As of today, Yahoo! Messenger for Vista will no longer be available for download from the Yahoo! Messenger website. We have discontinued stand-alone releases of the Yahoo! Messenger for Vista application in order to focus on delivering one Windows experience that is optimized for all Windows users.
This decision will help us increase efficiencies on our team and deliver one consistent, full-featured product for all of our Windows users. Our application was based on the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) platform which we will continue to experiment with and invest in. The knowledge we gathered from developing Yahoo! Messenger for Vista will also help us improve future versions of our Windows software.
We realize many of you have been with us from the first launch of Yahoo! Messenger for Vista and we want to thank you for trying it and providing great feedback with each new release.
If you’re using Yahoo! Messenger for Vista, you can continue to use it however we will not add any more features or provide product support. To enjoy full Yahoo! Messenger functionality including photo sharing, webcam and chat rooms, we recommend downloading and installing the latest version of Yahoo! Messenger 9.0, which also works on Windows Vista: http://messenger.yahoo.com/download/win
Thanks again for your support of Yahoo! Messenger for Vista. We look forward to receiving your feedback on the new Yahoo! Messenger 9.0 (just go to the Help menu and choose “Send Feedback…”).
Today we’re releasing a refresh of Yahoo! Messenger for Vista. For this refresh we focused most of our time on bug and crash fixes and added a few enhancements to make the user interface more intuitive. Here’s what you’ll find in this latest version (22.214.171.1246):
Persistent text formatting
Now when you change your font, text size or color for your IM messages, we’ll save your settings between sessions. So if you like to IM in font size 14 using red letters in Arial Bold, we’ll remember!
We updated the user interface for the voice feature to make the buttons more clear and added a new voice visualization called “Color Burst”. Plus there’s an updated incoming call notification that appears front and center when a call comes in.
No webcam yet, but we’re making that clear
A lot of our feedback has been from users asking for webcam support or users that look for the webcam feature but can’t find it in the product. Currently, we don’t have webcam support in Yahoo! Messenger for Vista but to shorten our users’ search for it, we added a webcam menu item. Those not in-the-know will get a message telling them that webcam support is coming soon.
As always, we welcome your feedback on Yahoo! Messenger for Vista. We are thrilled with the amount of feedback we receive. It’s extremely helpful in identifying bugs, nagging issues and other performance problems that we then fix in future releases. So once you’ve downloaded and tried this latest version, be sure to stop by and let us know what you like and don’t like. Feedback form
Speaking of feedback, please also be sure to report any Windows Vista crash errors that you encounter when using the product. You know the window we’re talking about – the one that asks you if you want to send information about the crash or just end now. Every time you report from that window, it sends us valuable (but completely anonymous) information about what happened.
I picked up a new tip today for Yahoo! Messenger for Vista Beta. By using the keyboard and the scroll wheel on your mouse, you can increase or reduce the size of your contacts in your list, or zoom in and out of your IM conversation. Here’s how it works…
Click anywhere on your Yahoo! Messenger for Vista contact list window. Then hold down the Ctrl key and with your other hand, move the scroll wheel on your mouse up and down. You’ll see the contact list size menu appear and as your roll the wheel, the lever will move and the size of your contacts will change.
The same thing works in the IM window. Click anywhere in the IM window, then hold Ctrl while scrolling your mouse wheel. Voila – instant enlargement of your text (and your emoticons).
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
This week, our Yahoo! Messenger for Vista team is at the Microsoft MIX conference in Las Vegas (March 5-7). The MIX conference is a chance for developers utilizing Microsoft platforms to discuss new ideas and technologies, as well as share what they’ve created. Last year our team hosted a couple of sessions on Windows Presentation Foundation and its integration with Yahoo! Messenger for Vista.
Great work is continuing on Yahoo! Messenger for Vista, and members of the team will be meeting with reporters and technologists at MIX to give them a preview of what’s coming up in the next Beta release. We wanted to make sure our readers and users got a sneak peek as well.
The key feature in the next Beta release will be voice, allowing users to make free PC-to-PC calls and low-cost PC-to-Phone calls right from their PC. And if you have a Phone In number, you will also be able to receive calls from your friends in Yahoo! Messenger for Vista.
As part of the voice feature, our designers have been working on some cool voice visualizations for the product that leverage the WPF 3D integration. So even if you’re not having a very interesting phone conversation, we guarantee you’ll be mesmerized by the awesome effects.
SMS (short message service) will also be part of this next release, allowing users to send text messages from Yahoo! Messenger for Vista to a friend’s mobile phone for free. We will also be adding Yahoo! Mail alerts to this next version due to the large amount of feedback we received from preview users. Yes, your feedback does make a difference!
While we don’t have a definitive release date for this next Beta version of Yahoo! Messenger for Vista, we’ll keep you posted here on the blog. In the meantime, if you are running Windows Vista, please download and try out the preview version available at http://messenger.yahoo.com/vista. Visit our feedback form anytime to tell us what you like and don’t like about your experience. If you’d like to receive additional updates via email, please join the free Yahoo! Messenger for Vista group.
Senior Product Manager, Yahoo! Messenger for Vista
P.S. – If you’re interested in any of the sessions taking place at MIX, you can view them 24 hours after they happen at http://sessions.visitmix.com/.