Windows Live Messenger (WLM) Vs Yahoo! Messenger (Y!M)

Just when I had enough of the legendary “Microsoft Internet Explorer (now known as Windows Internet Explorer) Vs Mozilla Firefox” debate, I’ve noticed a feeble exchange of words on a newer debate: The WLM vs Y!M. This apparently is not a feature-war. No one is worried about which is safer; and no one is bothered about which Instant Messenger (IM) the other person is using; and more importantly, in contrary to the IE vs FF debate, nobody thinks that the other person ought to have used his preference. I guess this is more healthier a debate!

Anyways, to start off, when I say WLM, I’m not referring to the Windows Messenger that Microsoft cheaply ported with all Windows versions (hope Vista doesn’t have it) I’m talking about the Windows Live Messenger that you can find here. And btw, I hate the Windows Messenger — not WLM!

Well, with that bit cleared up, on the very first look at both WLM and Y!M, I’d prefer WLM. Simply because it has come a long way when compared to the sluggish-looking Windows Messenger. A lot has changed; rather improved. Its more sleek and the newest version wears the Vista look. (Microsoft is changing all its software’s interface to match with Vista’s; wonder why?) The best part of the new WLM is its smiley set. The animated smileys say a lot more than normal smileys convey. And they are a real fun to watch when used aptly.

Coming to Y!M, I was a regular user of Y!M for many years. Back then, it seemed like the only messenger people used on the net. Somehow, today, it has lost its popularity. I blame it entirely on the lack of major changes in its looks. 5 years ago, the Y!M’s interface looked very much like today’s except for the major change in the title bar. One thing that was good and stayed good with Y!M is its games. Awesome fun; won’t know the time passing.

Good things about WLM:

  • No annoying search button when you hover on text in the IM window.
  • The ads and the search bar on the bottom of the main WLM window is well placed and are inconspicuous when compared to the placing in Y!M.
  • Can change the background image and the interface color of the IM window.
  • Similar to Gtalk, WLM has custom messages that can be viewed by everyone. Easy to say something to everyone without having to type it out for each of them.

I guess the debate is going to become meaning-less if Microsoft takes over Yahoo! However, I’d say WLM is better than Y!M any day. More over, since you can IM Yahoo! users through WLM also, it must not matter much.

Happy IM-ing!