The writing is on the wall regarding the future of ol’ faithful MSN Messenger. Its days are numbered, despite the fact that the titles of the posts heralding this were all using fairly soft language:
Those titles all sound like positive good things, and I guess if you were using Skype 24/7 already then you’d probably be happy about having one less client/network to worry about.
However I’m not really looking forward to this too much. Why?
As a piece of client software, Skype just keeps growing – every update keeps making it larger and larger, it has very limited ability to customise the interface, and just feels rather sterile and awkward to use.
Skype’s image sharing is nowhere near as good as Messenger’s – pasting an images into a chat windows is something Messenger handles very well (assuming everyone’s running the native client of course), and Skype doesn’t (yet?). I’d really have hoped that they’d have got that sorted before they pushed to merge the networks, as it’s something that’s going to annoy a lot of people.
All your port 80 are belong to Skype – a minor irritation, but an irritation none the less.
Personally, I also had a bit of a work/friends separation going on with Skype versus MSN Messenger, and merging the two breaks that down a bit. Obviously this could be addressed in other ways (multiple accounts feel like a clumsy approach), and it’s not a huge deal, but it just feels like another point of minor irritation here (I sound like a grumpy old man “Grr change grr”!).
Finally, a little translation of something mentioned in the blogs.windows.com post above:
Today, we’ve announced on the Skype blog that we are now encouraging all Messenger users to update by downloading the latest version of Skype.
What this actually means is that the latest Skype installer actually helpfully nukes your copy of MSN Messenger when you install it, so bear that in mind if you decide to check it out and aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to Messenger just yet.
Maybe it’s time to go back to ICQ..