Space Ramblings

Yahoo Messenger 9.0 Beta – How Wrong Can One Company Get It?

Yahoo is busy showing off its Yahoo Messenger 9.0 Beta. As any regular Yahoo Messenger user knows, Yahoo Messenger went off the road at 7.0 and 7.0 is the version of Yahoo Messenger you should be downloading from OldVersions.com.

Yahoo Messenger 8.1 emerged as bloatware. A massive bloated application riddled with ads and desperately trying to get you to make paid phone calls over it as Yahoo tried to make its popular Messenger program into a Skype competitors. All told I doubt very much that this is paying off but Yahoo Messenger 9 Beta offers much of the same. Right out of the gate, Yahoo Messenger 9.0 Beta saddles us by dumping the address book into the friends list, a feature that perhaps should have existed two versions ago.

Yahoo Messenger 9 shakes up the interface a little, not that it really needed it and boasts endlessly about integrating Flickr photos into messenger. A minor accomplishment at best and mostly just a way to try and push Flickr together with Yahoo’s own services. The file limit is up to 2 gigabytes now.

The one potentially interesting addition was to integrate video viewing into IM. Obviously a good idea and a smart one. Or so you’d think. Since Yahoo Messenger is based off Internet Explorer and its means of rendering web pages, it’s simple enough and simple enough is exactly how it was done. From an implementation point of view it makes sense but from a end user point of view it’s insane, but from the intro video, it appears that instead of treating video sharing the way they treated photo sharing by opening a new window, Yahoo Messenger instead displays the video in the IM text section. Which means users can either chat or view the video. They can’t do both at the same time. Insane, yes. Senseless, also yes.

Thanks Yahoo, now try again with 10.0.

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