Yakety Yak! Today we’re releasing an all-new voice-enabled Beta version of Yahoo! Messenger for Vista. We have included the voice and SMS features our users have been requesting, an all-new Voice Visualization feature, and lots of improvements to help improve overall speed and stability.
You can now make free PC-to-PC calls to other Yahoo! Messenger friends, or if you have a Phone Out account, make low-cost calls to landlines and mobile phones for as low as 1¢ a minute (see rates). Our new voice features also include fun Voice Visualizations that animate you and your friend’s voices while you’re on a call. Be sure to check out the demo video below to see how it works.
We’ve also added support for free text messaging to mobile phones (SMS). Just enter a friend’s mobile phone number, type a message and click Send. Your friend will receive your message on their mobile phone and when they reply back, it comes to you in Yahoo! Messenger for Vista. No more squinting over your small phone screen or wearing out your thumbs. Note that it’s free for you to send SMS messages from Messenger but your friend may incur charges for receiving depending on their mobile data plan.
One of the most requested features in the feedback is e-mail alerts. We’re happy to say that with this new Beta version, you’ll now receive a pop-up alert in the lower right corner of your screen and see a new icon on the contact list window when you have new Yahoo! Mail. Just click either one to go right to your new e-mail. (You can also turn off Mail alerts in preferences).
We’re also going global! We’re thrilled to be launching Yahoo! Messenger for Vista Beta in Germany and Taiwan. These are just the first of many countries we plan to support.
Be sure to watch the brief demo video of Yahoo! Messenger for Vista Beta to see all these new improvements in action:
We really value your feedback and hope that after you try this latest Beta, you’ll stop by our feedback form and tell us what you think, especially regarding Voice Visualizations. You can access the feedback form here, or just click the Feedback button located on the contact list window or at the top of any IM conversation window. We really want to hear from you!
And lastly, please remember that we are still in Beta mode so even this latest version will not have all the features you may love from the classic version of Yahoo! Messenger. From the preview feedback we’ve received we know that you really want webcam video, archiving, photo sharing and more. We are working on these types of features and appreciate your patience while we get them ready.
We hope you enjoy Yahoo! Messenger for Vista Beta; download it here. We look forward to receiving your feedback!
Senior Product Manager, Yahoo! Messenger for Vista
Currently, we manage our own end to end services that enable users to call from Yahoo! Messenger to regular or mobile phones around the world for as low as 1¢ a minute. Upon integration, Jajah will power these services and we will leverage their VoIP network for delivering Phone Out and In services.
Rest assured that our voice services will remain the same and as a user, you will not notice any change. We are committed to achieving the highest possible call quality and ease of use. This change does not affect our free PC to PC calls; these will continue to be handled by Yahoo! Messenger (and still be free!).
We’ll keep you posted here on the blog about any additional voice news. For more information on Yahoo! Messenger’s premium voice services, please visit http://voice.yahoo.com.
Every year, Yahoo! gets into the spirit of Earth Day and educates our users about what they can personally do to make a difference for the environment. This year, our focus is on the “Reuse” part of the often heard “Reduce-Reuse-Recycle” creedo.
Did you know that there are reuse groups around the world whose mission is to give used items away for free to other people in their community who can use them rather than throwing them away? Items like furniture, dishes, bikes, and electronics.
You can find out more about Earth Day and how to become part of the worldwide reuse effort on the Yahoo! Earth Day website at http://green.yahoo.com/earth-day. You can even find a local reuse group in your area whose members may need some of those items that are gathering dust in your closet or garage. Plus you never know what free items you might come away with.
While you’re thinking green, why not get your Avatar in the mood too? Head over to the Yahoo! Avatars website to get decked out in fun Earth Day apparel. Then help spread the word about Earth Day to all your friends on Messenger!