That is correct you need to download Windows Live Mail Desktop from ideas.live.com to get hotmail etc
I've been actually part of the BETA for over a month and a half now but have no invites etc as yet.
What I like about it?
Ease of use to manage multiple hotmail and web accounts (supports other webmail clients). RSS integration, Blog it feature, Photo Email (ala MSN Premium). Integration with Messenger (display picture/name and PSM).
What I don't like about it?
Performance (early BETA) is sluggish.
What I'd like to see?
It could do with keyboard shortcuts (to mirror Mail Live). Direct blog posting to Spaces without spawning a browser session. Messenger Tabs (I love my stock tab and xbox live tab).
tell you what, drop me a priv msg and i'll send you an invite most of the task oriented features you mentioned have been implemented in the beta
As far as i know, as of Messenger 7 onwards a gleam * was added to the left handside of your nick in the Messenger main contact list.
to me this is clear enough and not intrusive (even with that ppl find it irritating).
Messenger, Spaces, Hotmail all share the same contact list and with Messenger 8 this becomes more apparent as you'll notice that even your hotmail contacts are in Messenger.
There will be a new feature in the February release that allows contact card update notifications etc so you should know when your friend updates their blog or makes a change to their profile etc.
Btw, have you seen Messenger 8?
Actually there is a feedback alias "msgrfdbk" at a microsoft alias (not typing it out due to spam)
Ensure your feedback is clear and understandable in which area your describing. Also provide your messenger client build number.
Please also note tht some of the feedback your giving has already been taken by other users and is being addressed
What do you mean by
"-Send button should be visibly enabled when typing a message."