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Man on the edge of IM insanity

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Opinion I now have a Danger Hiptop, or Sidekick II, which does Yahoo! instant messaging. I also have a Palm Treo 600, which has Verichat - which does Yahoo! instant messaging. I think the time has come to kick Yahoo! messenger into the bin.

The last straw, for me, is not the insistence on launching a browser every time I start the PC, so as to inform me of the latest banalities of "Yahoo! Insider" and which rock star has fondled whose big tits in public, and what she was wearing beforehand. Nor is it the absurd arrogance of Yahoo!, or any other of these instant messaging systems which all think they are big enough to rule the world.

No, the final enraging trigger is Yahoo!'s discovery that I'm using an American version of the Messenger.

They want me to download a UK version, so they can sell phone services jointly with BT. And so, every time I start Yahoo! Messenger, they tell me I have to upgrade.

There is no way of saying: "Don't show me this message again." They don't give me the option of saying: "I like my old version, and I have reasons for using it." Just this wretched, repetitive, nagging, badgering nuisance, trying to bludgeon me into submission.

I get the same absurd time-wasting internet browser window from AIM, of course. And, as with Yahoo, I can see all my AIM contacts quite happily from my Sidekick II or my Treo. And if I must have MSN messages, I can pull my Orange SPV out; it logs onto that quite effectively. No, it can't talk to anything else - that's Not The Microsoft Way. And The Bollywood News from "MSN Today" is of no more interest than any other of these intrusive advert platforms.

But until today, I was prepared to put up with Yahoo!, because it does have some redeeming features.

MSN Messenger, of course, has none. It brings Hotmail in its wake. Nothing can redeem Hotmail. Its only known purpose is that of spam-tank - use it to sign on to software registration sites, secure in the knowledge that Microsoft will throw away the spam that follows, unread, once you've downloaded the registration key for the software you've just downloaded.

Hotmail itself is unusable. Not only does MSN give you a pathetically small storage limit in an age when Google will give you a gigabyte and even Yahoo! mail will give you 100 meg, but it doesn't even work.

Sign on to several web subscriptions, and you'll get your password sent by mail - with special instructions to cope with the fact that Hotmail will prevent the embedded URLs from working properly. It doesn't open up a browser, when you click on a URL in a Hotmail message: it opens up a walled MSN garden, and opens the browser in that. Try to copy a short-cut with a right click, and you'll get meaningless garbage.

Enough; a list of all its faults would waste even more time than the faults have wasted already. The same for Yahoo!'s redeeming features. As of this week, it is enough to note: my MSN using friends who want to chat to me, will have to wait till I use the SPV, or leave the chat un-chatted. My AIM friends will have to wait till I have switched on the HipTop/Sidekick. And my Yahoo! friends, similarly.

For the time being, I'll still be Skypable as gkewney, but just let them try their newest stunt: telling me that if I don't spend the €10 I fed into the SkypeOut meter, before 25 December, it "expires".

My money does not expire, guys, and if I don't get it back, you'll hear from my lawyer.

And Yahoo!, go nail yourself. Or if you can't find a nail, try some other stock item from screwfix direct, on which to impale yourself.

Copyright © Newswireless.net

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