on Tue 23 Mar 2010 (19:30 GMT) (106470 views)
The initial flow of reactions came from the Messenger Plus! forums, where users started to discuss the leak and post screenshots. Unfortunately most feedback was on the negative side. Commenting on the new social networking features, one regular member said:
It's OK. Not liking the social mode much yet, although maybe once it'll allow me to connect to Facebook and Twitter properly it may be better ...
I liked the look of the emoticons from the preview screenshot, but after using them I dislike them.
Another user enjoyed how Windows 7 compatiablity was complete:
Only thing I remotely like is the Win 7 integration which it all finally seems to be working right ... It's no great improvement to WLM 2009 I reckon. If they want Windows Live Messenger to become a "social networking hub" then they need to implement different steps. The social stream has the potential to work but the split screen contact list alongside the stream does not work well, the text is bulky and large, doesn't work well without images.
MenthiX, scripts and skins database manager for Messenger Plus! had a more positive view:
I don't think the leaked build is a good version to base our opinion of Live Messenger 2010 on. The leaked build is still a very early version with a lot of missing features and bugs. I don't recommend people install it other than on virtual machines. We already saw screenshots of newer builds over a month ago which are more polished, these just aren't available to the public yet.
As far as the new features go: I think they are heading in the right direction by making Messenger more social. While I'm not a huge fan of the social networks, it is the global trend and Messenger is currently loosing users to Facebook and Twitter. People are already creating scripts to sync their personal messages with their social networks, what Microsoft is trying to do in Messenger 2010 seems like a natural step. And for those who don't like it there is a single option which will turn the contactlist back to what we are used to from Messenger 2009 and you'll never have to see the social stream again. Both type of users can be happy. But the interface needs more polishing, especially the social mode looks bloated. Fonts are oversized and there is just too much going on. A giant square ad isn't helping either ...
All together, when the polish up the interface and make it look cleaner I think Messenger 2010 can be a nice new version. Hopefully we'll get to see improved builds soon."
Our admin Chris seemed to think the application needed a face lift:
The idea behind it is good, connecting everyone to their social networks they are apart of, but they need to rethink the design, its 2010 - which in my opinion is all about clean, simple user interfaces.
When asked about the leak, Jonathan Kay, a Microsoft Most Valued Professional and Messenger enthusiast told Messenger Stuff:
Well I don't think it's really a big deal, we'd all seen the leaked screenshots anyway so any "damage" was already done. As most of the new social functionality doesn't seem to be working, we can't even really see what that's completely all about. I don't think there's much incentive for anyone to actually use it right now either.
Perhaps more interesting is how one of the exclusive testers of the leaked build, Nigel Ansell, detailed on his Facebook profile an estimated timeline for Wave 4 product releases:
- 28 April VIP testers will get access to latest builds
- 18 May WL2010 M3 RTW
- 3 June Complete Public disclosure
- 7 June Public Beta Day
- 7 June iPhone main languages Messenger
- 25 August iPhone additional languages Messenger + PUBLIC RTW
I can agree with most of the reactions within the community. I'm not a a fan of the new social panel, nor do I believe Microsoft has revolutionised its IM client enough to compete with new social networking challenges. Overall, considering this build was never meant to see the light of day, Microsoft are making features that users have been asking for, even if they may not yet be fully ready.