MSN 7 Beta

HANDWRITING:

  • Thanks to Jamers for the official update.  I will keep this short since most people on the internet can't read apparently.
  • Go here - http://messenger.msn.com/Beta/Default.aspx Bottom of the page.  Basically - Install Journal Viewer from Windows Update and all other updates.  Which should have been done anyways.

     

  • Minimum requirements for handwrite capabilities are as follows:
    * Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows 2000 with Service Pack 3 or above.
    * Microsoft Windows Journal Viewer 1.5. ( http://g.msn.com/2meen_us/2_4371096_01?FamilyID=fad44098-8b73-4e06-96d4-d1eb70eacb44 )
    * Security Update for Windows Journal Viewer (KB886179). ( http://g.msn.com/2meen_us/2_4371096_02?FamilyID=dbf1ea4e-72bd-4359-9f93-7c232ed2dcd3 )


     


    I recently installed the latest beta release of MSN Messenger 7.  I really hoped for a couple of features that I felt were lacking in MSN Messenger 6. Well I was very glad to see that must of these features were added/fixed.  Ever tried to invite another user to an existing conversation?  It is a pain, you have to click the Invite button then go through your contact list, if this wasn’t bad enough the contact list is sorted alphabetically regardless of groups so no one is where you expect them to be.  This has been resolved, you can finely drag and drop like you tried to do a million times before.  The next thing they fixed was just a really minor annoyance, my picture was too small.  I like my pictures, they are informative and witty and I wish to see them as much as I wish others to see them.  Now the picture for yourself is the same size as your conversation partner (with the option to put it back to small if you are not a narcissist like me).   MSN toast also has the person’s picture in it, which is interesting, but just another distraction as you notice the person you never speak to has changed their picture. 

     If I could stop here I would be a happy MSN 7 user, however there is more.  Winks and nudges are the devils spawn.  I’m not really sure when it started, but flashy useless functionality has become the opiate for the masses, and as expected they apparently love it.  MSN 7 has added two little pieces of functionality that I highly doubt they had overwhelming requests for.  The aforementioned winks and nudges.  Winks are little flash cartoons that people can send you and play on your screen.  Cool the first time, but by the second time the novelty has already worn off and you are searching the options to turn them off. Can’t stop them entirely but you can turn off the Auto-Play function.  The next is nudge, which basically violently shakes your conversation window when you receive one.  Clearly this annoying, and MSN stops you from sending more than one of these in a certain time span, which leads me to believe that they KNEW it was annoying.  Yet it continues to exist.  I turned this off too.  Microsoft I beg of you, get rid of these features. Cut the bloat.

    The last feature is not something I have any use for, but I assume the tablet pc and pocket pc users of the world will enjoy it.  You can hand write your messages (no character recognition available in this beta).  This feature also seems to be backwards compatible with MSN 6 and 4, but not  for Mac users, sorry.

    Other functionality worth mentioning:

    -         Can now set your status before you login

    -         Feature packs.  You can now buy sets of emoticons/backgrounds/etc

    -         History from your last conversation shows up when you start a new conversation.  Very helpful for those long drawn out conversations.

     

    UPDATE: The Beta is now public and can be downloaded from MSN.com