Microsoft has released Windows Live Messenger Beta 8.0.0689, which is the third version of beta for Windows Live Messenger which set to replace MSN Messenger as Microsoft flagship IM client and the version is going to be the final draft before the final release. The download is open for the public (yeh, everybody) after signing up, although previously it’s available by invitation code only.

Windows Live Messenger

The new Windows Live Messenger Beta 8.0.0689 sees a lot of improvements according to Inside Windows Live Messenger (discontinued). Some new features and enhancements mentioned include:

  • Integration with new Windows Live Sign-in Assistant for IE remembers your ID credentials if you often sign-in with multiple accounts or share a computer (with people you trust). So there is no need to retype the ID everytime.
  • Windows Live Messenger remembers the display pictures and main window color of each ID, and changes to it right after you pick your ID.
  • New better looking dancing buddies icon during sign-in.
  • Sweet colorization Of the main Messenger window, sort Vista-like
  • Better looking icons.
  • New Windows Live Call interface which enables computer to phone calling, from Verizon
  • ‘To: Line’ moved locations.
  • Hiding display pictures in one conversation window now hides them in every conversation window.
  • Scrolling toolbar on the main and conversation windows to enable users to get all the functionality despite windows made small.
  • New default display picture.
  • Performance improvements and faster compared with MSN Messenger 7.5.
  • MSN Today renamed Today Page.
  • All consecutive instant messages from the same person are grouped and merged together under a single name, instead of appearing individually separately under many name of the same. (If it’s not enable by default, you can turn the feature on in the Options Menu)
  • Copy and paste your friends’ personal messages.
  • Integration with Rhapsody, a music store. (for US only)
  • Answer an incoming call directly.
  • New sounds management which allows you to control which sound you want to play and when, and also enables you to upload and customize or personalize with your own sounds.

All these improvements are made on top of the already incorporated new features for Windows Live Messenger on the first 2 beta, such as Windows Live Contacts, unified contacts, sharing folders, ability to send offline instant messages, and video conversation.

There are a lot of improvements in the new beta, however, some users have wanted more features such as tabbed conservation windows, visible list (or while list) that allows those trusted to see you online although you have set to invisible (or appears offline), viewing message history option when right clicking on the contact and etc.

Download Windows Live Messenger Beta at Windows Live Ideas.

Update: Windows Live Messenger 8.1 (for Windows Server 2003 and x64 XP) and Windows Live Messenger 8.5 are available for free download.