Yahoo seems to have little luck getting the few people still using the ancient Yahoo Messenger 6 and 7 to upgrade. In early June, the Internet-based company announced
that support for Messenger versions 6 through 7.5 would be dropped in August with users asked to move to the latest Messenger 9. The three months apparently weren't enough, as Yahoo extended the period to early September and is now announcing it will support the older versions even longer, until September 30, but that's it. And it really means it this time.
“A couple of months ago, we told you that we would be retiring Yahoo! Messenger versions 6.0 through 7.5 this Fall. The date for retirement has been set for September 30, 2009,” Sarah Bacon, product manager for Yahoo Messenger, said
. “This means that if you are currently using a version of Yahoo! Messenger that is below 8.0, you will no longer be able to sign in and use it after September 30. [..] And remember, no matter what version you migrate to, your contact list always goes with you.”
If you are still using the older versions, there are several ways to move on and still access your instant messenger after the cutoff date. The first and most obvious one is to update to a newer version, anything above 8.0, including it, should work but Yahoo would much rather have you use Yahoo Messenger 9 or maybe even the new Yahoo Messenger 10 Beta. The new versions add a lot of features like voice and video chat and a number of enhancements all around.
But if, for whatever reason, upgrading isn't an option for you, Yahoo offers a very sturdy online version at webmessenger.yahoo.com
which, while it doesn't support any of the advanced functionality like voice calls, works great for regular IMs and even allows you to send SMS text messages. Finally, basic IM functionality is also now built into Yahoo Mail allowing users to send and receive IMs inside the web app in both Mail and Classic Mail. Yahoo! Messenger 9 and 10 Beta
are available for download here