Microsoft deploying forced Windows Live Messenger upgrades

By on September 16, 2009, 4:06 PM
A few weeks back, Microsoft gave users of Windows Live Messenger versions 8.1, 8.5 and 14.0 the choice to upgrade their software. As of last night, though, the update is no longer optional. Users of the older messengers are required to install version 14.0.8089.726 if they care to sign in.

According to Microsoft, the mandatory update is an attempt to ensure the security of the 300-plus million people who use Windows Live Messenger each month. The newest version plugs many holes, like those mentioned in Microsoft's Security Advisory (973882). With so many people using the service, Microsoft says it will take several weeks to complete the rollout.


By early October, users of 14.0 will also receive optional upgrade messages -- which will be turn forced later in the month. As draconian as this may seem, 8.1 and 8.5 have been around the block and back again. Microsoft released the former in January 2007, and the latter November 2007.




User Comments: 44

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

I love msn messenger. You just can't beat the nudge. It is the single greatest thing to happen to instant messaging.

As for forced upgrades, if there were any worthwhile new features other than just fixing security issues it might be more appealing.

Guest said:

This forced upgrade is bull crap. The newest version of msn is a piece of crap. Tried it, and hated it.

Guest said:

Go to the programs folder, select the executable, go to compatability, select Windows 2000, run the executable, use MSN like normal and not get any prompts.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hey, I don't really mind forced upgrades so long as they fix more than they break... Of course, in this case, I could really care less, we stopped using Live Messenger months ago when it regularly locked up many of the computers in the office here... heh

Guest said:

Also using the compatability mode for Windows 2000. Which works great.

I don't like the new live messenger at all.

I also have a slight of color blindness and can hardly see when somebody is away or is in dnd with the use of those colors in the new messenger.

windmill007 said:

I use the new one no problems. But I really think they are forcing the update so people can't use other programs to access the msn messenger service.

Guest said:

I, too, don't like the new upgrade. Since I was forced to install it, I can no longer access my email account unless I go to a search engine and bring up Hotmail and then log in that way. I tried to contact Windows Live Messenger, but all I get when I click on a link is my toolbar across the top of the screen. Nothing else. I hope this is a temporary problem. I hate upgrades. I've never had one installed that worked better than what it was before. Usually just cause more problems.

Guest said:

Thank you for the compatability tip, I can finally log into WLM 8.1. I despise the new version of WLM. I don't see why they need to make so many visual changes instead of just applying the "security" upgrades to a working version.

Guest said:

This is nearly tragic. When this new version first came out, I tried immediately and I lost all my contacts. I couldn't see any of them, re-add them or add new ones. So I bowed never to use it again until they fixed it. Now version 8 won't work anymore and I'm screwed, because I never found a solution for this problem, and they fail to deliver one. I've deleted my contacts cache folders again and again, uninstalled and reinstalled the bloody thing a zillion times, and done everything anyone ever suggested me to do and nothing works :(

Guest said:

Another Typical Inconsideration from the Microschmuck corp. These people continously think below there belts ! there are many of us still on dial up connections and this is a five to eight

hour upgrade if you don't loose your connection . I really reget buying a computer with a ms system , next time a mac ! after all, it's all there's ! I hope one day every one of it ! has to pay for our lost time ! while we are just trying to keep with the world we have wondered into we don't need to be made to upgrade to what we just don't need ! I use mine to conveniently keep up the possible needs of my parents and the microschmuck clan needs to complicate something as simple as basic text. you can bet there's some type of spywhare looking at key codes at our expense. they deserve every bit of boot leg copys out there ! Hell they'll just have the rest of us pay for it !

Guest said:

This forced upgrade was the sole reason I moved to Pidgin.

Pidgin's amazing.

Guest said:

i did the win 2000 compatible thing but now neverytime i open the messenger win XP repairs the program and i have to start all over again setting it to win 2000! How can i prevent win XP from doing that?

Guest said:

What a mess, MS push a badly coded new version not needed and prevent any futher use of MSN!!

all this trying to impose a lot of new pieces of craps / live.

Only one thing to do, is to acces to MSN database throught pidgin on ubuntu ....

Guest said:

have just come back from hols and tried to sign in to messenger, i got the message cant sign in have to download new version, i have tried this and when download gets to 100% it just rolls back again to the start, i have disabled firewalls but still no joy, fed up with the thing at the moment.

Guest said:

That compatibility worked!! Thanks a lot!!

Guest said:

After two failed attempts with dial up , I did the compatibly adjustment and it worked great ! you might put it up with a little more detail for the novice, some have never seen these below the surface adjustments and really won't know where to start.. Terrific Contribution ! ! !

Guest said:

More than meets the eye ! the new msn messenger upgrade also adds a browser, add on, a browser helper object . so while there at it guess they figure they will add modifications to your browser , more typical microschmuck ram it down your throat, upgrade or die tactics ! can't really trust in microschmuck . I'm a bit angered , Don't like do or die upgrades ! American ! still like a choice or two. no one standing there when you buy your new computer warning you of microschmucks do or die upgrade practice. poor poor business practice. Classless !

Guest said:

Could 'Guest' from yesterday at 2:42 AM please provide a little more detail re: the "Executable" and "Compatability" fixes to select windows 2000! I can get into the Programs folder but am becoming a bit lost looking for the "Executable" [assumed 'esc' were always hidden, or, am I looking in the wrong place ?...and at my age need some tender guidance]....thanks for any help that could be provided as I to tried the latest version out about 2 months ago and deleted it and went back to 8.5 immediately ! If forced into the latest MS IM guess I'll revert to Yahoo Messenger.......Ontario Senior

Guest said:

I have MSN Messenger 7.0 (Build 7.0.0820) and it is perfert.

I would recommend to keep this version. Pete C.

Guest said:

Egads. I tried the little compatibility mode trick thing on my Windows Live version 8.1, and it worked...for about 5 seconds. Pretty much as soon as I was in, it kicked me out and shut down the program. Did I do something wrong? Is there anything else I can try? Please, I absolutely despise the newest version, but I love my 8.1.

Guest said:

thats what i was refering to earlier! Win XP tries immediately to fix the messenger every time you start up your computer! The operating system does not like it if you run messenger in compatibillity mode for win 2000 and wants to fix it! My question was how to get around that but none of the "specialists" on here didnt even care or give a **** in general to answer yet! Well, whats new ...lol....no wonder microcrap treats his customers the same way since the users are not a tad better! Kinda the elite of computing...lmao!!!!

Guest said:

I personally love msn but these bloddy forced upgrades are CRAP, I can't use my webcam anymore when it was perfectly fine before with the old version!!!!!!!!!!! Messenger should not force this but make it OPTIONAL.

Guest said:

Here is a link for a fix, which I have applied with great success: http://tandkram.blogspot.com/

Scroll down to "Force Update "hack" for MSN", and follow the instructions.

T77 T77 said:

sometimes its nice to force these upgrades,or else people will never upgrade.its irritating!

EpicGeek said:

I discovered an easy hack which lets you keep 8.1 without the upgrade. You do not need compatibility mode you only need to trick the client identity. Download a hex editor like HxD, open the msnmsgr.exe inside the Hex Editor. Search for the ASCII Text winnt (just the first instance, you do not need to replace all) Now replace the string of text from winnt to anything 5 characters long and there you go, save and exit. Messenger will now work with 8.1 with plus and all the bells and whistles without forced upgrade. :) I hope this helps

Guest said:

Thanks for this compatibillity suggestion, works like a charm!

The way how they force you to upgrade is simply wrong.

At least they could give an explanation (that it was for safety purposes), I had bad experience before with upgrading Microsoft programs, forcing me to do it is a no-go.

Guest said:

Thanks a TON Guest who posted on Sept. 20 at 5:39 am. The compatibility trick did not work for me, but the hack works wonders! I really appreciate the help :)

Dampflok said:

If Microsoft had forced me to upgrade to IE 7 then my computer would have remained trashed from the upgrade and I would have had to be rebuilt from scratch. As it was, I was grateful for Restore. Fortunately IE8 did work. I don't use, and never will use, MSM.

Guest said:

Thanks for that tip, it helped me on getting the messenger that I wanted. It dose work! Thanks again. tomy

Guest said:

i wouldn't mind the update if it wasn't a visual one, i've been using 8.5 since the start and i was so pissed off when they enforced the mandatory update, this is just a steaming pile of bulls**t

Guest said:

Thanks EpicGeek, that worked for me with 8.5 too! Quick and easy.

(just make sure your search is case insensitive)

Guest said:

i really hate, no, i loathe the new version!

i don't care for fancy new popups and shiny windows, yuck!

i want my old, simple and puritan application back!

or at least some really simple skins for the new one, and of course advanced options for customizing back this fussy and tawdry 14.* verion

i am really considering changing to other instant messaging program, i already downloaded some

Guest said:

EpicGeek you are awesome! I've been fin around with this crap for 6 months

Guest said:

if you want to use old version 8.0/8.1/8.5 with msnplus and webcam chatting

try to do follow this site : http://www.phuketbutler.com/node/1072

I think it is the best way.

I test it with my computer and girlfriend netbook , it solved this solution very good.

Guest said:

EpicGeek is epic.

I don't appreciate huge enforced updates and contracts.Neither does my crappy mobile internet connection. ffs microsoft. Way to lose "customers"...

(compatability trick works ;) )

Guest said:

When i upgraded on dommed vista, it simply crashed on every single chat window opened... And i wasted a lot of time to find an 8.5 offline installer on the net cos M$ have just the 14.0 to download...

I dont want to try this **** on vista again... It may not works.... Why they just not fix security holes and keep aplication quiet?

Guest said:

did you do following this article:

http://www.phukebutler.com/msnfix

--------------------------------------------------------

Chawalit I.

IT Consultant

Phuket Butler Co., LTD

"We Server You Everything"

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/chawalit

Homepage: http://www.phuketbutler.com

Guest said:

Im having a huge problem atm.

It is really ANNOYING!

Windows Messager can simply not get anything right!

First of all, its forcing all of us to download the new version, fine, fair enough.

I absolutly dislike the new version, but okay, i guess i can use it instead of the older versions if i have too.

But seriously, this is the stupid bit. The latests version dosent even download properly!

Alright, it starts downloading and all, gets to the point were it says 100% - Complete and then..it begins to roll everything back. So from 100% it goes down to 99% complete, 95% complete etc.

I have vista, ive done everything Windows Live Messenger has told me to do, ive checked my firewalls, what else is there to do!?

Im just really disappointed!

Guest said:

did you do following this article:

http://

--------------------------------------------------------

Chawalit I.

IT Consultant

Phuket Butler Co., LTD

"We Server You Everything"

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/chawalit

Homepage: http://www.phuketbutler.com

im sure you mean www.phuketbutler.com/msnfix as the previous sit you gave us dosent work.

x. Grace

Guest said:

Undesrstandably annoyed. why is it when I click to download this update the process begins then 80% into the thing tells me this is an invalid folder or program and closes out. Tgis should be troublw free, why is it not?????

Guest said:

I wondered about the forced download/update. The new version has not worked at for me. signing in takes about 6 tries, then hangs up and reads contacts not found. Sometimes it just locks up and closes all by itself. Only downloaded a couple days ago......if I had read about all these problems before hand, I wouldn't even thought about downloading.

How do I uninstall and get the old version back? Do I have to restore pc to a few days ago?

Shame on you Microsoft.......can't trust anybody anymore.

Guest said:

EpicGeek I COULD KISS YOU RIGHT NOW

THANK YOU !!!

Guest said:

I am colour blind too and have this problem as well. Bit slack of Microsoft not to take into account colour blind people (7-10% of males).

Guest said:

Anybody still having trouble with forced upgrade, you can try this one:

http://www.4shared.com/file/234399528/4c79dc68/WLM_no-update
patch.html

It uses the VersionInfo method (same as ResHacker routine) but it's more suitable for the average user (who is not used to manually tampering with exe files).

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