Microsoft, Yahoo!, the merger and Google – Instant Messaging

Time to take a closer look at IM.

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Here we can see that worldwide MSN-Windows Live Messenger is taking a big lead, whereas Yahoo! Messenger is taking the lead in the U.S. Google is way behind.

Some features compared:

Instant Messaging Clients MSN-Windows Live Messenger* Yahoo! Messenger* Google Talk*
Add your own emoticons yes no no
Video (webcam) yes yes no
Appear Offline yes yes no
Status per contact no yes, stealth online and offline no
Leave Offline IM yes yes no
Block yes, right click menu and from conversation window yes, ignore list hidden in preferences yes, right click menu
Personal Message** yes no no
Personalized Status** no status message with online or busy status custom message with online or busy status
More features features features

not taking into account beta versions
** a Personal Message is not directly tied to a status, a Personalized Status is

With Windows Live Messenger you can talk to Yahoo! IM users and vice versa.

One feature Windows Live Messenger users have been asking for for a long time is already available in Yahoo! Messenger, the ability to set your status per contact (be it limited to online/appear offline). Of course you can temporarily block contacts but that would also mean you can not talk to them as opposed to Yahoo! Messenger’s Stealth feature:

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So should Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger co-exist after a (still possible) merger or….