From BetaNews: “As expected, Microsoft has released Beta 1 of Windows Live Messenger to a limited group of testers, with plans to expand the beta in the coming weeks and months. The new IM client, which replaces MSN Messenger, includes “some elephant-sized changes,” says Microsoft, including offline messages and PC-to-phone calls.
The Live Messenger development team plans to use its Spaces blog to ask for public feedback on potential new features. “We’ll use pictures and descriptions so you can add your opinions whether you have the beta or not,” the team says. A detailed and extensive feature list has been posted for those not lucky enough to have been selected.”
And from Microsoft directly:
What it is
Windows Live Messenger will be the next-generation MSN Messenger. It will have everything you already love about Messenger—your contact list, emoticons, and instant access to your friends via text, voice, and video—plus new ways to connect and share documents with almost magical ease. As always, it will be free to download Messenger and use most of its features.
What you will be able to do with it
• Send all your familiar winks and emoticons, plus some cool new ones • Have real-time text, video and voice conversations*
• Call your friends’ mobile or land-line telephones with Windows Live phone call, and make affordable domestic and international calls**
• Easily share documents of all kinds with Sharing Folders • Make free PC-to-PC calls with other Messenger users
*Both parties must have compatible Web cameras, speakers, and microphones.
**Windows Live phone call is provided by a Microsoft partner.
Posted by Jeff