can provide software for free .. not everyone designs things for money...that is wrong with society you think Uniux or any of those no they are free web based.. Microsoft has enough money.. cleary they are just trying to build a monopoly.. then have people end up paying for the service in the end.. they are trying to buy facebook for that exact reason..

Sorry to say, but I don't think you understand business... I guess for some the line between business and charity are blurred...

I think your understandment of what is free else where.. microsoft does not need to make money they make enough.. I know business very well

djstar8 said,
I think your understandment of what is free else where.. microsoft does not need to make money they make enough.. I know business very well :)

No. You don't. Your arguments make no sense.

cleary they are just trying to build a monopoly

No, entirely subsidising messenger to get rid of ads would be attempting to do that. Having messenger stand on its own feet via advertising revenue is not.

Instead of trying to make it look pretty, why doesn't someone at M$ think about adding features that other PC Messengers dont have like multiple video chat.

Yes, I appreciate there are paid programs that do video conferencing but the majority are for business & enterprise and chargable via a monthly fee.

The average home user may just want to video chat with more than 1 person.

oovoo allows upto 3 people for free but anything over that and you have to pay a subscription per month.

Skype arent interested, the Skype forums are full of requests aged well over a year.

The problem is, it's complex to achieve. Quick example: in 1 to 1 connections, it's a "simple" exchange of data. In 1 to 1 to 1, you are receiving two streams and sending streams to two locations - that's already a doubling. You also run into upload limits, and, I'm sure many other limitations I can't think of right now.

The fact that few have done it should suggest it's not a case of laziness.

Kirkburn said,
The problem is, it's complex to achieve. Quick example: in 1 to 1 connections, it's a "simple" exchange of data. In 1 to 1 to 1, you are receiving two streams and sending streams to two locations - that's already a doubling. You also run into upload limits, and, I'm sure many other limitations I can't think of right now.

The fact that few have done it should suggest it's not a case of laziness.

Indeed. And what about when there's lag or issues? Now they have to field all sorts of complaints from users because their internet is slow... That's a lot of data going back and forth... I don't think my internet would be able to handle it...

I will keep using ooVoo with 6 live video feeds producing no lag due to the excellent compression of its software / my 50mb internet and quad core pc.

M$ may catch up one day. I mean its not like they are the worlds biggest and best software developer.


ecotrojan said,
I will keep using ooVoo with 6 live video feeds producing no lag due to the excellent compression of its software / my 50mb internet and quad core pc.

M$ may catch up one day. I mean its not like they are the worlds biggest and best software developer.


Well, messenger is not video conferencing software, and is free. ooVoo is video conferencing software and is not free for more than 2 people. It may also be acting as a host, and most people do not have 50mb internet and a quad core PC.

Kirkburn said,

Well, messenger is not video conferencing software, and is free. ooVoo is video conferencing software and is not free for more than 2 people. It may also be acting as a host, and most people do not have 50mb internet and a quad core PC.

So what is Live messenger ? Is it not a means to view 1:1 video conferencing?

ooVoo is free upto 3 users.

I really hope they don't put ads in the new Mac version that is apparently coming. I bet nobody bothers to patch that...

-1 A-Patch could be part of the reason there are more ads, people people like you who block the ads (and therefor reduce revenue) force MS to add more (and bigger) ads to make up for it, so the people who do the right thing once again get punished (N)

EDIT: They should add a optional subscription option for WLM with no ads, so people like you who don't want ads can pay MS and in return you get an ad free WLM client without needing to hack/compromise the client. Everyone wins, MS get their money and you get no ads. Naturally I'm sure people will just whinge "why should I have to pay for something that is free?" but it was never free, it was paid for by the ads and since you blocked those ads your technically stealing it. That is my 2 cents, take with a grain of salt :P

I'm sticking to WLM 2009 thanks, the text ads at the bottom of the chat windows was bad enough but I gotta deal with big image based ads now? and I hate what they did to the main window....well done MS you completely ruined WLM!! Finally considering the money MS is making, I don't see any justification for more and larger ads throughout the program..well other then greed of cause :P

This might be a shocker, but Microsoft is a business. So they give you a product for free, and try to offset the cost with ad revenue... Hardly outrageous IMO... As any other business that size as well, they run departments separately. Each is expected to make a profit. To expect or accept losses in a department is bad business and foolish.

I'm well aware of MS being a business! but what they are doing is unacceptable, filling your products full of obtrusive ads in one good way of driving customers away, that is bad business no matter what way you look at it.

I wish people would rather blur or mosaic out personal information they don't want to show, instead of just clearing them out clean. The last one looks really wrong. :P

yodat said,
Once it had a clean design... Now getting fuglier and fuglier...

The design is still in the trial and error phase I believe (well, at least I hope).

That refers to details i believe... Just look @ the current UI design...

It's not getting any better in terms of usability and aesthetics... Getting backwards. So many space wasted on the screen estate, too many cpu cycles wasted...

pielor said,
lol, i hope live messenger will die someday, they just dont deserve it! greedy microsoft :\

How are they greedy, because of the advertisement? If they were greedy they would have a subscription fee for Windows Live Messenger.

Not really, they get paid more for bigger ads, hence greed... A subscription fee would just be a stake in the heart for WLM.

what said,
Not really, they get paid more for bigger ads, hence greed... A subscription fee would just be a stake in the heart for WLM.

You are making a foolish assumption that the current adverts are allowing them to break even, if they are not it's not out of greed but neccesity. They're a business, not a charity.

Glendi said,
You're using it for free, they deserve to at least have advertisements.

If it were as small as Wave 3, sure. The size of the ads they're using in Wave 4 is outrageous.

rm20010 said,
If it were as small as Wave 3, sure. The size of the ads they're using in Wave 4 is outrageous.

Dude, it's still in alpha/beta stage. They probably haven't gone around fixing everything yet, their probably just adding features at the moment.

pielor said,
lol, i hope live messenger will die someday, they just dont deserve it! greedy microsoft :\

That's ridiculous. They're a business that is giving you a free product that is ad supported. Hardly unusual or outrageous... Would you like to cover the development costs of WLM and then let us all use it for free and with no ads?

Needless? Yeah, because all those dozens of servers and gigabytes of bandwidth used each week are absolutely 100% free of charge.

TCLN Ryster said,
Needless? Yeah, because all those dozens of servers and gigabytes of bandwidth used each week are absolutely 100% free of charge.

Why shouldn't they be free of charge? They're already promoting Bing in the new version, no need to throw in more ads.

TCLN Ryster said,
Needless? Yeah, because all those dozens of servers and gigabytes of bandwidth used each week are absolutely 100% free of charge.

It's Microsoft they're not going broke anytime soon they don't need to put adverts of that nature all over it. one small ad at the bottom of main window would be enough. But no, we'll take up 50% of your screen instead of displaying useful content display complete rubbish nobody cares about...

Like most data center and network providers they probably don't pay for data consumption only the speed.

PCBEEF said,
Why shouldn't they be free of charge? They're already promoting Bing in the new version, no need to throw in more ads.

That's not how it works. Promoting another ad-supported product doesn't suddenly "balance the books".

TCLN Ryster said,
Needless? Yeah, because all those dozens of servers and gigabytes of bandwidth used each week are absolutely 100% free of charge.

You don't see Apple's iChat being filled with ads. Nor does the Mac version of Microsoft Messenger contain any ads.

.Neo said,
You don't see Apple's iChat being filled with ads. Nor does the Mac version of Microsoft Messenger contain any ads.

It's also not used anywhere near as much, and is included within the OS itself.

The cost of Messenger to MS is chump change to their bottom line. They can avoid the ads and even their most anal bean counters wouldn't notice the revenue offset blip. 8P

excalpius said,
The cost of Messenger to MS is chump change to their bottom line. They can avoid the ads and even their most anal bean counters wouldn't notice the revenue offset blip. 8P

That may be, but a sensible company wouldn't let that occur with all "chump change" projects, as they'd add up collectively to something much greater.

Kirkburn said,
It's also not used anywhere near as much, and is included within the OS itself.

But somehow the servers supporting Microsoft Messenger and iChat are free because less people are using them? It being included with the OS has little to do with it. WLM is a Microsoft product and Windows doesn't have a build-in IM application anymore.

Kirkburn said,
That may be, but a sensible company wouldn't let that occur with all "chump change" projects, as they'd add up collectively to something much greater.

Exactly. It's good to see that someone in this discussion has some sense... Free products in this day and age are often ad supported. Unless you're willing to pay for the product, I don't see what the big deal is...

Microsoft is one of the most richest companies in the world. They should start acting like it. These ads are dumb. I don't think I want to upgrade to Windows Live Messenger Wave 4. This is ****.

.Neo said,
But somehow the servers supporting Microsoft Messenger and iChat are free because less people are using them? It being included with the OS has little to do with it. WLM is a Microsoft product and Windows doesn't have a build-in IM application anymore.

No, they're cheaper, and the revenue from any ads would be much lower. I did not say they are free to produce or maintain.

Electric Jolt said,
Microsoft is one of the most richest companies in the world. They should start acting like it. These ads are dumb. I don't think I want to upgrade to Windows Live Messenger Wave 4. This is ****.

With that thinking, they would stay rich for long...

Screenshots are fine and dandy but I am still waiting for official releases from Microsoft before I judge the software.

Unlike most that seem to judge it before using/seeing the real/latest version.

s3n4te said,
**** I thought the last picture was photoshopped when it first came out. It is legit, and it is still fugly!

It's because its had everything blanked out.

JTaylor69 said,
So the advertisement has got bigger in chats!?

I'd hate it if it has given that there are many on 10inch netbook displays; the chat window is already far too bulky as it is.