MSN Messenger, the software that I love, the software that I hate. I abhor it yet I can’t live without it, mostly because I’m no phone person, so if it’s not possible to get stuff done face-to-face, I’d rather do them on IM. Yet, IM is the perfect way to experience in great extremes most of the things that piss the hell out of me, so throughout the years, I found myself uninstalling MSN several times only to reinstall it again later on because I had to discuss a certain project with that person or stay in touch with another.
I’ve been a loyal user of MSN since it first came out back in ’99- right when ICQ’s little yellow flowers started getting on my nerves and MSN’s fresh white simplicity was a much needed change.
The image on the left is a screenshot of MSN Messenger 2, and looking at it, I can see why I immediately embraced MSN- the minimalistic design and lack of annoying extra features made it very appealing.
But of course, the internet is a fast changing world of its own and with time, I grew accustomed to signing in to MSN every few months only to see a pop up telling that I can’t proceed unless I install the newest version. Each ‘newest version’ was more coloful, animated, and crowded than the previous one. I’m not saying change is bad, but as far as I was concerned, the folks over at Microsoft were taking MSN to a place where I didn’t want it to go, making it more appealing to kids and less appealing to people who wanted a more stable, less bouncy interface.
Then came the beta test of Windows Live Messenger 8- the first “newest version” of MSN that I got excited over. For a change, it was solid, concentrating more on user provided content (such as the sharing folder bit) than silly time-fillers. I also absolutely loved it’s aesthetics- curves rather than sharp edges, blunt colors against gray rather than pastels, and a generally fresh and “modern” feel. Unfortunately, I don’t have any screenshots, but Tech Hash did a review of it, so here are some screenshots courtsey of Yazan:
Then, yesterday, I was prompted to update my MSN Messenger software once again, and to my shock and complete annoyance, Microsoft has morphed Messenger Live to look like MSN Messenger 7.5 again, complete with the terribly drab pastel shades, 3d effects that look more like they’re meant to be gradients, and corners sharp enough to hurt.
When I whined to a friend about this, he told me that he has read some pretty bad reviews about it and not enough good ones, which is pretty much why I’m writing this post- I vote for the first version of Windows Messenger Live, don’t turn it into an MSN 7.5, enough with the pastels for God’s sake!