Windows Live Messenger - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Windows Live Messenger

CNET Editors' note: The Download Now link will direct you to the developer's site where you will be offered an installer file corresponding to your OS.

CNET Editors' review

Previously known as MSN Messenger, Windows Live Messenger is Microsoft's answer to instant messaging. While largely the same as its predecessor, Windows Live Messenger is unique for allowing you to share folders and files locally with fellow users. It also serves up the usual animated emoticons, winks, and buzzes, along with multiplayer gaming, free PC-to-PC calling, mobile phone messaging, and video chatting. Plus it adds VoIP capabilities that let you call telephones around the world for a fee. Its one major omission, though, is it lacks the capability to receive inbound calls from landlines or cell phones, a service that competitor Yahoo Messenger with Voice offers.

Once installed, Windows Live Messenger displays a drop-down menu of features along the top, contacts within the center pane, a search box on the bottom, and tabs for eBay, Rhapsody, and other services along the left. Microsoft fans will like the integration with MSN Spaces and the company's other properties. Also a plus is that Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Live Messenger now let you directly connect with buddies who use either tool. To do so in the past, you'd have to use a tool such as Trillian.

We like Windows Live Messenger's Sharing Folders feature, which lets you to transfer files to and from your buddy's computer by displaying a mirror of each others' files on your desktops. The service can also store hundreds of contacts, and with a Webcam installed, you can make video chats with a full 640x480-pixel screen. In fact, we recommend Windows Live Messenger's video chat over that of other IM tools. Anyone who is entrenched within the Microsoft world will probably be best served by this particular IM client.

Windows Live Messenger:

Publisher's Description

More Products to Consider

  • Skype
    Talk with friends and family for free over the Internet.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Yahoo Messenger
    Communicate instantly with your friends using avatars, PC-to-PC...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Nokia PC Suite
    Connect your Nokia phone to PC to sync data, download software,...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Camfrog Video Chat
    Join live video chat rooms from all around the world.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • mIRC
    Chat with other people and participate in group discussions.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Magic Camera
    Add a virtual webcam with various video effects to your video c...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • CyberLink YouCam
    Add dynamic effects to your video from HD Webcams.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • IMDetect MSN Sniffe...
    Track and record MSN Messenger chat on your network.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • ManyCam
    Add live Webcam effects to your videos and photos.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • MSN Messenger (Wind...
    Download this feature-packed instant messenger and chat with te...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Sport.IM
    Import your buddy lists from MSN, AOL, Yahoo! and ICQ into one ...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • MiniPoint
    Send messages and reminders to colleagues in the form of yellow...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Windows Live Messen...
    Send messages and files of different types.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Praize Instant Mess...
    Try out the first ever Windows instant messenger for the global...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • eM Client
    Manage your e-mails, calendars, and contacts and sync with Gmai...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Facebook Messenger
    Chat with your friends from your desktop.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Gossip Corporate Me...
    Build up a client-server instant messaging network.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • EtherBoss MSN Monit...
    Capture and log MSN Messenger chat within a LAN.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Outlook Recovery Wi...
    Recover your email messages, contacts, tasks, and notes.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • IMDetect MSN Monito...
    Capture and log MSN Messenger chats on network.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Windows Live Essent...
    Do more with Windows on your PC with free programs from Microso...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • IncrediMail to Outl...
    Extract e-mails from IncrediMail .imm files and save them to mu...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Windows Live Messen...
    Back up your emoticons and backgrounds.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • ThreeMessenger
    Host secure corporate messaging system for both internal and ex...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.4 stars

    out of 622 votes

    • 5 star: 189
    • 4 star: 162
    • 3 star: 99
    • 2 star: 52
    • 1 star: 120
  • Current version:

    3.0 stars

    out of 214 votes

    • 5 star: 43
    • 4 star: 47
    • 3 star: 45
    • 2 star: 24
    • 1 star: 55
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 214

  • 1.0 stars

    "I don't use it because somebody hack me"

    August 10, 2012  |   By salwa1983

    Version: Windows Live Messenger 14.0.8117.0416

    Pros

    I don't use it now because somebody hack my computer because of it long time ago

    However, I like skype it's easy free, secure and simple

    Cons

    I get hacked log time ago

    Summary

    I don't like it I like skype

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

    Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

  • 1.0 stars

    "IMPOSSIBLE to Uninstall!"

    June 8, 2012  |   By quandelacyas

    Version: Windows Live Messenger 14.0.8117.0416

    Pros

    When I used it, it was a nice feature, but IM'ing has become an outdated service for me.

    Cons

    Do not want this on my computer, I don't use it nor have any need for it any longer and wish to uninstall it, which so far has proven to be an impossible process.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

  • 5.0 stars

    "it's great"

    February 18, 2012  |   By Kennneth-wu

    Version: Windows Live Messenger 14.0.8117.0416

    Pros

    i'm a student of china and i want to make friends with anyone wo would like to chat with me ,and i want to learn english well ,so i think it's a good ideal to use this software ,however i don't know well about it..how to add others ...and who would like to be friend with me ....my e-mail is 405211763@qq.com

    Cons

    i 'm not familar with it

    Summary



    Updated on Feb 18, 2012

    maybe this way is stupid ..but i can do thing else

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

  • 1.0 stars

    "Avoid at all costs"

    January 11, 2012  |   By Vanillaman

    Version: Windows Live Messenger 14.0.8117.0416

    Pros

    None whatsoever

    Cons

    This is why I want to give up on Windows Live Messenger completely. It is almost impossible to install and uninstall. The whole process is utterly infuriating. For some bizarre reason, Messenger has decided not to co-operate, and I can no longer open it. It is clearly not installed on my system anymore. However, whenever I try to reinstall it, I'm blocked, as I am falsely told that I already have it installed? And, you can forget about support. Forums are just another word for "Accountability avoidance". Grrr!!

    Summary

    Utterly infuriating and illogical install process and no support.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (2) (0)

  • 2.0 stars

    "Live Messenger 11 is a failure"

    December 5, 2011  |   By douggan

    Version: Windows Live Messenger 14.0.8117.0416

    Pros

    Slick and pretty interface
    Operates smoothly
    Integrates facebook
    Free

    Cons

    Option to block contacts removed.
    Bloated with ads, need to use A-Patch to remove ad ware.
    Ugly emoticons.
    Deleted contacts can still contact you.
    Display name is tied to your hotmail account and will not allow use of alias' anymore.
    Adding contacts doesn't work sometimes.

    Summary

    Live messenger used to be known as MSN messenger and it used to be a nice chat program. Now it's become sadly disappointing. Considering the amount of money and technical power Microsoft has at its command it is truly shocking something as awful as Live Messenger can come out of that organisation especially as they had something good before.

    Now we have a chat client full of ads, an interface that automatically opens a gratuitous Windows Live portal window, you can no longer block contacts, adding new contacts sometimes fails and the list goes on.

    Recommend to use something else instead eg Pidgin and wait for MS to hopefully release something decent in Live Messenger 12.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "a wonderful software"

    November 23, 2011  |   By fanweiln

    Version: Windows Live Messenger 14.0.8117.0416

    Pros

    You can IM with your windows messanger freinds. I love how it connects with your hotmail account!

    Cons

    None that I can think of

    Summary

    Very Nice Software

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

  • 5.0 stars

    "I love this!"

    November 22, 2011  |   By wuzheei

    Version: Windows Live Messenger 14.0.8117.0416

    Pros

    You can IM with your windows messanger freinds. I love how it connects with your hotmail account!

    Cons

    None that I can think of

    Summary

    This is a very nice IM tool.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

    Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

  • 4.0 stars

    "I love this!"

    November 18, 2011  |   By klausvv

    Version: Windows Live Messenger 14.0.8117.0416

    Pros

    You can IM with your windows messanger freinds. I love how it connects with your hotmail account!

    Cons

    None that I can think of

    Summary

    This is a very nice IM tool

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Better than ever"

    November 16, 2011  |   By pinguolie

    Version: Windows Live Messenger 14.0.8117.0416

    Pros

    easy to use,dont have to open other progams

    Cons

    Don't have anything to complain for.

    Summary

    I use the software every day

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 4.0 stars

    "Better than ever"

    November 16, 2011  |   By fuguoshen

    Version: Windows Live Messenger 14.0.8117.0416

    Pros

    100% improvement

    Cons

    none so far

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

Results 1-10 of 214

Add Your Review

Log in or create an account to post a review.
You are logged in as . Please submit your review for Windows Live Messenger 14.0.8117.0416
Add Your Review

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

Submit your reply

Submit

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

cancel

E-mail this review

Submit cancel

Report offensive content

If you believe this comment is offensive or violates the CNET's Site Terms of Use, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the comment). Once reported, our staff will be notified and the comment will be reviewed.

Select type of offense:

Offensive: Sexually explicit or offensive language
Spam: Advertisements or commercial links
Disruptive posting: Flaming or offending other users
Illegal activities: Promote cracked software, or other illegal content
Submit cancel

See more CNET content tagged:

Previous Versions:

Error

close

ERROR MESSAGE

If you think this is an error, please contact CNET TechTracker Support for further assistance.

Ok

Running Request

close

loading

Smart Install Software

close

CNET TechTracker will now automatically install software without requiring further action by you. (Note: This feature automatically accepts associated EULAs and third party applications on your behalf.)

You have selected the following software to Smart Install:

CNET TechTracker will attempt to install this software without interrupting you again. If an application requires manual installation, CNET TechTracker will download the installer and prompt you to take further action.

Proceed with Smart Install?

Confirm Standard Install Cancel

Submit a problem report for Windows Live Messenger

close

Please describe the problem you have with this software. This information will be sent to our editors for review.

Problem:

The CNET Installer isn't working as expected

The download link does not work

The software has a newer version

The software contains malware

Other

Description:

Please select a feedback type.

Please enter a description.

Submit Problem Report

Problem Report submitted

close

Thank you for submitting a problem report! The Download team is committed to providing you with accurate software information.

OK

This download is served from an external site

close

NOTICE: This link will open a connection to a third-party site. CNET cannot ensure the security of software that is hosted on external sites.

Continue to download

Sponsored Products

Windows Live Messenger