Nice chat application, but doesn't compete well against Skype (for voice calls) or the more popular MSN Messenger (for general chat).
Platform: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 7, Windows Vista 64-bit
Number of downloads: 28414
Yahoo Messenger is one of the most popular instant-messaging programs and it's easy to see why: a simple-to-use program supported by a massive online community, and it's all free.
All you have to do is get yourself a Yahoo ID (by signing up for one at the Yahoo UK website) and download a very small installation program.
The set-up procedure is slightly confusing, as you are presented with several different options and it's not always obvious which ones to choose. The offer of a free Yahoo email address, for example, may be appealing to some, but the set-up procedure also attempts to set your browser's homepage to Yahoo, which might annoy some users.
You have to make sure you remove the tick from the appropriate box if you don't want this to happen. Once installed, you'll find evidence of the program everywhere - your desktop, taskbar and quick launch bar will be littered with shortcuts and your web browser will have suddenly developed a whole new toolbar. These are all easily dealt with, but it feels a bit invasive.
The Messenger program itself works just like MSN, with the added bonus of enormous, thriving chat rooms where you can talk to fellow webcam users as well as your nearest and dearest.
The latest v10 preview ships with enhanced video calling as well as a built in media player that will enable you to watch web videos and view photographs with friends.
Note that this is free, but supported by adverts.