Microsoft Messenger for Mac 6.0

by Daniel Raffel

A few days ago Microsoft recently released a long overdue version of Microsoft Messenger for Mac 6.0. After a few days poking around with it I gotta say it feels like a checkbox in a product matrix and not a quality release.

The Contact List:
contact_list.gif

The IM Window:
IM_window.gif

The pro's:
• It's a Universal application
• Supports Yahoo/MSFT IM interop
• Has "conversation history" aka archiving
• Allows conversations to be saved as MSFT Entourage Project notes
• Lets you setup MSN alerts (large list of configurable alerts)
• Status messages work across Yahoo/MSFT
• Support for Live Communication Server

The con's:
• Can't sign in with a Yahoo ID
• No spotlight support for conversation history
• Tacky interface
• No webcam support
• No support for IM encryption
• No voice
• No group IM chat option
• Member services preference link option doesn't work
• Confusing Mobile/Pager references (and preferences)
• Strange hybrid corporate/personal consumer product play
• Can't send files to Yahoo users
• Lack of common Mac Keyboard shortcuts for things like Fonts, etc
• No support for custom alert sounds
• No support for Yahoo display images
• No obvious way to signout from the client and then automatically into a Mobile device

A few rhetorical questions:
• How can a IM client not support a webcam?
• How can a major Release Candidate client not support Voice?
• Why does this client have two seperate contact lists depending on the signed in user name (Passport/LIve ID vs LCS)?
• Was this throughly bug tested? Too many odd interactions, for instance, why does closing the LCS contact list window (when a LCS username is not even signed in) *and* when the Personal Contact list window is open cause a dialogue window to popup complaining that the application will continue to run?

Bottomline: To take this project seriously major improvements are necessary. This really should be labeled as a beta.

UPDATED 3/19/2007: The Microsoft Mac client team sent me a link to a blog entry on the Microsoft Mac Office Blog. They feel it explains (in a transparent way) how they make decisions and further add that they promise to have webcam support available to Microsoft Messenger Mac users in future versions of the software.

83 Comments

Todd
2006-09-30 08:53:45
I can't believe the interface looks that outdated. Brushed steel is only still in Safari, I think. The lack of webcam support is now a running joke, and amounts to punishment for using the msn client and network. Great review, though.

2006-10-01 11:47:48
I don't get the speech option when u do a rightclick in the area where u type, what's the use of that?! It's pointless
Daniel
2006-10-01 21:15:05
Yeah, I have to agree the ability to speak the text you typed in an IM window which you are writing is beyond useless. I didn't even notice that option.
Kaie
2006-10-27 13:56:42
I just got a new apple laptop and thought it was the best because it has a BUILT IN camera so how the hell doesn't a stupid IM have a webcam isn't microsoft meant to be amazing! The thing that gets me is the only way to use this camera is taking pictures of myself...... I could have done that on a normal camera and a normal computer! right now Msn seems amazing!
Alejo
2006-11-03 13:42:44
I completely agree about the webcam, though it does work on skype, so if you feel the need dl it and keep a skype window up while you're on messenger
Will
2006-11-08 09:06:47
THIS IS NOW BECOMING A JOKE! MICROSOFT SORT IT OUT! JUST BECUASE WE USE MACS DOESNT MEAN YOU HAVE TO PUNISH US! JUST GIVE US WEBCAM SUPPORT! AND MAKE YOUR COMPANY LOOK GOOD FOR ONCE.


OH BTW, HOPE VISTA IS A DISASTER! I HATE MICROSOFT! :@:@:@

oliviaa<333
2006-11-19 13:18:16
so you cant use webcam? =[
mattias
2006-11-23 14:02:31
Word.


It sucks realy and it make think about the early models of windows messenger..


Do you know anny alternativs who do have webcam and voice and might consider the fakt that this is the 21 century.


Thanks

fyke
2006-12-07 19:30:18
I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out the friggin webcam, only because i would have never thought anyone would exclude it from an IM client. I'm just trying to figure out why.
Kelsey
2006-12-16 18:25:19
having no webcam sucks!! you should put it on!! microsoft messenger really sucks right now..i can't even let my crush see me when im talking to him!! IT SUCKS!! GET WEBCAM SUPPORT!!
Nicole
2006-12-25 09:23:18
Hey, I'm really bad at this whole technical thing so I guess we can't use webcam's on this piece of sh*t msn, is there any other on that we can use? Does anyone else know anything about the newer version hopefully coming out? Can I use msn for like a pc or whatever on my mac just to get the webcam thing? I suppose we'll have to grin and bear it. I kinda like the company, they were really nice when my iPod died and they sent me another really fast, brand new but this is really really f*cking stupid. Anyways if anyone hears anything it'd be nice to know... What's the point of my parents buying this nice webcam for me if I can't even f*cking use it?
Eric
2006-12-27 12:20:30
U can use an IM client called Mercury, it really sucks though, i didn't like it at all, for instance you can't see ur webcam and the other persons at the same time and the quality isnt really as hight as is on msn on a pc, also it kinda implys that it suports display pics, but it doesnt seem to allow u to change ur display pic, overall it doesn't work how i would want it to :( i hate microsoft :@
rich
2006-12-30 10:38:28
i agree with evryone ITS PISSED ME OFF TOO I BOUGHT THE COMPUTER SO I COULD GO ON WEBCAM ON MSN-I DONT CARE ABOUT ICHAT ITS A LOAD OF SHIT!!!!!!
murray
2007-01-03 20:04:55
yea its pissing me off you cant use a webcam on the mac thats just fucked up microsoft needs to step its shit up
Roberto
2007-01-06 10:15:36
It looks like a "BIG FAVOR" from Bill Gates to the important target of MAC USERS (so we have the rests of the privileges of WIN USERS)
Jeff
2007-01-06 19:35:01
F***ing bullshit...... Pay all this money and no webcam....F***OFF
Peter
2007-01-08 07:18:19
Yahoo is the only IM that supports webcam. But try getting your friends to download it lol!
Peter
2007-01-08 07:23:55
for mac i meant to say!
Youta
2007-01-12 23:30:17
Its Really Crappy That We Cant Use Mac Messenger Usin Webcam, Even Though I Downloaded Bootcamp It Still Relly Sux CAUSE I CANT USE THE INTERNET IN MY WINDOWS FILE FUCK!!!!!
Nina
2007-01-14 20:05:07
I am thoroughly disappointed that MSN for Mac doesn't allow webcam and voice. I mean what messenger service does not allow these basic features nowadays? apparently Microsoft MSN for Mac!!!!!
This complete B.S.
joe
2007-01-15 19:49:07
skype and imac ok. it works with others on pc and we can see each other

but messenger is type only garbage and i use it to send files but skype is faster and does it all
and free too.
yolanda
2007-01-17 13:10:17
frikcin retarded,.yo,,no webcam?..rugh


Alex
2007-01-17 17:14:07
ughh. I really like the new messenger for mac it's really convenient, but it doesn'T work at all on my new imac. It works perfectly on this ibookG4 I have, but on this computer? nope. I'm still investigating what might be the problem, I was told safari interferes with microsoft messenger, but on the ohtre computer, it's amazing!
Geesh
2007-01-20 21:20:35
iChat does allow you to IM with all the IM programs - you only need to sign onto a jabber server and add your contacts from whatever IM program they are using.


And yes it does support your iSight cam at a decent rate of 15fps - which is still better than any pc tp pc msn web cam'n junk.


Try reading something beyond the fustration of these folks and learn something.
In a perfect world Micro$oft would make MSN as simple as it is on a PC for a Mac but honestly the Apple devision of MS isn't that focused on the fforts needed --- specially when iChat and Jabber is 10X better than anything they can make.


2007-01-30 09:17:33
wouldnt it just be great if Apple realised how many people use MSN and would like the Isight camera to work?? or on the other hand make Ichat compatible with MSN, Aim ect. Users

2007-02-01 11:01:18
wats the point in having a built in camera if you cant use to for webcam? its ridiculous!

2007-02-01 11:10:39
i thought that having an IN BUILT CAMERA that youd be able to webcam! wats the fricking point of having it if u cant webcam ppl! microsof is getting shitter by the minute, i mean loadsa ppl use msn, so y cant they just make it compatible wiv apple? reidiculous

2007-02-01 11:12:58
and nw my bloody "on" button is stuck to one side and i cant get it bk to normal!!!!!!!!
Zoe
2007-02-04 14:49:27
Why doesn't the webcam work for msn ...whats the point in having a buit in one if you can't use it! i think you should make windows msn work on macs ...its so much better!
kevin
2007-02-06 12:06:15
when i got this bloody mac paying loads of money i thought you cud use the camera as a webcam!!!
so stupid that you cant!!!
Shannon
2007-02-08 21:23:35
you know, all of you pissed off people can do yourselves a favor and do one of two things.. download a jabber client and go that route or take advantage of the fact that you can run a windows os (if you go through the process of making that available to yourself) and when you actually want to us your cam function use the windows os since when in windows the isight camera works for msn. i know it sucks that microsoft and mac can't just co-exist the way we all want right now, but at least there are actual options out there to get around the whole situation.
Brooke Emily
2007-02-13 16:21:03
How do i use webcam for this macmessenger
PeRsOn
2007-02-13 16:22:41
HOW DO U FREAKIN USE THE WEBCAM
Sash
2007-02-14 11:31:33
NEED THE WEBCAM!!!
Sash
2007-02-14 11:33:12
guys, seriously, just got this amazing mac that's the highlight of my whole livin room and have to use my work laptop to get onto msn with webcam for video calls with family?! NEED THE WEBCAM!!!
drock
2007-02-14 20:24:00
windows sucks what can you say? they dont give a crap about mac software and prob never will. this was just a suckle on the MS nipple to shut up SOME of the complaints. After downloading MS 6.0, i realized that the whole thing is a joke as Todd said. What a waste of space on my HD! CRAP crap CRAP
stuart
2007-02-14 22:18:43
just proves that MS is still actively trying to use the lack of webcam support on the mac end as another reason why running a PC is better than Mac.


The only reason I run MSN Msgr is because I have friends who use it, and its frame rate on webcam is 3x more than yahoo, but both suck compared to iChat.


I think apple should use the opposite approach- make iChat universal for all platforms, show em how good computing can be, not purposely shut out users based on OS like MSN.

stuart
2007-02-14 22:42:33
amsn is an app that lets you use a webcam on MSN messenger for the mac.


It pretty much sucks compared to ichat or yahoo, but it lets you use a webcam SOMETIMES.


Again, I think its MS that identifies a mac user with a webcam and makes life difficult for us so the people on the PC you may be chatting with can look at us having troubles connecting and point fingers saying what a lame computer a mac is.


It's bullshit propaganda.
Fuck Microsoft.


2007-02-17 19:00:07
you need to make an msn for mac that you can have your web cam on

2007-02-18 14:38:01
You'll be very happy to know that there is a solution!!!! It's a programme for macs, I've just downloaded in on my imac and it works fine. It's fairly basic clone of MSN but it works, you just sign it as you do on MSN and it shows your contacts etc.
Enjoy!!!
www.mercury.to



2007-02-18 14:47:53
Here's another one. http://cmq.qc.ca/4w/amsn/


It's also for mac.

Bria
2007-02-25 15:19:32
how do you sign out of microsoft messenger?

2007-02-28 09:16:49
HOW COME WEBCAM DOESNT WORK ON MAC MSN.GIVE ME WEB CAM ITS NOT FAIR THAT PCS GET IT BUT WE DONT. SORT IT OUT

2007-03-01 11:53:50
Yo Guys... i've used macbook pro since last year.. en while browsin round, i stumbled a program called AMSN (alvaro's MSN).. en guess what, it has a friggin webcam support.. u should try that... the interface sucks tho...
Aknownymous
2007-03-04 11:39:26
Just nought a macbook andi believe the new msn for mac shld have webcam support so people who also own a mac can talk with there family and also have the ability to see them.
schß.....
2007-03-05 17:26:24
microsoft or microshit....??? can't decide what to say... so shitty to c live messenger for mac not supporting "voice, webcam, file transfers to yahoo users..." this is pathetic really ... assbrains!!!!
Meagan
2007-03-05 20:57:28
How com this msn dowsnt have webcam?
Pissed off user
2007-03-07 10:34:40
Pleeeaaassseeee add webcam support...Pleeeaaaaassseee!!!!
harlee
2007-03-11 10:22:05
well wat ay lOad Of bull shiit ....rele thowt yOO could use the cam :@
marko
2007-03-14 17:44:52
how can you interface the amsn to a mac to run the webcam? Can anyone help me!!!