Photos: Yahoo Messenger for Vista Beta

Yahoo Messenger for Vista takes advantage of Vista's display technology to give the instant messaging beta a Web 2.0 look and some nice visual accents.

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After months of incubation as a mere preview download, Yahoo Messenger for Vista is now a full-fledged...beta. No matter, let the feedback loop continue with this dark and gleaming desktop chat application that elevates certain aspects of the instant messaging experience while falling a step behind in others. The new look and feel is certainly impressive, and beloved avatar and emoticons take center stage alongside the tinted display. But the multiprotocol IM client Digsby is snapping up a loyal following, and its adoption of Facebook chat adds strength to strength. Is Yahoo's effort strong enough to win back Vista defectors?

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.