The Windows Live development team normally push out the latest version of Windows Live Messenger silently. Through our experience of consistent daily usage on the Windows Live Messenger for many years, we have only experienced a few notifications prompting us to update by downloading the latest version. Most of the time we had to manually check for an updated build through the Windows Live Essentials installer that can be downloaded from the official Microsoft website.
As of today, Windows Live Messenger 2012 build 16.4.3505.912 is the latest version. There isn’t any major changes on the graphical user interface if comparing the 2012 with 2011, unlike the total redesign from 8.5 to 2009. Here are the list of changes that we’ve noticed so far:
1. The word “Live” in the Windows Live Essentials has been removed and it is now only known as Windows Essentials.
2. Bing Bar, Messenger Companion and Windows Live Mesh has been removed and Microsoft SkyDrive is added to the Windows Essentials 2012. The Microsoft SkyDrive is aimed to replace the Windows Live Mesh.
3. A video icon shown for contacts with webcam. Clicking on the video icon will instantly start a video call.
4. The official system requirements for Windows Essentials 2012 is 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows Server 2008 R2. Windows Vista and XP are not supported.
I am sure that there are a bunch of other new features which haven’t been discovered yet. I’ve chatted with my other writer and everything just looks great! So go ahead and update your Windows Live Messenger to 2012 if you haven’t done so. So far only A-Patch and Messenger Plus! plugins has been updated to work with Windows Live Messenger 2012. MessengerDiscovery 4 was released before Windows Live Messenger 2012 so you can expect some bugs if you try to use it with WLM 2012.
To install the latest Windows Live Messenger 2012, you’ll have to download a small 1.2MB Windows Essentials 2012 web installer (wlsetup-web.exe) which will download software programs inside the Windows Essentials products, such as Microsoft SkyDrive, Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, Family Safety, Mail, Writer and Messenger. By default all programs will be automatically selected in the installer. If you find some of the programs unnecessary because you don’t use them, simply uncheck it and make sure that only Messenger is checked. If you already have the old version of Windows Live Messenger installed, you will see that Messenger is listed at the lower section that says “These programs will be updated” which will be automatically updated by clicking the Install button.