Thursday, May 19, 2005

Yahoo Messenger 7 Beta launched

The latest beta of yahoo messenger is out and I decided to give it a shot.

I remember trying out the yahoo messenger 6 beta last year when yahoo gave a completely new look and feel to their messenger and added a lot of features. Apart from the stealth setting feature which I found potentially useful, it was a disappointment. Unstable in terms of memory usage, sluggish responses especially when starting (I started it from taskbar, the whole taskbar used to hang for sometime till it started) and when signing out.

This beta however, though boasts of only few new features, is much more better with instant responses. My taskbar doesn't hang anymore, starting and signing out is done in a flash and the overall UI of the application is improved with fonts in the conversation window being better now to say the least. Also, the message archive can also show nicknames instead of yahoo id as per your preference setting.

The biggest USP as claimed for this release is the PC-to-PC Call feature, which is basically similar to the voice chat feature provided earlier, just that instead of the voice chat button, there is now a call button similar to what skype offers. The additional feature here is that one can now also leave offline voice messages. However, Yahoo has made it clear that unlike skype, which offers PC-phone calls, yahoo will stick to PC-PC calls.
Currently all the new features yahoo offers can be used only if both sides has the latest version, which is not the case with me, so with feature testing not possible for me, I would vote thumbs up for the better responsiveness and thumbs above average for better UI.

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