Microsoft unwrapped its popular IM app for public testing late last night. We checked out the new features beforehand; read our first take of Windows Live Messenger beta here. The new Windows Live Messenger beta will replace MSN Messenger. Notable within this IM tool are its ability to let you share folders and files locally with your chat buddies, as well as its outbound Net phone capabilities.
Web giants and VoIP providers, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and Skype, are battling to win your loyalty and serve you with a one-stop communications center. Nowhere are these efforts clearer than in the cornucopia of features found in the latest round of instant-messaging apps, designed to be be your chat client as well as your telephone, your videoconferencing tool, and your starting point for scheduling, blogging, social networking, and shopping.