LiveSide has an interesting post about Windows Live Messenger 9, which is due sometime in late 2008 or early 2009.  A little early for this discussion, but what the heck:

 In a presentation to the Georgia Institute of Technology's IEEE Student Branch yesterday, Microsoft employee and former Georgia Tech student Andrew Jenks had some surprises in store. "It wasn't originally planned to be announced yesterday, but when he found out he was coming down (since this is his alma mater) he wanted to announce it", so instead of his planned talk on "Life and development at Microsoft", he spent the hour announcing a new Messenger API - "the Tech Preview will be released during MIX 08 and the Beta 1 will be released when WLMessenger 9 ships in late 08 or early 09", according to Steven Hollingsworth (known online at Neowin and elsewhere as AmpCoder), a Georgia Tech student and IEEE Student Chapter member who attended the presentation.

Jenks said:

  • New API coming for Messenger, hopefully including "full support for everything the full messenger client uses"

  • API Tech Preview to be released at Mix08, Beta 1 API ready with Messenger 9 final

  • Messenger 9 ships in late 08 or early 09

  • MS is trying to work out a way for WLM users to chat with AIM/GTalk/ICQ: basic internal version of GTalk working now

  • Brand new version of Messenger for Mac OS X coming - "really cool and awesome", MSN Messenger for Mac will not be updated

  • Xbox Live, now using Messenger 7, will be upgraded to 8.5 or possibly 9
Messy but interesting.