Yahoo! Messenger & Windows Live Messenger
As of Yahoo! Messenger version 8 (and only version 8) Yahoo! Messenger users can now IM with their Windows Live Messenger friends :)
It all started back on 12 October 2005 when Yahoo! and Microsoft issued press releases (Yahoo!'s Press Release "Microsoft and Yahoo! Announce Landmark Interoperability Agreement to Connect Consumer Instant Messaging Communities Globally" Microsoft's Press Release: "Microsoft and Yahoo! Announce Landmark Interoperability Agreement to Connect Consumer Instant Messaging Communities Globally") stating they had both entered into an Interoperabilty agreement with each other... it was all a buzz and most of us poured over the ensuing articles where many speculated about the features, pro's and con's.
The press releases told us...
"In addition to exchanging instant messages, consumers from both communities will be able to see their friends’ online presence, share select emoticons, and easily add new contacts from either service to their friends’ list, all as part of their free IM service"
sounds perfect to me, ok so webcam wont be available nor will voice, file transfer etc.. but what a great start :)
Time rolled on, grumblings, mutteringss and rumours started to surface about if the big two would ever shake hands, both parties then released their beta's and it was during that developement phase they very subtly flicked the switch and snuck out the interoperabilty with 12 July 06 seeing both once more issue press releases announcing the arrival (Yahoo!'s Press Release "Yahoo! and Microsoft Bridge Global Instant Messaging Communities", Microsoft's Press Release "Yahoo! and Microsoft Bridge Global Instant Messaging Communities").
As Windows Live Messenger was out of beta and a full production release there was much ado (and ribbing :p ) as our Windows Live Messenger friends scrambled to persuade their Yahoo! Messenger buddies who hadn't made the leap to Yahoo! Messenger v8 to do so pronto so they could test out how well the two could shake hands... but alas Yahoo! Messenger was still in beta and some were reluctant to take the plunge, even out of Beta some still are as rumours and issues are abound with just how... sensitive... this version of our much loved Yahoo! Messenger seems to be. Many have leapt into the deep end and while some are enjoying the shared features of Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger some are bogged down in issues that are not user releated.
So does this mean I no longer need to fire up Windows Live Messenger? Nope.. I still need, use and like it alot. What if all my Windows Live Messenger friends joined the beta / partner program? Nope... I still need Windows Live it doesn't have webcam support. What if I get webcam support, will I then discard Windows Live Messenger? Nope... mostly because Windows 98 isn't supported by Windows Live Messenger ... and nope.. because I kinda like Windows Live Messenger and it's features... and big fat nope because I'm quite used to using the default Yahoo! key combinations to generate the smileys... most of which no longer work when I'm IM'ing with my Windows Live Messenger friends because when in IM Yahoo! has adopted the Windows Live Messenger key combos... quite perplexing really.
If you're going to start IM'ing with your Windows Live Messenger friends both you and your friend need to sign up for the beta program, Yahoo! users can sign up at http://messenger.yahoo.com/partners_msn.php and Windows Live users at http://ideas.live.com/, if only side signs up it wont work... no matter how hard you try so do double check that your friend has joined the program if issues crop up. For Yahoo! users who want to know what lies ahead during the sign up process we have a tutorial available at Yahoo! & Windows Live Signup and also how to add your Windows Live Messenger friends once completed, we've also covered the available smileys... just to take some of the guess work out of it for you :)