messenger plus

Many people waited in anticipation for the new version of Messenger Plus 4.5 which has been six months in the making. It’s been a hot topic lately simply because everybody knew it was coming, and they knew it was coming with a completed skinning engine.  It’s finally available for download, and now the more than 22 million people who already use it along with some newcomers will be able to enjoy this add-on for Windows Live Messenger that adds all kinds of features and extras. I imagine many of you will want to download this new version which you can find here.

As mentioned, the skinning engine has been completed in version 4.5 which I’d say is the main highlight of the update. There are great skins to choose from, just note though that not all will work with version 9 of Windows Live Messenger – likely because skinners don’t want to take the time to make them work when things can still change. The entire Skins database can be found here, and it’s organized by featured skins, those that have just been added, and those that have been rated the highest by users. I selected an Apple skin which you can see in the screenshot above, and it is one of the few that work with WLM 9.

One of the first things you’ll notice when you pull up the Messenger Plus preferences is the interface. It’s been revamped and looks quite a bit better. From the preferences page you’ll be able to configure and select which extras and add-ons that you want to use.  Because there’s SO much that’s offered, I took screenshots of each page which are thumbnailed below.

Click to enlarge
preference 1  preference 2  preference 3  preference 4

Some of the popular features that Messenger Plus offers are a Messenger Lock which can hide all messenger windows with a shortcut.  Additionally, it’s available in a handful of different languages, there are advanced chat logging options, an event viewer, and tabbed chat where it’ll group all of your conversation in one single tabbed window which will save you some room on your desktop.

If you decide to install it or upgrade to a new version, just know that it’ll automatically integrate into messenger which means installing it is a snap.  When you start messenger, it will pull up the configuration wizard to guide you through some of the features that the add-on offers which is helpful if you’ve never used it before.  Just note that while installing it, there’s an option to install a sponsor program which you’ll find on one of the first screens. By selecting “yes,” you’ll be supporting those who create the add-on.  You do have the option to select no in which case the sponsor program will not install.

All in all I’m impressed with all of the changes with this new version.  I didn’t go into depth about the changes that have been made, but the list is long! If you’re interested in reading all of the details, the change log can be found here where you can read about some smaller changes like the two modes in the contact list clean-up window. I think most of you will be most impressed with the skinning options with skins being applied directly in the memory of Messenger. Installing them is so simple and gives your messenger a whole new look. Messenger Plus 4.5 definitely earns two thumbs-up from me!