Windows Live Messenger 8.0 Beta

I got an invite to the Messenger Beta today from Nathan, and my largest pet peeve has been fixed, renaming contacts. No longer will I ponder which “Dan” is this Dan. Nor will the long quote names from Hanky annoy me. Having asked for this for a while it’s great to have it completed.

Now that I slow down, I notice it’s a full Contact management system. Hmmm I wonder if I can also store non messenger contacts and replace Plaxo…


Things that seem odd so far :

If the Window Frame is hidden the app title gets squashed by the “Change Color Scheme”, “Show Menu”, “Minimize”, “Maximize”, “Close”. The oddest thing is how is get squashed, the “Windows Live” has higher z-order than the “Messenger”, and the icons collection also have higher z-order than “Messenger”. The Messenger seems to get equally squash at both ends, so you lose the first and last letters. When the app loses focus, the “Windows Live” changes to a dull grey, but the truncated “Messenger” is still in white showing off the bad layout. As space becomes a premium, I would think the “Change Color Scheme” should disappear (off to a menu) as it’s not really top level functionality as it only affects the single title box. Funnier still is as the app gets skinner, the “Windows Live” + windows icon start to get scaled. The dulling appears to be done with alpha channel so it appears to fade even more as is scaled down.

Next noticed UI oddness, is when also in the Window Frame hidden mode, if you drag the window, the outline box is the original Framed Window, and as I don’t have the window drawn through move operations is makes it impossible to place the window at the top of the screen. It appears to have no desktop edge docking. Well it does, it doesn’t let me put any part of the app outside the visible area of the desktop. This is what I used to-do to hide the annoying ads placed at the bottom. The problem with this placement locking is there is wasted space where the Hidden Window Frame used to be. So I might as well have it turn on…

Now I would have put all this into the feedback, but when I click the feedback link, Fire Fox opens and shows me a This Service is Currently Not Available screen, but if I click the Beta Invitations link it opens IE. So it if the error is that the feedback page is IE only it seems odd for them not to use IE to open the page.