I've been using WLM since it was MSN messenger back in the day and since I'm a beta tester for messenger I get all the new private betas before other people do. I've been using Windows Live Messenger 9 Beta Wave 3 for a while now and it's quite awesome. It has photosharing a better interface and a few other new features. The live team is working hard at finalizeing messenger it has been said that in the final version there will be group video calls and other group features. Also the live team is working on making messenger work with other protocols seeing that they already have Yahoo messenger contacts integrated into WLM it will be great to see all my other messenger contacts on it as well WLM by far is my favorite messageing program and I will celebrate the day when I can talk to all my contacts on it and not need multiple messenger programs. The live team already has a interal beta that has gtalk contacts integrated into it so maybe someday soon we will see a public release of this feature. If you would like a copy of WLM 9 Beta you can get it here I highly suggest it! Also I highly suggest installing Messenger Plus! Live its an awesome add-on that adds features such as tabbed chat windows and custom away messages to messenger.
Note: When you install WLM uncheck all the boxes but messenger unless you want the other programs that are options to download and install. Also when you install Msg Plus! Live choose not to support and install the "sponser" program.