Tonight we had a completely different type of client launch: The all-new “Yahoo! Messenger for the Web” let’s people use Yahoo! Messenger without any client download. Instead, it’s implemented in Flash, so from any browser just visit the site and login. It’s not as full-featured as the regular client, but is really fast and has some UI elements that are different but very cool.
By avoiding the big (12MB) client download, this should be a good alternative for logging into Messenger wherever you are. We even have a nice shortcut that’s easy to remember: http://web.im
Check out the Messenger site for more details and to see a video screencast that walks through the new features.
In conjunction with CES this week, we are showing a preview of a new Windows Vista version of Yahoo! Messenger. This client was created from scratch to take advantage of Vista technologies, particularly the user interface and display. Because they started fresh, the team was not hindered by the existing design and was able to test some new concepts for personal interactions. Check out the site to see some screenshots and to watch a screencast given by Josh our product manager.
I’m sure the difficult part will come soon as the team decides how much of today’s Messenger client needs to be brought over to the Vista client as well. A lot of that functionality isn’t sexy, but is very popular with our users: chat, conferencing, stealth settings, etc.
Tonight we launched the official Yahoo! Messenger Blog! (I say “we”, but I only played a small roll; our web developer Ryan, designer Chin, and product manager Sarah created this). So far there’s only a “first post” type message, but I know the product team has a lot of topics to discuss. Hopefully this blog will give some transparency to the Yahoo! Messenger products and the team behind them. We even have comments enabled and that should be interesting.
Back in December, we launched the public beta of Yahoo! Messenger 7.5 in eight countries. The significant new feature is PSTN (aka regular phone network) support, both to and from regular phone lines. That launch was kind of different for us because, although we did launch a US-English client, the service was not available inside the United States.
Tonight we did a beta refresh and officially launched the US service as well. Compared to other launches I’ve been through on this team, this one was pretty smooth. Having the service actually available here in the US should be a big win for the product and future voice offerings.