Time to take a closer look at IM.
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|
|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|
|Personalized Status**||no||status message with online or busy status||custom message with online or busy status|
* 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:
So should Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger co-exist after a (still possible) merger or….