I was given this Sony Vaio laptop from our local LUG, it has Ubuntu on but I needed it for my accounts so dual booted Windows XP with the license stuck on the bottom. It's been a while since I've had a Windows laptop as I'm used to OS X on my iMac.

Most my friends chat on MSN messenger/Windows messenger/MSN/Windows Live Messenger (or whatever it is branded now) so I installed the Windows version. A few years ago the program was just an instant messenger for chatting to people, now it's so bloated I had to write this blog to highlight its problems.

Msn Windows

As you can see almost 50% of the application interface is taken up by elements that have nothing to do with instant messaging! (Tabs can be hidden in the options but this is not default).

Compared to the Mac version there is so much bloat that detract from the original idea of the program.

Even though there are no search boxes, tabs or adverts the Mac version of the program remains highly usable and easy to use and look at.

I did a quick redesign in Fireworks of the Windows version to make it look better.

I've basically cut out all the crap - the program is back to its roots - for chatting to people online. All it needs now is some brushed aluminium.......


I totally agree with you here Pete, I can remember when msn messenger was for sending messages and that was it. Now its another source of Microsoft advertising on your computer.

Thanks for your comments on my blog by the way, hope you enjoyed the pictures of Goodwood!


Just to point out, you can disable the tabs in WLM (I agree, they're completely redundant, and I can't even imagine it brings in much revenue for MS) - in Tools>Options>Tabs there's a checkbox for 'Hide tabs'.
As for the other bloat, you can strip this down using various plugins - there will probably be something at mess.be to your fancy, though I suppose that isn't really the point.

Wonder if you have the scoop on why MSN Messenger is requiring an upgrade for messenger that includes a required .net passport sign-up. Seems kinda suspect....

I know Microsoft have been upgrading passport as they are allowing developers access to it to put on their own sites now.

As Lukey says there is a way to get rid of the tabs, it came around after the first few editions.
I know its annoying and has some pain in the ass bits, but WLM is freeware, and it doesn't have spyware hidden in there as far as i know.
If you want it to be perfect then we would all have to start paying for it.
The adverts are why its free.