The instant messaging war is starting to heat up again as Yahoo has released a brand new beta of its popular Yahoo Messenger application. Bigger and better seems to be the mantra of the beta version 8 of the Messenger, which now supports up to 1000 contacts and file transfers of up to 1 GB in size. In addition, Yahoo has released a software developer kit that allows users and programmers to develop plug-ins.
Dozens of plug-ins ranging from extremely useful to utterly useless are already available. Users can install plug-ins for calendar sharing and viewing where friends live. Shoppers and online auction addicts can also install plug-ins for Amazon.com and Ebay.com services.
Previously, Messenger supported a mere 300 contacts and file transfers of up to 100 MB. Pictures can also be shared by dragging them into chat windows. Yahoo has thoughtfully added a contact search bar for those users who have hundreds of contacts.
Like other chat programs like MSN Messenger and Skype, Yahoo Messenger offers both free and paid VoIP. Computer to computer calls are free, while calls to regular phones cost around two cents a minute. Skype recently started giving away Skype Out, computer to regular phone line service, for free.
Yahoo Messenger Beta 8 is currently available for download and weighs in at 11.5 MB.
Skype offers free PC-to-landline calls