It's Windows Live Messenger 8.5, one way or the other for the users of Microsoft's instant messaging clients that are still using the beta builds of version 8.5. Tailored to the Windows Vista operating system, the final bits of Windows Live Messenger 8.5 were made available at the beginning of November, with beta versions scattered throughout 2007, following the release of Windows Live Messenger 8.1. Build 8.5 was not only Microsoft's way to taking the support offered by Windows Live Messenger 8.1 for Vista a step further, but also to evolve the IM client as a part of the Windows Live Wave 2 suite of products and services. With Windows Live Messenger 8.5 available for approximately 4 months now, Microsoft is looking to move all the users that are still running beta builds to the final version.
"A lot of you have already upgraded, and for that we thank you and hope you're enjoying it as much as we enjoyed building it. Starting soon, we're going to make it easier for those of you who haven't upgraded yet to get onto our latest and greatest. This will happen in two phases. First, everyone running Windows XP or Windows Vista will get a prompt encouraging you to upgrade. When you accept the upgrade, the new unified installer will launch and start upgrading Messenger. While it's installing, you'll have the option to download and install other Windows Live applications. You don't have to take any of them, but we think you'll like them and hope you'll give them a try," revealed a member of the Windows Live Messenger team.
Microsoft will take a couple of weeks to roll up the Windows Live Messenger 8.5 update to all the users still stuck in beta land. This will be the stage of optional upgrades. But the Redmond company is also prepared for the eventuality in which users simply do not want to give up on their beta IM clients.
"After everyone's gotten the optional upgrade, those of you still running a beta version of Messenger 8.5 will receive a required upgrade to the final version. When this phase kicks in you'll be blocked from logging in until you complete the upgrade. The final version is even better and more stable than the beta versions, we want you to have the best experience possible," the Windows Live Messenger team member added.