Yahoo seems to have little luck getting the few people still using the ancient Yahoo Messenger 6 and 7 to upgrade. In early June, the Internet-based company announced that support for Messenger versions 6 through 7.5 would be dropped in August with users asked to move to the latest Messenger 9. The three months apparently weren't enough, as Yahoo extended the period to early September and is now announcing it will support the older versions even longer, until September 30, but that's it. And it really means it this time.
A couple of months ago, we told you that we would be retiring Yahoo! Messenger versions 6.0 through 7.5 this Fall. The date for retirement has been set for September 30, 2009.
This means that if you are currently using a version of Yahoo! Messenger that is below 8.0, you will no longer be able to sign in and use it after September 30.
If you are using a version that is set to retire, you have several options for continuing to use Yahoo! Messenger:
Option 1: Download the latest version for Windows
You can use Yahoo! Messenger 9.0 which offers enhanced security as well as better protection from spam. It was even voted the best overall client in the 2009 About.com IM Awards. 9.0 also includes more advanced features like voice calling, free mobile text messaging (SMS), as well as the ability to IM with friends that use Windows Live™ Messenger.
Option 2: Use Yahoo! Messenger for the Web
If you can’t use the latest version mentioned above, you can always sign in to Yahoo! Messenger for the Web from any web browser. No extra download or installation is required. With our web version, you can send IM’s as well as SMS text messages to your friend’s mobile phones for free. Our web version also includes anywhere archiving, allowing you to access your message history from any computer or browser.
Option 3: Use the built-in IM feature in Yahoo! Mail
Both versions of Yahoo! Mail offer a built-in feature that lets you send and receive IMs. If you’re using the all-new Yahoo! Mail, just click the status menu next to your name in the upper header and change your status to “Available”. This will sign you into Yahoo! Messenger (you also have the option of staying invisible). IM conversations occur in separate tabs within your Mail page.
In Yahoo! Mail Classic, you’ll see a module on the left hand side of the page labeled “Chat & Mobile Text”. Click on the status menu in that module to change to “Available” (or Invisible). IM conversations will show up in a small box in the lower right corner of your Yahoo! Mail Classic page (but it won’t interfere with your Mail messages or using Mail).
As an alternative, there are also solutions available for your mobile phone. We recently launched Yahoo! Messenger for the iPhone and additionals versions are available for other mobile devices.
Yahoo emphasized that no matter what version you migrate to, your contact list always goes with you. As September 30th draws closer, we’ll remind you again and again.