I recently got in on the Windows Live Messenger Beta courtesy of Jan Tielen’s and I’ve got to say, I’m a little sceptical. The real difference is in the interface, not the functionality (how much can you really do with text based chat?). They have tried to create a more impressive interface, but I believe its a little too clunky. It is a beta, but it doesn’t bode well for “ma and pa.” Here are my initial reactions:
- Like the adjustable color scheme.
- Dislike the horrid orange default color scheme.
- Love the folder sharing.
- Dislike not being able to share the same folder with multiple contacts.
- Love the new contact form and contact card.
- Hate the clunkyness of the roll-over, expand contact feature, though the idea may have a future.
- Like the “name-wheel” for searching for contacts, but my parents won’t even notice it.
- Dislike the stupid tabs – there has to be a better way.
In general, I would have expected more polish even for an invite only preview. Scott (like I know him :P) mentioned the pixelated icons, but the same issue runs through the entire app. The pop-out tabs are rough around the edges and the now-green MSN-men which replace the impossible-to-recognize personalize icons of MSN 7.5 are a little fuzzy.
I like that they are trying to make things look cool, but please, go vector, go home.