Feeds

New Yahoo! Messenger piles on the pounds

Bloatware

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Review Yahoo! has revamped its popular instant-messaging software, calling it "The All New Yahoo! Messenger". The interface is definitely more refined, but the overall impression is one of feature-bloated software.

The upgrade (Windows only) is one of the software's most dramatic makeovers to date. The new look and feel focuses more on graphics and animation, and offers access to more areas of the popular Yahoo! website, such as photo sharing and two-player games. It also adds the option of displaying avatars and increased its choice of animated "smiley" emoticons.

These innovations didn’t go unnoticed here at El Reg, which has been using Yahoo! Messenger as its editorial switchboard for some time.

First thing we noticed is that Yahoo! Messenger resembles the all-new MSN Messenger, its biggest rival. Yahoo! Messenger now also boasts funky skins, user pictures and audibles - "Express yourself with talking characters full of attitude", as the blurb says.

Its new stealth settings will will be welcomed by many: you can now make yourself appear online to some and offline to others on your Messenger list.

It also includes Internet Radio from LaunchCAST, but when we tried it the player only offered one religious and one 70s disco station for free. To enjoy a wider choice, you have to pay. When you select a station, you can choose to display the current song title playing as part of your status message. This allows others to tune in with you by joining the station and discovering new music.

We liked the old Yahoo! Messenger for its compactness. The new version, however, is much bulkier, even without all the extras such as a Toolbar for Internet Explorer. It won't even let you resize the Messenger window. At least for now - Yahoo Messenger 6.0 is still in beta.

Of course, Yahoo! is not alone in expanding its IM services. So far, instant messaging hasn't been much of a money maker for MSN, AOL or Yahoo! By adding more features and turning their clients into virtual billboards, the IM vendors believe they can turn the tide.

There are exceptions. AOL’s new ICQ 4.0 client, for instance, is shedding the software's bloated image in favour of a new open source plug-in architecture.

Interoperability among all IM clients is another feature most of us would love to see, but don’t blame Yahoo! for not interconnecting all the major messaging systems. It has stated its desire to interoperate more than once. It is just that the neighbours won't listen. ®

Related stories

UK firms must monitor staff IMs
Look out spam, here comes spim
Crikey - a freebie toolbar that works!
Yahoo! IM! in! flaw! flap!

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.