Feeds

New Yahoo! Messenger piles on the pounds

Bloatware

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

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!

The essential guide to IT transformation

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
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?