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