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November 26, 2002 5:29 AM   Subscribe

Hooray! Great news for those who love to communicate - Microsoft have released a new version of their popular Windows/MSN/.NET Messenger software! So, let's glance at the new features: there's a great new look with a spinny logo thingy, and... and, erm... well... it's had some features removed... like the ability to use third-party add-ons... and, oh but wait, there's new pop-up advertising and alleged spy-ware! Oh...
posted by Pretty_Generic (20 comments total)
Is anyone suprised by this? I sure as hell ain't. I support Jabber and you should too!
posted by PenDevil at 5:40 AM on November 26, 2002

Hey Pretty_Generic, you should be in advertising for Microsoft!!!! :)
posted by LinemanBear at 5:49 AM on November 26, 2002

sorry to say, but most of his allegations are baseless and are probably based on the fact that, being an author of one of the plugins, he is pissed off.
the spyware claim is BS - there's an option turned off by default if i remember correctly that allows the program to send anonymous usage statistics to microsoft. Virtually any other program these days has such an option (Real Player, WinAmp, other main IMs, etc.)
the code bloat is BS as well - at least he never provides any proof of that having taken the place. Also his explanation of it borders on a conspiracy theory.
The tabs that are "impossible to remove" are quite possible to remove when you specify that it's only you who will use this program - a strange UI choice but nevertheless hardly unremovable.
Adverts will be gone whenever someone updates the ad-blocks to deal with MSN 5 (probably a couple of weeks).
With all that said I can go back to using Trillian (even though MSN has audio/video chat which Trillian still doesn't have).
posted by bokononito at 5:53 AM on November 26, 2002

I am actually. It's a technique known as "reverse-viral-market-me-do".
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:54 AM on November 26, 2002

Yeah, the anti-MS stuff is over the top, but the fact remains that this "upgrade" consists of the addition of pop-up advertising and nothing of benefit. The cheek of the company amazes me.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:57 AM on November 26, 2002

well, if you look at the features page , it says that the new features include:

Meet new friends with the MSN Member Directory
Stay current with MSN Today
Find all your contacts in a single address book
Help us improve MSN Messenger
Block spam

so that is SOME new features. And it's an optional download. And its free. And the "spyware" is turned off by default. I haven't seen the popups though? Where are they?

But hey, let me pile on too...those damn Micro$oft bastards!
posted by stupidcomputernickname at 6:59 AM on November 26, 2002

Steven Garrity from Acts of Volition wrote about what's wrong with MSN Messenger 5. Personally I don't like the fact that when I installed MSN Messenger 5, it didn't remove Windows Messenger. Apart from that all other so called problems are easy to deal with. Heck the popup window that people are bitching about also happens in AIM with their AOL Today, you just need to go turn it off.
posted by riffola at 7:33 AM on November 26, 2002

Meet new friends with the MSN Member Directory
Enter your demographics into our database.

Stay current with MSN Today
View ads for MSN sponsors.

Find all your contacts in a single address book
Send Microsoft the e-mail addresses of all your friends.

Help us improve MSN Messenger
Participate in the illusion that we read your feedback

Block spam
Block spam from outside the Microsoft family
posted by PrinceValium at 7:54 AM on November 26, 2002

trillian rocks. i wish they would fix the logging though.
posted by quonsar at 7:57 AM on November 26, 2002

In case it's never been clear, Microsoft puts strategic features designed to benefit themselves ahead of making a customer-driven product. Once you understand this, most of their behavior makes sense.

Makse them pretty succesful, too. One wonders if every company shouldn't try this.
posted by namespan at 7:59 AM on November 26, 2002

I didn't realise you could turn the pop-ups off... my mistake.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:16 AM on November 26, 2002

Actually, the biggest difference I have noticed is it appears to use different tunneling through your firewall. I have used voice chat and file transfer from the 4.x software for some time, then after upgrading to 5.0 I had to make some changes to my firewall for the file transfer, and I still cannot make the voice chat work.

I think the new version is more attractive visually and I do like the sounds quite a bit more.

But, I am upset over loosing my voice chat. I've followed the knowledge base articles closely but still have not resolved the problem.

On preview: I would have expected a quick tour through the Options screen before you started screaming about an option. *shrug*
posted by Ynoxas at 8:26 AM on November 26, 2002

i've been using messenger in my corporate environment since i began with this client. it consistently drops the connection to the service since i'm connecting through a proxy server. apparently (as usual), M$ failed to account for firewalls' clipping the connection. regardless of the reviews, i downloaded and installed the new version. i've been connected ever since i installed it, with no drops.

my vote? if you're connecting through a proxy to the service, version 5 is much better, much more stable. like most of us, i prefer trillian too, but it won't work with non-Messenger services in my environment either.

hence, my only option is messenger, and v.5 is FAR more stable.
posted by tatochip at 8:28 AM on November 26, 2002

Uninstall MSN Messenger.
Uninstall Windows Messenger.
Among the first things I did on upgrading to XP...
As far as usage data - tell your programs (like winamp) they don't have access to the internet. Also try prior versions with Real player, which has added progressively more tracking, bloat, and ugliness.
posted by whatzit at 8:39 AM on November 26, 2002

I hate the new sounds! I, as well as a friend, have already switched back to the old sounds.
posted by agregoli at 8:56 AM on November 26, 2002

I sometimes use MSN Messenger for Windows XP remote help requests. I troubleshoot our employees machines in the field this way.

Unfortunately, these requests do not work with Trillian.
posted by dhacker at 11:08 AM on November 26, 2002

quonsar: what's wrong with the logging? Trillian's logs are as nice as logs come... it's in text, you can format the filenames and timestamps... what else would you want?
posted by azazello at 11:59 AM on November 26, 2002

Borders on conspiracy? (emphasis mine)
Microsoft has intentionally increased the size of the RAM of Msn Messenger from about 7 mbs to 10 mbs, even though there is little change in the design of the program. The reason they did this is to force people on slower computers to think that their computer is working less well, to convince them to upgrade to their latest operating system, Windows XP
Because anyone running MSN Messenger is clearly an idiot...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:52 PM on November 26, 2002

Calling the usage data option spyware is hyperbolic. It's like a spy asking someone if s/he can spy on them before doing so. Terribly sneaky.
posted by holycola at 5:02 PM on November 26, 2002

At least the darn thing doesn't automatically log me in during start up of Outlook Express. I have the appearance of choice! I like Trillian better, too - but we're forced to use this MS junk with work.
posted by entrustNoOne at 7:47 PM on November 26, 2002

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