The first Windows Live Messenger 9.0 Beta build was released in November 2007. The release brought the ability to sign into Messenger from up to four computers at once, the ability to choose customized sounds for your sign-in and for your contacts, URLs in Personal Status Messages, and Animated Display Pictures. However, features requested across the many Messenger programs such as Tabbed Conversations and the ability to decline a group conversation invite were nowhere to be seen.
Since the first beta release, there have been no new builds, no information leaks... effectively nothing. Something is just not right in the Windows Live Messenger department, and the beta testers are feeling it too. An anonymous tipster e-mailed me that the third top-rated suggestion in the Windows Live Messenger 9.0 Beta program, is entitled "Unsatisfied with this Beta Program." The suggestion, which is more of a complaint, is a very lengthy one, but here's the core of it:
I've been browsing through the various bug reports and suggestions that have been submitted to date, and one after one they are all being marked as either Won't Fix or Postponed, and I can safely say that with my experience with these WLM Beta programs, that whenever a suggestion or Bug is marked as Postponed, it never actually finds its way in. So I think I speak for many when I say, what's the point? Why do you run this program if you just continuously disregard our feedback? It's obvious that when you start these programs, that you already have a clear image of what you want and don't want to implement into the client, so why bother? And why waste our time?
This entry was posted on January 1, 2008, and has since accumulated many supporting comments. Microsoft has not made a response to it; it's been over four months now. Taking this into consideration, along with the fact that no new builds have seen the light of day, I would wager that Microsoft is hard at work on a refresh build.
It's quite sad to watch Yahoo redesign its messenger client and truly bring out some great Vista-only capabilities while Microsoft sits on its hands. As a Windows Live Messenger user, I hope that the beta testers have made the software giant realize that it needs to get its act together.
Edited by wolf_08 - 5/19/08 at 11:58pm