Yahoo! Messenger for Vista discontinued
Posted by absorbation on Mon 27 Oct 2008 (21:32 GMT) (3342 views)
The Yahoo! Messenger specifically designed for Windows Vista using Microsoft's unique WPF engine met critical acclaim when it was introduced over a year ago. I loved it, it was just the update the IM market needed, and the ideal sort of program to benefit from Microsoft's new technology. So the news that the project has been cancelled is a big blow to any Yahoo! Messenger user:

As of today, Yahoo! Messenger for Vista will no longer be available for download from the Yahoo! Messenger website. We have discontinued stand-alone releases of the Yahoo! Messenger for Vista application in order to focus on delivering one Windows experience that is optimized for all Windows users.

This decision will help us increase efficiencies on our team and deliver one consistent, full-featured product for all of our Windows users. Our application was based on the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) platform which we will continue to experiment with and invest in. The knowledge we gathered from developing Yahoo! Messenger for Vista will also help us improve future versions of our Windows software.

The comments of the post don't make easy reading, with the users clearly expressing they enjoyed the program while it was available. Moreover, what was the motive behind cancelling the project? The official word is so the development teams can join together, but any tech enthusiast would know that Yahoo! have just laid off a good proportion of their staff. Maybe Yahoo! Messenger for Vista was a consequence of Yahoo's suffering profits and the economic downturn (which has had a benefit for msgstuff profits actually).

Yahoo! Messenger blog: Yahoo! Messenger for Vista version is no longer available

New Yahoo! Messenger for Vista beta refresh
Posted by the andyman on Sat 12 Jul 2008 (12:30 GMT) (5024 views)
Looks like we missed this one last week so just a quick post to let you known that Yahoo! have released another small update to their new beta Vista-only, user-friendly, GUI-orientated messenger client.

There are lots of bug fixes and general enhancements as well as the main improvements:

Persistent text formatting
Now when you change your font, text size or color for your IM messages, we’ll save your settings between sessions. So if you like to IM in font size 14 using red letters in Arial Bold, we’ll remember!

Voice improvements
We updated the user interface for the voice feature to make the buttons more clear and added a new voice visualization called “Color Burst”. Plus there’s an updated incoming call notification that appears front and center when a call comes in.

No webcam yet, but we’re making that clear
A lot of our feedback has been from users asking for webcam support or users that look for the webcam feature but can’t find it in the product. Currently, we don’t have webcam support in Yahoo! Messenger for Vista but to shorten our users’ search for it, we added a webcam menu item. Those not in-the-know will get a message telling them that webcam support is coming soon.

Source: Yahoo! Messenger blog
Download the latest Yahoo! Messenger for Vista beta
Official Yahoo! Messenger for Vista site
Send feedback about the latest beta version

Yahoo! Messenger logo

New version of Yahoo! Messenger for Vista Beta
Posted by the andyman on Thu 01 May 2008 (20:02 GMT) (9360 views)
Yahoo! Messenger for Vista, the version of Yahoo! Messenger designed specifically for Windows Vista using its interface technologies, was first released to beta at the end of last year. The first new version since then has now been released.

The main improvement is the addition of much-requested audio chat features. This includes the usual PC to PC calls and PC to phone calls, as well as cool visualisation effects that match you and your contact's voices when you speak.

Along with this there have been general speed and stability improvements, the ability to send "free" SMS messages to mobile phones has been added, and there is a new email alerts feature.

Source: Yahoo! Messenger blog
Download Yahoo! Messenger for Vista Beta (direct download link)
Official Yahoo! Messenger for Vista site

Yahoo! Messenger for Windows Vista released as public beta
Posted by absorbation on Thu 06 Dec 2007 (22:40 GMT) (159860 views)
Yahoo! Messenger for Windows Vista has been in development for way over a year now. It was officially announced last January and today a public beta has been released to the public. Its features include:

  • Organize your conversations into tabs, or drag and drop a tab out to create a new window
  • Keep up with your favorite contacts by dragging them into the Windows Sidebar gadget
  • Send enhanced emoticons that have some extra oomph
  • Change the color of your IM windows with a built-in skin chooser. Go crazy with a different skin for every IM window!
  • Adjust the display size of your contacts with a handy slider
  • Arrange your contact list into multiple columns just by resizing your window
  • Send instant messages to your Yahoo! and Windows Live Messenger contacts
  • Send files to friends as large as 2 GB
  • Find contacts quickly with the contact search bar. Type in a few letters of the contact's name or ID and they'll come up in filtered results.
  • As-you-type spell checker that's smart enough to know that 'LOL' is not something to correct
  • A preferences menu you can access by right-clicking anywhere at the top of the main Messenger window

Yahoo! Messenger for Vista has its flaws. There are a lot of bugs and everything seems very basic at the moment. However, I can see a lot of potential and the idea totally re-designing the software should be on the table for Windows Live Messenger. I can see the completed product being very popular. You can view a video of Yahoo! Messenger for Windows Vista in action below:

Source: Yahoo! Messenger development blog
View some screenshots of Yahoo! Messenger for Windows Vista
Visit the official website

A huge shake up for Yahoo! Messenger
Posted by absorbation on Tue 09 Jan 2007 (17:19 GMT) (244701 views)
To keep your software something which is seen as modern and ground breaking, companies and often individuals radically change a huge aspect of their program. This is often in terms of design, or more simply a name change. These ideas work, and have brought millions of new users to old programs.

Take Windows Live for example, it's a new line of products, which integrate together from Microsoft, mainly replacing good old MSN. Has it worked? Yes, these products have been heavily followed, and comparing MSN to Windows Live, you can see where MSN has become outdated.

The main point of my story is that a simple change can make a huge difference. Yahoo! Messenger is getting outdated, like MSN Messenger was. New ideas and features don't always gain new users, in fact they can bloat a program and scare them away. Yahoo! Messenger is getting a new design, just for Windows Vista, and well, it's making me want to use it.

The design is a cross between the Yahoo! Widget engine and Windows Vista, taking full advantage of the new visuals the operating system has to offer. I think we can say it's going to get Yahoo! a few extra users when this comes out, probably including myself, for I often hop on the new age program bandwagon.

Check out Yahoo! Messenger's new upcoming design
View the preview website (including a video)