Microsoft: Messenger for Mac 8 beta due March 2010

Microsoft confirmed in a blog posting that it plans to release a beta version of Messenger for Mac 8 in March 2010.

The Mac team at Microsoft have been working hard to include A/V support in Messenger for Mac. The A/V support is cross-platform compatible and will work with Windows Live Messenger. Once Messenger for Mac 8 arrives, Mac users will be able to share webcam and audio conversations with each other and their Windows counterparts.

The team first demonstrated the A/V support at MacWorld 2009 earlier this year. A planned beta, promised for 2009, never arrived due to some set backs implementing the A/V support. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed "progress has been slower than expected due to the challenge of connecting to the most current A/V code running on the Windows Live servers. We will not have a beta available in 2009, but we are close: we are in "dogfood", and we plan to have the beta available to you by next March."

Thanks to GeekWord for the news tip

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To paraphrase and add to someone on another forum's rant, in the year between the Mac Dev team announcing that a beta would be made available by 2009's end and their latest post announcing a delay:

Google have released and revamped a whole new browser
Yahoo have released a fully fledged a/v messenger on OSX
A number of startups have created fully functional a/v solutions that run in flash
The volunteer AMSN team have continuously kept their version fully featured despite having no access to WLM protocol documentation

Looking at that list of acheivements, particularly the last one, leads me to conclude that either

The MacBU don't give a damn about Messenger users and are happy to fob them off with software that just barely functions (consider mac messenger's lack of winks, nudges, offline, a/v) but is jarringly different in UI appearance to the rest of OSX. If this is the case they should be honest about it and abandon MacM, as with WMP and IE for mac, so that better alternatives are encouraged to have a stab at implementing a/v.

or

They are utterly, utterly incompetent. How is it possible for (presumably) well connected developers with full access to protocol specifications and code from the WLM side to fail to achieve what AMSN devs amongst numerous others quite clearly have?

I have to use the MSN protocol simply because everyone I know uses it. In all honesty I use adium on OSX, but it would be nice to have the very 1990s privilege of using a webcam to talk to people without having to inconvenience the other person by asking them to open skype/yahoo, applications which have been developed to help people communicate as opposed to earn their parent company money through ads and lock in users to their ecosystem.

/rant

Quactaur said,
To paraphrase and add to someone on another forum's rant, in the year between the Mac Dev team announcing that a beta would be made available by 2009's end and their latest post announcing a delay:

Google have released and revamped a whole new browser
Yahoo have released a fully fledged a/v messenger on OSX
A number of startups have created fully functional a/v solutions that run in flash
The volunteer AMSN team have continuously kept their version fully featured despite having no access to WLM protocol documentation

Looking at that list of acheivements, particularly the last one, leads me to conclude that either

The MacBU don't give a damn about Messenger users and are happy to fob them off with software that just barely functions (consider mac messenger's lack of winks, nudges, offline, a/v) but is jarringly different in UI appearance to the rest of OSX. If this is the case they should be honest about it and abandon MacM, as with WMP and IE for mac, so that better alternatives are encouraged to have a stab at implementing a/v.

or

They are utterly, utterly incompetent. How is it possible for (presumably) well connected developers with full access to protocol specifications and code from the WLM side to fail to achieve what AMSN devs amongst numerous others quite clearly have?

I have to use the MSN protocol simply because everyone I know uses it. In all honesty I use adium on OSX, but it would be nice to have the very 1990s privilege of using a webcam to talk to people without having to inconvenience the other person by asking them to open skype/yahoo, applications which have been developed to help people communicate as opposed to earn their parent company money through ads and lock in users to their ecosystem.

/rant

+1,000,000,000,000

They need to relea$e an up to date client anyway.. or el$e people will look for alternative$, lo$ing Micro$oft their preciou$ money.

Quactaur said,
To paraphrase and add to someone on another forum's rant, in the year between the Mac Dev team announcing that a beta would be made available by 2009's end and their latest post announcing a delay:

Google have released and revamped a whole new browser
Yahoo have released a fully fledged a/v messenger on OSX
A number of startups have created fully functional a/v solutions that run in flash
The volunteer AMSN team have continuously kept their version fully featured despite having no access to WLM protocol documentation

Looking at that list of acheivements, particularly the last one, leads me to conclude that either

The MacBU don't give a damn about Messenger users and are happy to fob them off with software that just barely functions (consider mac messenger's lack of winks, nudges, offline, a/v) but is jarringly different in UI appearance to the rest of OSX. If this is the case they should be honest about it and abandon MacM, as with WMP and IE for mac, so that better alternatives are encouraged to have a stab at implementing a/v.

or

They are utterly, utterly incompetent. How is it possible for (presumably) well connected developers with full access to protocol specifications and code from the WLM side to fail to achieve what AMSN devs amongst numerous others quite clearly have?

I have to use the MSN protocol simply because everyone I know uses it. In all honesty I use adium on OSX, but it would be nice to have the very 1990s privilege of using a webcam to talk to people without having to inconvenience the other person by asking them to open skype/yahoo, applications which have been developed to help people communicate as opposed to earn their parent company money through ads and lock in users to their ecosystem.

/rant

Alternate theory: they don't have as much funds and/or are smaller and/or don't have as much people working on the Mac client.

OMG finally.....I was getting really bummed out not being able to use voice chat in Mac Messenger......I also like the idea of video chat but I am more interested in the audio. I only hope it will function well.

Messenger for Mac 8? Isn't MAC OS at like 10 or something. ;)
Or is this Messenger 8 for Mac OSX?

It looks like the editors for print news will be in demand for online news proofreading.

Oh wow. A/V? Amazing!

Anything else, such as OFFLINE MESSAGING!!!!!, SCENES!!!!!, WINKS!!!!!!!, UI CHANGES!!!!!!!!!?????? EVERY OTHER FRIGGIN FEATURE OF THE WINDOWS CLIENT!?????????????????????

WAAAAKKKKEEEE THE HEELLLL UP YOU CLOWNS!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE BLOODY HECK ARE YOU BEING PAYED FOR??????


edit: I will hand it to them though.. It's obviously pretty hard to integrate the A/V.. and they didn't actually comment on any of those other features. Still, It is a decade FAR too late!

I wished they'd offer a slimmed down WLM with just chat, file transfers, offline messaging and maybe A/V. I hate apps that try to add every freaking feature under the sun.

iamwhoiam said,
I wished they'd offer a slimmed down WLM with just chat, file transfers, offline messaging and maybe A/V. I hate apps that try to add every freaking feature under the sun.

That too.. but for the time being, I think Microsoft just needs to pick up their game with the mac application and actually offer every feature under the sun. Once this is achieved a lite version should be pretty easy.

PsykX said,
Ew.

I wish they would make it look like a Mac application.

Ew, I just wish they made it look not like crap and filled with advertising, as both your versions will inevitably be filled with.

Trillian FTW.

Andrew Lyle said,
I wish they would make it look like the Windows version.

Most Mac users would prefer an interface that actually looks like it belongs on Mac OS X, instead of a custom theme.

PsykX said,
Ew.

I wish they would make it look like a Mac application.

How on Earth does it not look like a Mac application?

MarkKB said,
How on Earth does it not look like a Mac application?

Giant non-Aqua Send button
Tiger-era drawers
Tiger-era bordered windows

It better have more than A/V features after such a long wait.

And it better not look like the last iteration.

I know the screenshot above is from the leaked beta, so hopefully after a year it's changed its look.

Binary said,
It better have more than A/V features after such a long wait.

And it better not look like the last iteration.

I know the screenshot above is from the leaked beta, so hopefully after a year it's changed its look.


So true... I'm afraid it'll just get A/V though, and minor bugfixes. There's so much to do for WLM parity here.

Well, it's about time! But I'm happy with using WLM over VMware Fusion! It's a shame they don't port over the full functionality more often. Then again Microsoft don't like Apple too much do they?

Zoom7000 said,
Well, it's about time! But I'm happy with using WLM over VMware Fusion! It's a shame they don't port over the full functionality more often. Then again Microsoft don't like Apple too much do they? :p

yeah, and if you think of iTunes functionality on Windows.. I think Microsoft had better pick up their game.

iTunes on Windows is slow and ugly, but is fully featured compared to the OS X version.

MSN Messenger for Mac is slow and ugly, and has about 20% of the features of the Mac version.

Simon said,
iTunes on Windows is slow and ugly, but is fully featured compared to the OS X version.

MSN Messenger for Mac is slow and ugly, and has about 20% of the features of the Mac version.

Yes, that is true.

Do .. do you get viruses on Mac's ?

I assumed it was like Linux and merely didnt have the market share to have coders try and infect them. + If apple did say "Oh yes, we have 98% less viruses then Windows" you could simply say that its because Mac's dont have much of a chance at the moment against Windows when it comes to market share.. Windows 7 looks to be the new Windows XP.

century said,
Do .. do you get viruses on Mac's ?

I assumed it was like Linux and merely didnt have the market share to have coders try and infect them. + If apple did say "Oh yes, we have 98% less viruses then Windows" you could simply say that its because Mac's dont have much of a chance at the moment against Windows when it comes to market share.. Windows 7 looks to be the new Windows XP.

A/V means Audio/Video. Not AntiVirus

That was probably the most idiotic comment I've seen today. I really hope you just interpreted A/V as anti-virus and not audio/video for what it actually stands for.

RTFA

It should definitely be removed. I mean, you NEED a keyboard to type a message to someone, you won't ever click this send button ever in your life. You'll press Enter.

While we're at it, they need to get rid of this drawer at the right. It's not really popular anymore since Leopard. And it's not for nothing - we hate them.

Adium's great.... but it lacks so many useful MSN features. (useful msn features? Seems like a paradox lol)

But hey, that's what I use since the last 2 years. It grew on me, but I still want those features. I really need to dig into Cocoa books a lot and become an Adium developer lol. Maybe by the next 3 years we would have all those lacking features :P

About freaking time....

But when I first read the title, I thought it was the final, not a beta... Oh God. We are in an endless circled-shaped waiting continuum ...

yea just moved to mac, and not happy with the WLM you get with it! cant share photos with friends or family cause my is too old! also what about skype! maybe a upgrade on the looks on that too would be great!

PureLegend said,
Skype is available. And I'm pretty sure file transfers are supported.

yes, slowly. In my experience over the internet connection I have.. it is at least 100X slower than the Windows counterpart.

dagrimdialer619 said,
yes, slowly. In my experience over the internet connection I have.. it is at least 100X slower than the Windows counterpart.

The slow transfer on Live Messenger on Mac is due to the fact that it doesn't support the latest MSN protocol which means all transfers have to go through the server rather than it being a direction connection between two people. It sucks - the only alternative is to use amsn which can be sluggish occasionally due to its reliance on tcl/tk.

rawr_boy81 said,
The slow transfer on Live Messenger on Mac is due to the fact that it doesn't support the latest MSN protocol which means all transfers have to go through the server rather than it being a direction connection between two people. It sucks - the only alternative is to use amsn which can be sluggish occasionally due to its reliance on tcl/tk.

aMSN also consumes like 20% CPU with an inactive chat window open and no cam. It's horrible when on a laptop and battery setup, but one of few A/V MSN options on the Mac. :S

Well hopefully this version will be better then 7! as I tried that one and it was horrendous! happily using Adium till MS can (if ever) get the Mac version of messenger more on par with it's Windows counterpart (I use WLM on Windows and love it, can't say the same for the Mac version).

Alex_is_Axel said,
why does mac msn look great compared to windows msn. well the windows msn looks good/ok-ish but mac one looks great and compact!


No, they are just gray.

I'll have to say that even compared to other Mac OS X apps and WLM itself, this looks pretty crappy.

I was so excited for 20 seconds to think we were getting an improved UI. I love the Windows Live UI and think were getting screwed on the MAC with the old antiquanited client.

At least were getting A/V finally.

/le sigh

Louis M. said,
[...] getting screwed on the MAC with the old antiquanited client. [...]

Messenger for Mac screws the Mac's Media Access Control (MAC)?
If you like windows apps but not the windows OS, support the WINE and Darwine projects.

Pharos said,
A kitten dies everytime someone types MAC instead of Mac. And 99% of the people reading it sigh and /facepalm.

Dude, get out of my head! D:

Pharos said,
A kitten dies everytime someone types MAC instead of Mac. And 99% of the people reading it sigh and /facepalm.

and another 1% know how to read things in context and not get bent out of shapeby such trivial ****.

Alex_is_Axel said,
why does mac msn look great compared to windows msn. well the windows msn looks good/ok-ish but mac one looks great and compact!

Probably because they don't share UI design teams.

Shadrack said,
and another 1% know how to read things in context and not get bent out of shapeby such trivial ****.

oh, the irony lol. Relax, I was joking.

Shadrack said,
and another 1% know how to read things in context and not get bent out of shapeby such trivial ****.


What does "context" have to do with it? MAC doesn't mean the same thing as Mac in any context.

Kirkburn said,
You'd suggest they didn't bother?

They haven't before, why start now when people have found alternatives.

what said,
They haven't before, why start now when people have found alternatives.

Now they got another alternative ...

It's nice they finally added it but they are really late. I'm sure anyone who wanted to use it by now has made an AIM account and just uses iChat which is far nice imo. What a waste of space with that sidebar for pictures.

What truly sucks here is that competing products on Mac offer better Live Messenger interoperability than the official client. It's such a tragedy, Microsoft.

People will use the network that their contacts use. If that happens to be MSN then this move very possibly will allow them to shift back to the official client if they are so inclined. I fail to see the negative here. Yes they were slow, but thats not a reason not to bother at all.

Smigit said,
People will use the network that their contacts use. If that happens to be MSN then this move very possibly will allow them to shift back to the official client if they are so inclined. I fail to see the negative here. Yes they were slow, but thats not a reason not to bother at all.

I agree, especially as the support for A/V on MSN on the Mac is in a pretty critical state with few options. This is very annoying when you have MSN contacts. It's not practical to ask everyone to switch just because you want to chat with a cam with them. I wouldn't care in the slightest for this feature if some quality client like Adium supported A/V, but it doesn't.