Windows Live Messenger 9 to have WPF effects

You may have already heard that, along with the rest of Windows Live wave 3, the next version of Windows Live Messenger (version 9.0) will have a new user interface.

After being tipped off by an unaffiliated yet trustworthy source who – naturally – doesn't want to be identified, Messenger Stuff can now reveal that the new interface will use the graphics effects available through WPF [Windows Presentation Foundation], where supported.

To put it simply, this finally means that we will see transparency effects in the various windows of the program, possibly similar to those already seen in Yahoo! Messenger for Vista. We are led to believe that the actual design has not changed much but the WPF effects have been integrated well in what is bound to be a popular new addition.

View: Full story at Messenger Stuff

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I can't say much about this topic except to say that there won't be a WL Messenger 9. That's not to say however that Microsoft aren't working on a new messenger, just that it won't be v9.

omg! Transparency! Graphics Effex!
... Just to send an internet text-message

edit: just use a multi-protocol client for all of the services you use?

I am starting to see that WLM and Yahoo are starting to look alike. Perhaps a future merger of the two clients into one will be the new standard? They can already talk to each other, using one protocol, but will there just be one identical download for both clients?

That would require something like...cooperation...between Yahoo! and Microsoft. And whose logo would appear first?

If they really wanted to go that route which I hope they don't (more competition this way even if they work on the protocols somewhat together), they could do it by just rebranding the client for each respective company.

Still I can't see it happening unless MS was to buy Yahoo.

Can someone explain to me why they chose to go with an interface that uses objects rather than text? Once upon a time I could click to the right of someone's name to unselect them, but now it highlights the whole line rather than just their name -- this is the same for groups. All this does as far as I'm concerned, is slow things down. I don't care about gleams, I don't care about seeing display pictures in the contact list (Having 700+ contacts is too slow otherwise). All I want to do is chat to my friends, go on webcam, send files and voice clips and nudge them. Display pictures and wallpapers would be nice but if for some reason I can't have them then so be it. Ads are no issue, ad the hell out of me if it means that I get my lighter client.

Why isn't there a Lite option? You could get the full blown WLM which will more than likely be close to 15MB, or you could get the Lite version with a much smaller memory footprint and quicker load times and call it WLM Lite. Come on Microsoft, I don't know how you expect me to run Vista and resource heavy applications like the latest Office and WLM and IE7.

So that's why I use OO, Pidgin and FF

(Laser_iCE said @ #15)
Can someone explain to me why they chose to go with an interface that uses objects rather than text? Once upon a time I could click to the right of someone's name to unselect them, but now it highlights the whole line rather than just their name -- this is the same for groups. All this does as far as I'm concerned, is slow things down. I don't care about gleams, I don't care about seeing display pictures in the contact list (Having 700+ contacts is too slow otherwise). All I want to do is chat to my friends, go on webcam, send files and voice clips and nudge them. Display pictures and wallpapers would be nice but if for some reason I can't have them then so be it. Ads are no issue, ad the hell out of me if it means that I get my lighter client.

Why isn't there a Lite option? You could get the full blown WLM which will more than likely be close to 15MB, or you could get the Lite version with a much smaller memory footprint and quicker load times and call it WLM Lite. Come on Microsoft, I don't know how you expect me to run Vista and resource heavy applications like the latest Office and WLM and IE7.

So that's why I use OO, Pidgin and FF :)

I've used OO, Pidgin, and Firefox. Not instead of the majors, but in addition to them (because I multi-boot, and two of the OSes I use aren't Windows). All the apps you listed are nice, but they are also *lite*; they don't have the functionality of the applications (or suites, in the case of OO) that they are seeking to replace. If you load up Firefox, for example, with applets/extensions/plug-ins to match the features included in IE, it becomes *slower* than IE (which isn't exactly a good thing). OO does not support e-mail (which Office Enterprise 2007 does; my second most-used Office application is Outlook, after Word). Pidgin is actually more crash-happy in Vista than YM9XP or YM 8,x, let alone the supremely-stable YMV. To each his own. However, some of us actually do USE all those features that you bemoan (or at least most of them).

(PGHammer said @ #15.1)

I've used OO, Pidgin, and Firefox. Not instead of the majors, but in addition to them (because I multi-boot, and two of the OSes I use aren't Windows). All the apps you listed are nice, but they are also *lite*; they don't have the functionality of the applications (or suites, in the case of OO) that they are seeking to replace. If you load up Firefox, for example, with applets/extensions/plug-ins to match the features included in IE, it becomes *slower* than IE (which isn't exactly a good thing). OO does not support e-mail (which Office Enterprise 2007 does; my second most-used Office application is Outlook, after Word). Pidgin is actually more crash-happy in Vista than YM9XP or YM 8,x, let alone the supremely-stable YMV. To each his own. However, some of us actually do USE all those features that you bemoan (or at least most of them).

Well I don't thoroughly enjoy using Pidgin to be honest, but it does what I need it to do. WLM with the Stuffplug plugin and its memory flusher does a great job at the moment, and I agree about the plugins in FireFox, it just sucks because I've always been a multitasker and now if I want to run things smoothly, I can't run as much at once... Ah well, I guess it's time for me to stop being such a little bitch and upgrade, hah.

They released the 9 beta basically straight after 8.5 went final if I recall correctly as a means to get some quick feedback on a few ideas they had implemented. The betas closed and has been for about a month or so now as they now work on implementing the feedback people gave. As it is but, atm there is no real beta going on apart from some obvious internal works.

(night_stalker_z said @ #10)
If WPF is used, does that mean it will require .NET? Seems kinda overkill for something which does quite little.

Hmm, don't you just...dislike irrational .net-haters?

Are you that low on HDD space?

Why don't you uninstall directx - should free up a few MB - afterall, it's overkill just to be able to play a few games......

(Shiranui said @ #10.2)


Hmm, don't you just...dislike irrational .net-haters?

Are you that low on HDD space?

Why don't you uninstall directx - should free up a few MB - afterall, it's overkill just to be able to play a few games......


Irrational? Perhaps not - .NET does have a speed problem (particularly on startup and it's not like WLM is zippy there NOW) and can be a big memory hungry too. Certainly it doesn't help having .NET apps running on startup if you're looking to avoid disk thrashing on XP. Vista's superfetch helps a lot though. MS acknowledge the issue, and I expect OS/framework solutions in Windows Seven to aid .NET apps (which certainly are the future for Windows development).

Would your first choice for a command line app be .NET?

I use C++/MFC/.NET 2/3.5 - I pick and choose where appropriate. Going .NET isn't a boolean choice after all.

(Shiranui said @ #10.2)

Hmm, don't you just...dislike irrational .net-haters?

Are you that low on HDD space?

Why don't you uninstall directx - should free up a few MB - afterall, it's overkill just to be able to play a few games......


I'm not being irrational. It's just that it increases the requirements to run MSN and it doesn't have any new features which makes it worth upgrading. It's like if the next version of WordPad had WPF.

BTW, I've got nothing against .NET.

(night_stalker_z said @ #10)
If WPF is used, does that mean it will require .NET? Seems kinda overkill for something which does quite little.

A lot of tiny applets are starting to require some flavor of .NET runtime (AMD Overdrive and AMD CCC for Windows both require .NET 2.0 runtime today, for example) and .NET 3.5 is in public beta right now.. All any runtime is (.NET, DirectX, Java, what-have-you) is a section of reusable common code (an object collection if you will, if you're into OOP) that a developer can avoid having to package if he already knows that his target users have it (.NET 2.0 is included with Vista, as a previous poster states). If there is a runtime that you are aware the user already has, you can make your distribution (and the app itself) a great deal smaller, because the user already has one or more of the needed runtimes for the application (this is critical for Web-delivered applets such as IM clients). Taking advantage of client-side included runtimes makes all sorts of sense for such applets.

(PGHammer said @ #10.6)

A lot of tiny applets are starting to require some flavor of .NET runtime (AMD Overdrive and AMD CCC for Windows both require .NET 2.0 runtime today, for example) and .NET 3.5 is in public beta right now.. All any runtime is (.NET, DirectX, Java, what-have-you) is a section of reusable common code (an object collection if you will, if you're into OOP) that a developer can avoid having to package if he already knows that his target users have it (.NET 2.0 is included with Vista, as a previous poster states). If there is a runtime that you are aware the user already has, you can make your distribution (and the app itself) a great deal smaller, because the user already has one or more of the needed runtimes for the application (this is critical for Web-delivered applets such as IM clients). Taking advantage of client-side included runtimes makes all sorts of sense for such applets.

.net 3.5 has RTM'ed...vs.net 2008 is getting around quite fastly...i have seen quite good app & companies taking advantage of WPF...and for sure windows 7 is built on these..

maybe they will bring back the pdc 2003 demo into real (after 7 yrs)..atleast they will!!

(zape said @ #10.5)


I think you are confusing .NET with Java.



Because? I already indicated I'm professionally programming in it lol - I can certainly produced unmanaged code that outpaces .NET - you?

(thealexweb said @ #8)
This comes as I move to Pidgin about a week ago, Microsoft will have to come up with something good to get me back.

Yeah, I wonder what the benefit to more graphics is in an IM app. Better for delivering advertizing and viruses maybe? Instability? I prefer a client that doesn't crash and doesn't get in the way.

(toadeater said @ #8.1)

Yeah, I wonder what the benefit to more graphics is in an IM app. Better for delivering advertizing and viruses maybe? Instability? I prefer a client that doesn't crash and doesn't get in the way.

I use Pidgin, but it DOES crash, a LOT more often then WLM does. In fact, I can't remember WLM ever crashing on me, but Pidgin...at least once a day it just...goes away.

I use Pidgin in Linux (specifically openSuSE), and I've used Pidgin in Windows, and it's clear that Linux (not Windows) is Pidgin's default OS, as Pidgin crashes more in Vista than YM9XP or YM 8.x, for that matter. There are very few applications that I have found are solid across all supported platforms; Pidgin isn't one of them.

(rm20010 said @ #7)
Let's hope they don't make the UI as terribly slow and featureless as Yahoo Messenger for Vista.

The only feature in earlier versions of YM that isn't in YMV is support for web cams. Otherwise, YMV flat-out trumps earlier versions of YMV in both features and usability (and even stability, which neither YM9XP or YM 8.1 are exactly laden with under Vista). You heard right; YMV is more, not less, stable than YM9XP (also in beta, and which also lacks Webcam support). I have every reason to think that one reason for YMV's improved stability is the use of WPF (which neither YM9 or YM 8.x uses, as WPF is Vista-only), considering that YM9 beta and YM 8.x are notoriously crash-happy in Vista. YMV does by default use a minimalist UI on the order of YM9 beta for XP; however, like YM9 beta for XP, this is customizable via Preferences (Ctrl+Shift+P). The use of WPF also means that YMV uses less system memory than previous versions of YM (or even most third-party YM clients) despite being more customizable than pervious versions of YM. The use of WPF by WLM 9 would put the two IM clients back to even-steven in the feature wars (which is a good thing, as I have both IM clients and use different IM lists, and have very little *mixing* in my IM lists), which only benefits us as users. WLM 8 supports webcams (which, as I stated, YMV lacks at present; however, that is being worked on) so if they can add WPF without breaking webcam support, we all win.

Forgive me for jumping to conclusions too soon; I tried the very first beta and trashed it quickly thereafter.

I'm now trying the latest beta. Observations:

- Nice new animations for popups.
- On creating a new window I can see for a split second the 'black' redraw artifact.
- Emoticon window is still terribly slow when scanning through the icons.
- I only added my Hotmail account to my test Yahoo account (my ISP email) yet the application eats up 90 MB of memory, outpacing Firefox with 9 tabs open and Opera with four. Normally I don't complain about memory usage, but in this case it's using up so much for apparently so little. If it was caching something, then I could understand. But what the heck requires 90 MB to be cached?
- Cool animations within the app.
- Resizing a chat window - Terribly slow.
- There's a mix of vectors and bitmaps, says Vista's Magnifier. Understable as the window itself uses a bitmap with an alpha channel, but why is the contact list/status in the main contact window using bitmapped text when all the bitmap text accomplishes over vectorized text is a small shadow effect?

Personally, I can't see this being that useful for long conversations.

It's not MSN any more which is the money loser. I don't see Windows Live Photo Gallery, Writer etc. needing ads, do you ?

I think of Windows Live programs as top tier services that you would you be happy seeing on your computer, simple and effective, not bloat which Messenger is without apatch.

Anyway, I meant most of the other junk, not just ads.

(WooHoo!!! said @ #5)
It's not MSN any more which is the money loser. I don't see Windows Live Photo Gallery, Writer etc. needing ads, do you ?

I think of Windows Live programs as top tier services that you would you be happy seeing on your computer, simple and effective, not bloat which Messenger is without apatch.

Anyway, I meant most of the other junk, not just ads.

Silly argument. Neither WLPG or Writer require Microsoft to maintain a server to make everything work.

now what i care about its about uf they can include resume in file transfer... something tha good OL ICQ got and msn it still to copy

I hope they streamlined this version and got rid of most of the junk like tabs, ads, live today rubbish, wink packs, link to webcams etc. Such bloat for a top service.

Drop the ads and other stuff eh?

Would you be prepared to buy Messenger and pay a subscription fee to use the service? Because without ad revenue, that's what would happen.

(thealexweb said @ #3.4)
Erm hello Live is making a loss as it is, if they dropped the ads that would probably be the last of Windows Live.

And that would be bad because...

(draklin said @ #3.5)

And that would be bad because... :laugh:

...because its the most used IM service in the world?

Microsoft is the richest corporation in the world, what have they got to loose by not showing ads anyway, its not like text sending traffic costs tons

(aarste said @ #3.7)
Microsoft is the richest corporation in the world, what have they got to loose by not showing ads anyway, its not like text sending traffic costs tons

You looser.

I pay for windows, I expect to be able to use it to communicate with other people in an ad free environment. Who cares if windows live desktop services make a loss, it's as much a part of windows as iChat is part of OSX, and Pidgin is part of GNU/Linux.

(smithy_dll said @ #3.10)
I pay for windows, I expect to be able to use it to communicate with other people in an ad free environment. Who cares if windows live desktop services make a loss, it's as much a part of windows as iChat is part of OSX, and Pidgin is part of GNU/Linux.

It's good that you expect it for free, and ad-free at that. Live Messenger must disappoint you then, because, Microsoft understands that a service that makes a loss is not going to be a service for very long. They should probably make Office free too, since everyone needs to open office files somehow.
Oh wait, there's OpenOffice for that! Oh wait, there's Trillian and Pidgin on Windows to replace Live Messenger as well. Why not use those? They both piggyback off Microsoft's servers anyway.
Your business logic disturbs me, it really does.

Nice to see MS catching up with it's own user interface... lawl

No, but seriously, I'd really like to see the new messenger... I really like the pretty translucency of the Aero interface, & it might give me a reason to switch back from Trillian...

The only reason MS hasn't been able to do the same is because they break compatibility often but still keep support around for the deprecated method, so they can't just update one UI library and everything will fall into place. They have to write a new API, then new apps have to come out and support that, and in this case there are also specific requirements for Aero as well so certain hardware is excluded.

OS X was launched about 7 years ago and the apps have fallen into place a long time ago as well... It kinda puts things into perspective a little because these are things that Apple users have taken for granted. Even in Linux with Compiz, applications naturally adopted the new features.

I understand the process completely, but that doesn't negate the fact that Windows is still working on catching up to itself.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a "M$ SUCKS!!!!11!eleven!" post. Simply making conversation... but thanks.