It probably should’ve been called MSN Messenger 8, but due to the ‘Live‘ rebranding service exercise at M$, it has been called Windows Live Messenger (WLM). I did start using it months ago when it just went into beta but since it was horribly buggy, I uninstalled it and went back to 7.5 almost immediately.
However the last beta version which I’ve been using for over a month or so before the recent release of the final version has been very stable so that shouldn’t be an issue now. Although I believe there still are some issues with the offline messaging.
Main attraction to upgrade to this version would be the offline messaging which has been (very) long overdue (think about it, the ancient ICQ had offline messaging a decade ago..) and a more slick looking interface. Apart from those, it’s very much the same messenger as before.
The eagerly awaited integration with Yahoo! Messenger to allow users of MSN/WLM and YM to send messages to each other (without the use of multi-network clients like Trillian, GAIM, etc) has not materialised as yet, although both services has recently started advertising it much more prominently than before.
A WLM login page screenshot courtesy of Wikipedia:
More screenshots can be found in the entry at Wikipedia.
While on IMs, Yahoo! Messenger has released the beta version 8. I don’t use it much, so I haven’t tested it out.