Windows live messenger

Microsoft finally released the final version of Windows Live Messenger today. My first impression when I heard about it was that it is related to the infamous Windows Messenger that came with Windows XP. However, after reading from various websites, it turned out that Microsoft is simply renaming the product and moving away from MSN Messenger. Most of the other Microsoft products that will be released in the near future will come under the “Live” idea.

You must be wondering what’s so great about it that I decided to make the switch. As compared to MSN Messenger 7.5, Windows Live Messenger has better memory management. On my 2.4 GHz computer with 1GB of RAM, it utilised about 32MB and this was further reduced to 1.8MB when minimized to tray! Next, it has built in nickname and contact editor that enables me to better organize and rename my contacts — without the need for a third-party plug-in. What’s more, I heard from my colleague that the changes made to the contact list (including renaming of the contacts) are saved to the messenger server. This means that I will not have to stare at a few unfamiliar contacts nickname and trying to “match make” the email address with the contact nickname when you access Messenger on public terminals. I’ve yet to try it personally but I think it’s a cool feature!

Having said so many good things about the new messenger, there are downside. One of it is that the messenger team have not worked on improving the chat logging feature. I actually had to rely on the Messenger Plus! Live plug-in to keep my logs organized and secured. Next, once you have decided to rename your contacts, there’s no way to view their original nicknames. Previously, I was still able to view my contact’s original nickname by simply moving my mouse cursor over their names. Apart from the above, there are many other features which I do not really utilize. Overall, I would give it a grade of 4 out of 5, mainly for better interface design and improved memory management.