New Windows Live Messenger: 9 things to know

5 Search integration

This is one of the more intriguing aspects of Messenger. If you are, say, talking about a band then Messenger will add a dynamic link to the name, which means you can click it to see more about the band you are talking about. The link will take you tovBing but you will be able to search within the Messenger window. Nice to see Microsoft utilising its other assets!

6 HD video recording

While Messenger has had video chat for a while, Microsoft has announced that it will be compatible with HD video chat. This does mean you will have to have an HD webcam for it to work, but it's great to see hi-def on board. You will also be able to chat in real time with the video. You can also play games and share games in real time too.

MSN photo

7 Better photo and video sharing

Microsoft wants Messenger to be the place for viewing and sharing photographs. To tempt you away from the likes of Flickr and Facebook, Windows Live Messenger will be able to integrate all your images from Windows Live, Facebook and whichever site you want and will let you share them with those who are on your Messenger list. You can also add YouTube links to the service which will pop up into the Messenger window and you can watch videos together with the person/people you are speaking to.

8 Introducing Messenger Connect

Messenger Connect is essentially an API that allows websites to integrate Messenger, so you can chat and share with your Messenger friends on (potentially) any website. This means friends can from different websites within Messenger so they don't have to be on loads of networks. That's right, Microsoft is letting other sites scale the walls of its garden!

9 Messenger for iPhone and Windows Mobile

It's official, Messenger will be available on the iPhone this summer. It will also be available on Windows Phones and, well, that's it for the moment. It seems that the likes of Android and BlackBerry aren't getting a look-in for the new Messenger app. That doesn't mean that they won't be available in the future though.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.