January 12th, 2007 by Keith

ICQ 6 Preview – The All New ICQ Chat Client (With Contest)

Posted in Fun Stuff, Site News, Software Companies, Utilities, Windows

ICQ Logo

Before MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger becomes the more popular chat client in the last couple of years, ICQ was the premier chatting software that everyone was used to. Unfortunately, its popularity starts to decline after 2003, when the last pro version of ICQ was released. Since then, ICQ started releasing its lite versions, which I feel wasn’t as impressive as ICQ Pro versions which they had used to dominate the market. Recently, there is a new release of their latest preview version of ICQ 6.

ICQ 6 Preview is the newest version of ICQ instant messaging service. Since it is still under development stage, it is thus labelled as Preview. In this version, some of the features are brought over from the existing versions of ICQ, whereas new ones will be available in the final release. Some of the new features are as follow:

New Features

  • - Fresh redesigned appearance
  • - Extra-quick IM
  • - Grouped conversations
  • - Easy access to unread messages
  • - New interface for voice calls

Where these some of the new key features that has already been implemented, there are still more on the waiting list, such as:

  • - SMS
  • - All call options from one place
  • - Multi user conversations
  • - Easier to express yourself with statuses
  • - Total preferences control (for all Pro freaks)
  • - History miner
  • - Recreate your ICQ
  • - and more…
    • The first thing I noticed is its totally new flash-like interface. There is a particular feature that I like best, which is equivalent to Quick-Send. Short messages can be sent instantly without opening a window, directly from the ICQ contact list panel, by click on the contact and start typing. Other features include Xtzers, which are like animated “emoticons”. There is a whole bunch of other new features, totally new and different from what you might expect. I have to admit I am amazed by them.

      On the down side, I feel that the use of resources is pretty high, as the speed is a little sluggish. However, that should not be an issue for faster computers. Also, I do notice a small bug related to memory problem when closing the program, but it’s not a big issue.

      Nonetheless, there is one vital thing to take note. The application cannot be downloaded directly. In order to run ICQ 6, users must first register (even if they already have an ICQ account) to test ICQ 6 Preview. Registration is not immediately available to the public. The ICQ website will open the registration to only 500 new members at every 12 hours. Usually, if you are waiting until the last second for the download to happen, you’ll probably realised all the vacancies are already taken up and you will have to wait for the next 12 hours again. However, there are still some lucky ones who managed to get hold of one.

      I’m not sure if this trick might work. Assume if the clock starts counting down; just about 10 seconds or so before the registration open, click on the Main tab of the ICQ Preview Version page. Just nice, you might be one of the few lucky registrants to join the group of successful applicants. Once again, it will not work for everyone.

      Or, there is an alternative. Since you are an avid SoftSift reader (assuming you have read that far until here), I am inviting 2 registered ICQ users (you must already be a registered member of ICQ with a valid ICQ account number) to participate in the ICQ 6 Preview testing. However, this is what you have to do:

      • Write a comment in this post, and answer the following:
        1. What is it that you like/dislike about SoftSift?
        2. If you were to use ICQ to send a message to someone, who will he/she be? and Why?
      • Your comment must be at least 20 words, but not more than 200 words.
      • Don’t forget to enter a valid email address, in case the winner needs to be contacted.

      Note that, the contest is open now and will run over the weekend. It will end on Sunday, January 14 2006, at 2359GMT. Winners will be chosen by myself and/or Al, depending on the quality of your post. The result will be posted on Monday, January 15 2006 at 2100GMT.

      If you’re interested, start writing now :)

      Download Link
      ICQ Downloads

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