Windows Messenger has for a long time been seemingly abandoned you can still find it on most Windows machine lurking in the gallows of the program files folder. The last I saw it was on version 5.*, however, with the release of MSN Live Messenger it seemed to me that the days of Windows Messenger were over.

As luck would have it recently a colleague passed on a link that allowed me to install the Office Communicator 2005 at work (2007 is  currently in beta). It also integrates with Live Meeting! The main features include:-

Outlook Integration (calendar info available)
Set Notes (Information on your current status e.g. OOO)
Tag Contact (check when a contacts status changes)
Phone Integration (previously available)
Video Integration (previously available)
Application Sharing (previously available)

This is an improvement to Windows Messenger to be sure but not a huge leap. Do not be fooled by the new version number (1.0.x) or the nice colors, this is really just Windows Messenger with better looking spackle. With that said the Outlook/calendar integration really makes you feel way more connected to people in your group and/or company.

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." H.G. Wells