IMPORTANT: Microsoft is replacing Windows Live Messenger with Skype. All your contacts will be moved automatically. Take a look at The Complete Guide to Moving from Messenger to Skype for more information, alternatives and tips.
MSN Messenger has been perhaps the biggest hitter of the IM world for some time now and this update adds a range of cool new features designed to make your chatting experience even better. Additions include an interactive video conversation tool, "winks" - small animations that you can download and send to your pals - and dynamic display pictures that will change emotions based on the emoticons you send.
Of course, all the features that we've come to know (and in most cases, love) are still housed within MSN Messenger 7.5, such as a plethora of emoticons, the ability to check and send Hotmail directly from the client, and a slick contacts organizer.
Although the new version has improved video chat and contains the ability to send SMS messages, we can't help feeling that Microsoft has fallen behind in terms of technology. For instance, Skype allows you to perform most of the things that MSN Messenger does, as well as letting you make and receive PC phone calls. You also have the age-old problem of MSN taking over your client, as it's filled with even more ads, and a barrage of links to other areas of the MSN portal. A great client for beginners but it doesn't beat Skype for the more Net-savvy user.