Yahoo! Messenger with Voice was officially launched today, a month after the beta was released. This is version 8, which includes plug-ins for the first time. Third-party developers can create plug-ins (aka widgets) for the platform. This has already proven to be very popular - since opening up the plug-in platform on June 20, third party and Yahoo! developers have developed 180 plug-ins worldwide.The latest version of
The most popular plug-ins for Y! Messenger are currently utilities like Pando (a way to share large files and folders), YEmote (emoticons), an eCards widget, an iTunes "remote" and a drawing/photo tool.
Y! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger comparison
Also Yahoo shared with me (and no doubt some others) a comparison chart between Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger. Yahoo and Microsoft announced earlier this month that the two services are now interoperable, creating "the world’s largest IM community" of around 350 million accounts combined. This interop is still in beta, as part of the phased-roll out. But I'm told that Yahoo! Messenger has opened up the limited beta interop program to "even more users worldwide".
Here is a comparison chart between the two products, supplied to me by Yahoo... so you know who it's going to favor!
If this chart is to be believed (and I'd be interested in getting Microsoft's view on it!), it's pretty obvious why Yahoo wanted to team up with Windows Live Messenger - because they're certain they have more features and the better product all-round. AOL is still the number 1 IM client in the market, but MSN is second and Yahoo third. So looks like Yahoo has ambitions for that number 2 spot...
I actually don't know enough about the two product lines to judge which is better, but I do know that in my household Yahoo Messenger is the preferred IM client by everyone except me (I'm a Skype man myself). Indeed I know of a lot of 'non-techie' people who use Yahoo Messenger and email, so the new plug-ins and things like avatars and Phone-to-PC will be be well-used.