A few days ago Microsoft recently released a long overdue version of Microsoft Messenger for Mac 6.0. After a few days poking around with it I gotta say it feels like a checkbox in a product matrix and not a quality release.
The Contact List:
The IM Window:
• It’s a Universal application
• Supports Yahoo/MSFT IM interop
• Has “conversation history” aka archiving
• Allows conversations to be saved as MSFT Entourage Project notes
• Lets you setup MSN alerts (large list of configurable alerts)
• Status messages work across Yahoo/MSFT
• Support for Live Communication Server
• Can’t sign in with a Yahoo ID
• No spotlight support for conversation history
• Tacky interface
• No webcam support
• No support for IM encryption
• No voice
• No group IM chat option
• Member services preference link option doesn’t work
• Confusing Mobile/Pager references (and preferences)
• Strange hybrid corporate/personal consumer product play
• Can’t send files to Yahoo users
• Lack of common Mac Keyboard shortcuts for things like Fonts, etc
• No support for custom alert sounds
• No support for Yahoo display images
• No obvious way to signout from the client and then automatically into a Mobile device
A few rhetorical questions:
• How can a IM client not support a webcam?
• How can a major Release Candidate client not support Voice?
• Why does this client have two seperate contact lists depending on the signed in user name (Passport/LIve ID vs LCS)?
• Was this throughly bug tested? Too many odd interactions, for instance, why does closing the LCS contact list window (when a LCS username is not even signed in) *and* when the Personal Contact list window is open cause a dialogue window to popup complaining that the application will continue to run?
Bottomline: To take this project seriously major improvements are necessary. This really should be labeled as a beta.
UPDATED 3/19/2007: The Microsoft Mac client team sent me a link to a blog entry on the Microsoft Mac Office Blog. They feel it explains (in a transparent way) how they make decisions and further add that they promise to have webcam support available to Microsoft Messenger Mac users in future versions of the software.