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The Best IM Clients of 2008


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Best IM Experience - Yahoo! Messenger 9.0
Yahoo! Messenger
Used with permission. Copyright Yahoo!

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One of the most competitive categories in our first IM reader's survey, this year's Best IM Experience title was awarded to a client that has been on the scene almost as long as IM itself. In 2008, Yahoo! Messenger released its ninth incarnation, boasting a number of improvements and bug fixes.

For what its worth, Yahoo! Messenger 9.0 delivers a pretty smooth experience from start to finish. The recent addition of access to contacts on Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger) makes Yahoo! pretty strong competition for the AIM/ICQ client and other standalone single protocol clients; in fact, if I were the others, I would take a page from the Yahoo! book about what is right with their client, including the strong deliverance of experience-making features, such as Yahoo’ new in-line media player, new voice call features and a wide-range of new personalization options. Download Yahoo! Messenger for free. Features support for Windows Vista.

Guide’s Comments

I was surprised just how competitive this title was from the start of voting; towards the end, however, it appeared to be a clear race between third-party newcomer Digsby (looking to pick up its fourth IM Best Award title) versus the venerable Yahoo! Messenger. Experience (as in length of service) seemed to be a factor in choosing which product to award for overall experience; nine versions later, our readers still believe Yahoo! is a viable choice for instant messaging.

How Readers Voted

  • Digsby 35 percent (3,317 votes)
  • Meebo Two percent (208 votes)
  • Yahoo! 60 percent (5,590 votes)
  • Windows Live Messenger One percent (125 votes)
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