Integrating the new technology of Microsoft’s Windows Vista, Yahoo has designed a new messenger from the ground up. It’s being previewed at CES (the Consumer Electronics show) going on in Las Vegas, Nevada right now.  It’s expected to be launched as a beta, and shortly after to the public sometime in the second quarter this year. It was redesigned so that it could take advantage of all of the brand-new features specific to Windows Vista like the display and user interface, and uses Vista’s WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation).  Features to expect:

  • Scale-up in size the avatar and contact info for people in a user’s contact list (zoom in and out)
  • New color wheel that allows users to choose a new color for the messenger skin (pop-up pallet using WPF graphics sub-system)
  • Feature that shows a large-sized emoticon which goes beyond boundaries of Messenger window, then shrinks to normal size.
  • Yahoo Show and Tell: allows users who are connecting via voice on Messenger to share photos while they talk- thus the name, Show and Tell!
  • Tabbing- similar to IE7 or Firefox- allows users to create tabs to manage conversations.
  • Voice visualization: lets Vista users see their voice on the IM window coming through as a visual sound wave (this will help people know if their voice is at an appropriate level, and if those they’re speaking with can hear).
  • Automatic groups are created in your contact list based upon your Yahoo! interests like Fantasy Football.

The photo below shows what the new messenger will look like.  Circled in red is the new tabbing feature that nicely organizes all of your conversations into tabs at the top of one window.

This messenger also integrates with Flickr photos, an important step for Yahoo because they’re integrating one of their more outside acquired services with messenger. Google has spent very little time integrating their list of services that they offer, something that a lot of people would appreciate and benefit from.Another great integration of Vista is the capability to add contacts to your Windows Vista sidebar so that it’s always easy to monitor their status. Yahoo has done a great job of building a messenger specifically for Windows Vista.  If you’d like to see this messenger in action, Yahoo has put together a demo.