Celebrating its 10th birthday, Microsoft recently launched a new update of the most popular instant messaging client in the world; MSN Windows Live Messenger. Although many users are eager to get their hands on the long-awaited MSN 10, this upgrade doesn’t present any major features, since it was mainly released to fix critical security holes.
The most critical aspect of the Windows Live Messenger 9.0 (2009) 14.0.8089.726 upgrade is the fact that the release is designed to patch a number of vulnerabilities affecting versions 8.1, 8.5 and 14.0. Microsoft has published the Microsoft Security Advisory 973882 detailing the security holes that have been plugged with the 14.0.8089.726 Build.
Starting with August 25th 2009, Microsoft began to serve optional upgrade notifications to Windows Live Messenger clients’ versions 8.1 and 8.5. In mid September, the upgrades will become mandatory. Users are advised to deploy the Windows Live Messenger upgrade as soon as possible and to patch security flaws in Microsoft Active Template Library (ATL), which could allow for remote code execution in the eventuality of a successful attack. This vulnerability was also fixed for Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player as well.
Even though no major updates were release, the latest release of MSN Windows Live Messenger 2009 presents some minor features. Among them: a new interface featuring Aero Windows to match Windows Vista look. Moreover, Windows Live Messenger 2009 is now is fully compatible with Windows 7. On the other hand, our contact´s personal updates known as “What´s New” will be shown on each conversation window. This new version also integrates Bing –Microsoft search engine- into its interface. However, the most important feature is the possibility of importing friends/contacts from Facebook, MySpace, Linked In and Hi5, among others.
• Personalization. Add a profile picture or video, display a personal scene in the chat window, update the status message with your news, add a favorite link, or add what song you’re listening to.
• Integration of ‘What’s New’ feed. With the ‘What’s New’ feed in Messenger, you can stay in touch with the latest updates from your circle of friends at a glance, without any need to log in across multiple destinations.
• Photo sharing. Photo sharing lets you share and comment on pictures while you’re chatting.
• Favorites. Identify your most important contacts and they will appear at the top of your Messenger window, for easy access. It’s like speed dial for your Messenger contacts.
• Groups. Create groups on the fly and chat simultaneously with up to 20 members at the same time.
As you can see, the new MSN Windows Live Messenger 2009 update was released to fix critical security issues. Whether users like it or not, they will have to download the new Messenger 2009 in order to keep using the most used and most popular IM client in the world. Only in early October 2009 will version 14.0 of the IM client also receive optional upgrade notifications, which will become mandatory by the end of that month. Users that will not upgrade to Windows Live Messenger 9.0 (2009) 14.0.8089.726 will no longer be able to sign into the IM client.