WLMessenger 9.0 slated for late 2008, early 2009

Despite version 8.5 being in private beta form, Microsoft has reportedly already started on Windows Live Messenger 9.0. Andrew Jenks, a Microsoft employee speaking at the Georgia Institute of Technology revealed that the WLMessenger 9.0 is planned for availability towards the end of 2008, but it could slip into 2009. A new Microsoft application programming interface, closely tied to the 9.0 client, will permit third-party developers to build upon Windows Live Messenger 9.0, creating customized versions of the instant messaging client or even programs that take advantage of the features available. Apparently, developers will be able to access a technical preview of the API concomitantly with the MIX08 conference next year.

In addition, Microsoft is also looking to include the first beta of the application programming interface with the finalized version of Windows Live Messenger 9.0. Over at Redmond, very early, internal builds of WLMessenger 9.0 already include some of the components that will make up the final API. One aspect that the softare giant is hard at work on is the interoperability of WLMessenger 9.0 with alternative instant messaging clients such as AIM, Gtalk and ICQ, in a similar manner to the integration with Yahoo Messenger. As well, while Apple users will not be getting an upgrade to the MSN Messenger for Mac, they will be able to access a new client designed with Mac OS X in mind.

News source: Softpedia

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After reading some comment about facebook (that i didn't agree with)... i realized that this sounds kinda like facebook itself. Used to be good, then they added 'facebook apps' and suddenly facebook is annoying, bloated and an overall pain in the ass. Hope its nothing like that.

With social networking being so big, isn't IM on its way out? It'd make more sense to shill Messenger through Facebook as a web app that can be auto-launched upon sign-in or even an extension through IE. Isn't that where software is going anyway -- through web?

That would be a ****ty move. Why would I have to sign-in through a social networking site like facebook if all I want to do is IM people? I don't wanna facebook or myspace my life on the web for everyone, and I can't understand how others do so.

A client only which gives you options to connect to web2.0 sites itself is one thing, but to take the client out and make it a web2.0 app is something I'd really hate.

I dont think the two are going to cancel eachother out in any way what so ever. Ones instant messaging, the other isn't. Facebook doesnt really have any functionality that captures MSN's ability to have 1 to 1 convos with people in real time. Writing on the wall would be a slow conversation and furthermore it isnt private. Not to mention Facebook isn't suited to video, audio or group chat scenarious.

Even if you just mean sending personal messages..then thats really not a step up from Email which has been around for a long time.

If anything the two will only help eachother. Social networking makes finding people and information about them easier, where IM clients are one of the better ways to then stay in contact with them once you have their account details (especially if you want voice or video chats or convos with more than 2 ppl in them).

Sounds like a decent move by Microsoft although, but as with everything, they're a half a century behind. Trillian has had this for years and Microsoft won't be able to compete with Trillian Astra.

Just a personal comment, but I think Astra looks like junk. Sure it'll be popular with a certain crowd, but I doubt it stands much in the way of competition.

billyea said,
Just a personal comment, but I think Astra looks like junk. Sure it'll be popular with a certain crowd, but I doubt it stands much in the way of competition.

We may sooner have an alpha release of WML before a Beta release of Trillian Astra.

As well, while Apple users will not be getting an upgrade to the MSN Messenger for Mac, they will be able to access a new client designed with Mac OS X in mind.

What the hell does that mean...? MSN 7 is still supposed to be out near december and January, right?

I believe it already is vaporware. They released Yahoo! Messenger 9.0 Beta out of nowhere with no Vista version in sight. Not to mention 9.0 really BLOWS.

xiphi said,
I believe it already is vaporware. They released Yahoo! Messenger 9.0 Beta out of nowhere with no Vista version in sight. Not to mention 9.0 really BLOWS.

Correction: Yahoo has always "blown". Been trying to like it since 2000...

I actually liked one or two versions of Yahoos client, before they had the ads and before all those animated chat backgrounds appeared. In it's day it was rather clean. It's gone downhill since but and noone I know ever used it anyway

I agree. I think WLM 9.0 "MUST" use WPF, at least in Vista. If not, then wtf is the point of developing it, if your own apps don't even take advantage of it? I've given up hope on Yahoo's WPF version of Yahoo Messenger. I doubt it'll ever be released. In fact their biggest mistake about that was letting us know about it in the first place.

Oh good.

I hope somebody somewhere actually develops a client that is half worth its salt.

The current open source clients (or at least any client that I've seen running under Linux anyway) are cool but none of them have video or audio support, features that I really do use. They also have what seem like really lame interfaces.

I don't care for the WLM client itself either.

And why have they hobbled the Mac version so badly? Why can't the Mac just have Windows Live Messenger? Seriously. The crap client for the Mac is actually one of my main reasons for not being able to cope with Mac desktop software full time. There is a Mac client similar to Pidgin that works well, but again it's lacking when it comes to features.

Being able to talk to users on any IM service will be cool I think.

Why is this going to take so long to be released though?

(Helba said @ #2)
The current open source clients (or at least any client that I've seen running under Linux anyway) are cool but none of them have video or audio support

Thats because Microsoft uses its own codecs.. and isn't in a hurry to tell anyone about how they work. I think Adium is adding Video and audio.. which means its almost certainly came from Gaim/Pidgen.