It’s amazing how many settings MSN Messenger 7.0 has forgotten in the upgrade from 6.2. During the install last time I told it that I wanted my home page (that’s my home page) leaving as it is, and that I wasn’t interested in yet another toolbar. Yet when installing it this time they were all ticked again. Maybe it thought I’d have changed my mind since… In any case, having it respect my previous choices, or at least offering a ‘Select None’ button, would make the experience nicer.
Then when I ran the program, MSN Today pops up. So, let me get this straight – Microsoft is bundling a popup blocker in their MSN Toolbar, yet when you run MSN Messenger you get a popup. Hmmm. Either way, in 6.2 I had disabled it (because it’s annoying and of no use to me – like almost all popup adverts, actually), yet it came back to life in 7.0. Thanks, MSN.
It did, however, remember not to display the extra tabs down the side, which is good because there’s a lot of them and they’re distracting. And again, they’re of no real use to me.
Before you ask, yes, I did install 7.0 over the top of 6.2 – I didn’t uninstall 6.2 first. That’s why I was expecting my settings to be remembered.
Trovster’s got a good review so I won’t go into too much detail about everything else, but there are some things I do like, such as the integration with MSN Spaces and ‘personal messages’, which formalises something that many people have been doing for years anyway (appending taglines or comments after their name in the Display Name field). Winks and nudges are of no real use to me but they can at least be turned off, as can the handwriting thingy which again I see no real need for. I’m not sure what this ‘Billing Info/Get More From Messenger’ is but the menu appears 3 (!) times in the message window – under Actions, Tools and Help. Either way, it looks like a way of extracting money from me so I’m not that interested.
Other than that there’s not a huge amount different from previous releases. The client has come on a long way since I first started using it in 1999 at version 1.0, and while there are some nice changes I really do feel that feature bloat is setting in quite badly now. When idle the client uses 7MB of memory, 9MB with a conversation window open and 20+MB when the contact list is open. Compare that to Trillian which connects to many networks and still uses less memory.
Since I really don’t need all the bells and whistles that accompany this new version I’ll be sticking with Trillian for now, although it would be cool if a future Trillian build can have the personal message feature added.