Windows Live Messenger 2009 Beta
* A new revamped and refined user interface to follow suite with the rest of the Windows Live Wave 3 design. Many functions have been merged and many unnecessary buttons removed.
* Display pictures have been moved over to the left side of conversation windows.
* The ability to set your own "Scene", by customizing the background image and color of the contact list.
* Conversation windows display the contact's particular "Scene" instead of your own for improved contact identification and window management.
* A new "Groups" feature, which allows you to create a never ending group conversation between select contacts (via invitation), which can be initiated at any time.
* Groups have been renamed to "Categories" to make way for this feature (see above).
* Newly redesigned and more easily identifiable status icons which now resemble small gems, rather than the previous "Messenger Buddy" icons.
* Now uses the standard window frame (Windows Vista users only) in accordance with the Windows Vista UX Guidelines.
* A new default "Favorites" Category, in which you can place your favorite contacts for easy access to them and additional details about those contacts at the top of your list.
* New Photo Sharing utility which allows contacts to quickly and easily browse photos together.
* "What's New" section at the bottom of the contact list to quickly outline recent contact updates, such as a new personal message, new display picture, or updates to their Windows Live Spaces.
* "Be right back", "Out to lunch" and "On the phone"/"In a call" statuses have been removed and the "Online" status has been renamed as "Available".
* New colored borders which appear around display pictures to quickly display the currently set status of that contact.