Microsoft is preparing the launch of an all-new Windows Live Messenger as part of its Wave 4 version of Windows Live. The range of new features will appeal to the modern online generation and are a significant step up over previous versions.
Predictably, many of the changes are oriented around social networking and the ability to share media content with friends. It’s been tailored rather specifically to work with Windows 7 – though sadly XP hangers-on will have to upgrade to at least Vista to benefit.
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With 320 million users exchanging over 10 billion daily messages with friends, it can become a bit of a chore to juggle content on a humble desktop. The most immediate fix that will appeal to all is the option of a tabbed interface to store multiple conversations and quickly switch between them.
Provided you have an HD webcam the new version offers video chat in high definition along with the ability to play and share games. Video and photos can also be integrated into a chat and viewed together.
The wealth of social networking and media sharing sites such as Facebook, FlickR and YouTube can be tied in to provide users with updates in real time when new content is added, as well as sending messages to Facebook via the client. Updates can be filtered according to a set list of favorites to help prioritize your closest friends or family first.
Finally, Messenger Connect allows users to add Messenger Windows to (potentially) any website and mobile users can access the software via an iPhone or Windows Mobile device to offer many of the new advantages on the move.
No release date is confirmed for the software yet, though it’s expected to get a beta release over the next few months. Check out the video below to hear more about the new features in the mean time.