MSN Messenger Live 8 - It’s orange

Friday 13th January, 2006
Nothing to do with a Bob Geldof charity event, MSN Live Messenger is V8 of the MSN instant messaging product.

Being a Jaffa oriented kinda guy, I was more than pleased to see the colour scheme, just check out that orange:

Image:MSN Messenger Live 8 - It’s orange

Thankfully, for those of you who don't like your boss seeing it glowing on your screen (even when he's working at the other end of the building) this is just the default colour, you can change the scheme by clicking on the paint kettle in the top right corner. You'll notice the nice rounded menu-less window option from MSN6 is still available, but when you take a screenshot of that window it's original dimensions comes through. The windows is actually still rectangular and still has a menu, they're just transparent.

So there we have the killer feature of MSN 8, you can change the colours! But the future's bright, the future's.....

Ok, I lied, you can do a bit more than that...



MSN8 has a new built in telephony feature. After a deal with a few telecoms companies they can now offer low cost calling internationally, on your PC, through your IM client. I'm told this is like Skype, which can only be a bad thing. Just as with Skype you can call other product users free, but Skype and MSN users can't call each other. In fact, whereas Skype now has the option for in-calling, nobody can call MSN8 users except...you guessed it...MSN8 users. So now we have 2 major proprietary voice over IP systems. What's wrong with open standards? I can call any SIP based VoIP user in the world using my SIP kit, regardless of who they sign up to and who bills them.

Another addition in Live Messenger is the "folder sharing" utility. I'm told this isn't the Groove technology yet, we have to wait for that. Unfortunately, as I have no real contact on this version yet and this happens if you try to load it on their machine, I'm unable to test it right now. But thankfully, due to the wonderful Google ideas box, I am able to invite my "family and friends" to share messenger with me. Interesting how it doesn't suggest I invite my colleagues along so any this tool isn't business targetted at all.

Back to the UI and, apart from a Changing Rooms style refurb, little has changed. This is where Microsoft have really missed the boat. For half a decade, Messenger Plus! has been the number one bolt on for MSN messenger with over 3million downloads a month, adding features we all didn't just want...we were desperate for. Chat logging and boss protection were among the favourites but, with MSN7, along came the killer app... tabbed chat windows. As more people get singed into IM, this becomes more and more essential to me as the OS taskbar is not the place for all these chat windows.

Thankfully Messenger Plus is already being redeveloped for Messenger live. As the author, Patchou, says:

This new Messenger Plus! will feature a brand new core, a new look that will completely blend into Windows Live Messenger (skinable too), a revised feature list to match the changes in Windows Live Messenger, ... this will be the biggest update since the release of Messenger Plus! 2 (that had also been recoded from scratch from Messenger Plus! 1).


So, I'm guessing this is a rip & replace architecture thing...everything that used to work with it just breaks.

That about covers the changes for now, but I will be back with an update on the shared folders feature; as you'll see from the screencap below, in true Google style, I have invitiations available so if you'd like to try it then ping me. Incidentally, the big grey waste of screen in the contact list is where the advertising banners go. Add the 2 search bars onto that and this is one complete waste of screen, but it's got nothing on the 'add contact' screen, but I'll save that one as a surprise for when you try it out yourself. Thanks again to Peter de Haas for the invitation.

Image:MSN Messenger Live 8 - It’s orange

  1. 1) Josef Said: (13/01/2006 14:11:55 GMT) Gravatar Image
    MSN Messenger Live 8 - It’s orange

    Well, I am running ICQ, AIM & Google Talk these days, all through one software. Used to run Miranda, Gaim and now Kopete under KDE. All work fine and probably the best one is Google Talk since it uses Jabber standard protocol.

  2. 2) chloe Said: (12/02/2006 13:09:08 GMT) Gravatar Image
    MSN Messenger Live 8 - It’s orange

    Hi how d u downloads msn 8 its looks gd!

  3. 3) vella Said: (16/02/2006 06:01:02 GMT) Gravatar Image
    MSN Messenger Live 8 - It’s orange

    hey hey

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