Windows Live WebMessenger closer to public beta? – updated screenshot

Andy from Messenger Stuff noticed that the Windows Live WebMessenger dogfood signin page has been updated, and now features a different screenshot of the service. The new webmessenger service started external testing back in September, but since then things have been quiet. Maybe this is a sign that a public beta is on the way.

To recap, the notable updates from MSN WebMessenger include:

  • Ability to set a display picture and personal message directly from within the browser
  • Contact groups are now shown – MSN Webmessenger only shows them by online/offline status
  • Tabbed chatting with the open conversations stacked vertically on the right hand side
  • The Windows Live Wave 2 UI

Here’s a comparison of the new shot with the old:

If that’s too small for your liking, Andy has blown it up and done a pretty good analysis of it.

So looking forward to Messenger v9, the odds must be favourable that it will include tabbed chatting. After all, it would look pretty bad for a supporting web service to have more functionality than the main client application don’t you think?