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Microsoft Messenger 8.0.1

Microsoft Messenger 8.0.1

Screenshots of Microsoft Messenger

Microsoft Messenger Editor's Review

Microsoft Messenger is an Instant Messaging client, which allows you to chat with your friends, family, or co-workers using Microsoft's network.

This new version of Microsoft Messenger is part of the Microsoft's efforts to launch the brand new Live services and applications. This means a new search engine, a new e-mail client, and of course a new IM client such as this one.

This minor update of the 6th version comes with modifications in naming and functionality. When this program was released as the 6th version, it had the old name MSN Messenger. Today there's Microsoft Messenger for Mac everywhere.

The functionality modification is actually a bug fix. If you had trouble with logging, this update has the fix for that issue.

This new release includes the long awaited communication with the Yahoo! network. Microsoft's network, even without this feature, was the biggest IM network. Now with this intercommunication with Yahoo!, Microsoft becomes a challenge for the competition. The intercommunication is not fully compatible. Certain features won't work between these two networks such as the file transfer. The icon packs, used in the Microsoft client, aren't compatible with the ones built in Yahoo! Messenger, so don't expect a lot from this features.

I liked the possibility to save your conversations. You can pick between automatic saving or you can set the client to require your confirmation, every time you close a chat window.

The privacy settings of this client are quite good and well structured. If you have an annoying contact, you can block it very easily with two mouse clicks.

I don't like the fact that the option to send offline messages is missing. This is a client issue, because for as long as I can remember the Windows version does support offline messages. If you have a Yahoo! contact, this can be a privacy issue. If a Yahoo! contact sees you as offline and the person sends you a message, then these things can happen: either that person receives a delivery error message or the message is sent and there goes away your privacy.

Another thing that is missing is the 'Nudge' button. Once again, a similar Windows application has more features than the Mac one and this isn't very nice from the producer. The list of the missing features doesn't end here. Microsoft must have been in a hurry, since they 'forgot' that Mac users should also have the possibility to use the video call since most of the Macs have a built in iSight.

In this case Yahoo! Messenger for Mac or even better, Skype for Mac, get the market share from Microsoft. Using an inferior IM client just for the sake of using Microsoft's network isn't fully justified, especially when they offer these features for their Windows platform.

Pluses: it has built in the support for intercommunication with the Yahoo! network, it's trying to align with the Microsoft's Live services, it has a pretty good message archive, it can show the status of the song that is currently playing in iTunes.

Drawbacks / flaws: it has some missing features such as the 'Nudge' button, it doesn't have the support for offline messages, which creates in certain situations some privacy issues. A weird thing is the fact that suddenly in my 'Other Contacts' group appeared 65533 contacts when I actually don't have any into that group. In addition, the lack of support for video calls can't be replaced by the possibility to define your own emoticons.

In conclusion: if you are a Microsoft network user I guess you can be happy with this new client and the new built-in features. Although, those features are far from a complete list since some of the basic required features from a IM client are not implemented. The application was stable during the entire test unlike Yahoo!'s client though.

version reviewed: 6.0.1

Microsoft Messenger Publisher's Description

Microsoft Messenger is a chat client that allows you to connect to the MSN network and chat with buddies online.New features in v6.0:Chat with Yahoo! Messenger contactsAdd a status message that your personal contacts can seeShare what you are listening to in iTunesCreate, send, and receive custom emoticonsSend and receive custom animated emoticonsSearch...

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