|16 Sep 2009||#1|
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Microsoft starts forcing Messenger 8.x users to upgrade
Windows Live Messenger users with version 8.1 or 8.5 started getting an optional upgrade message on August 25. As of last night, however, Microsoft is starting to make the upgrade mandatory: users will not be able to sign in without updating to version 14.0.8089.726. These upgrades become compulsory so as to stop users from using older insecure versions that have various vulnerabilities such as those discussed in the Microsoft Security Advisory (973882). Many forget just how old these versions are: Windows Live Messenger 8.1 was released in January 2007 while version 8.5 was released in November 2007.
Redmond notes that the upgrade process will take several weeks to be completed since it is being rolled out to customers over the course of several weeks. Thus, users with older versions may not have yet been forced to upgrade, but they will eventually. In June 2009, Microsoft revealed that Windows Live Messenger has about 330 million active users each month; it's no wonder these forced upgrades are spread out over several weeks. Those who want to upgrade now can do so by downloading the latest version from download.live.com/messenger.
Two days ago, some users starting experiencing technical issues while sending IMs over the Windows Live Messenger network. Redmond did not disclose if this had something to do with the forced upgrades. Coincidence or not, the issue was fixed in under 15 minutes, Microsoft said.
Next up, 14.x users
In early October, all customers using version 14.0 (but not the latest 14.0.8089 release) will start getting an optional upgrade message. Later that month, they will also be required to upgrade their version of Windows Live Messenger and will not be able to sign in to the client without doing so.
Wave 3 (or version 14) of Windows Live Essentials, the suite that includes Messenger, was released in January 2009 (Messenger was at build 14.0.8050.1202). The suite was updated again in February 2009 (Messenger build 14.0.8064.206) and in August 2009 (Messenger build 14.0.8089.0726). Therefore, there are two 14.0 builds that Microsoft is planning next month to force users to upgrade from.
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