Let’s see what relation with Windows Live a Brazilian Messenger tester and skinner has. Some days ago, I talked about this with Mauro Júnior, a soon-to-be universitary student, more commonly known as “Blessedguy”.
mynetx: Nice that you got some minutes for this interview. For the beginning, describe yourself and your connection with Windows Live, in one sentence.
Mauro: Since the Windows Live program began (yet at ideas.live.com) Messenger has become part of my daily life, as the whole Live suite.
mynetx: Yourself? 😉
Mauro: So, it has became part of my life =P. I now use it to connect with friends instead of using a telephone, also meet some people from foreign countries, and get the best of internet, especially with the integration between WLMail and WLMessenger, which includes calendar sharing (nice to plan meetings) and easy emailing (when Instant Messages aren’t enough).
mynetx: So we’re right into the topic! What is your favorite feature in Messenger?
Mauro: Video conference. It’s gorgeous! Especially when in High-quality full-screen mode. I’ve got some distant relatives which I barely talked to before Messenger, now it’s pretty nice to be able to just talk over Messenger as if I were face-to-face with them.
mynetx: And what do you like most in Windows Live at all?
Mauro: Integration. You can have everything in the touch of a button, like sync all email accounts, calendars and feeds from Windows Live Mail.
mynetx: And you use that frequently?
Mauro: Sure. Messenger and Mail are programmed to automatically open after Vista has me logged in, and from those two only I can get to everything I’d use, like Calendar from Mail and SkyDrive from Messenger.
mynetx: Great combination, hmm? 😀
Mauro: Sure =P. SkyDrive is pretty better than those old sharing folders (which I only used once, when testing Messenger 8), since they don’t need both contacts to be online.
mynetx: Now, turning from what exists, to what doesn’t exist yet: What is the thing you’d love most to be added to Messenger?
Mauro: Better integration with people from other services, like GTalk. Also, improved stability wouldn’t hurt….
mynetx: Do you think Windows Live Wave 4 will feature such improved integration?
Mauro: Not sure… They’ve been promising it since the beginning, and there has been some years since the first time I heard it.
mynetx: I wonder if you heard of my April Fools joke…
Mauro: Which one? =P
mynetx: This year’s one, “New IM networks for Windows Live”.
Mauro: Oh =P, yes, I did.
Mauro: At least they seem to be trying to do something better. This month for example, I noticed Messenger could be acessed directly from Hotmail.
I was in a friend’s house finishing a short movie, schoolwork, when I was uploading it to my mail, it was right there =)
mynetx: True, Messenger in Hotmail has rolled out to more markets last days.
Mauro: Yep I had that before in GMail, it’s nice.
mynetx: Over to your schedules. Are you running Messenger whenever your PC is on? What are you doing, with Windows Live, usually after your computer has started?
Mauro: Yes, it’s always on. Messenger and Mail are always there, ready to use, so whenever I need them, it just works. (As Vista was promised to…)
After I’ve been logged, I’ll just hide it’s windows, and let things happen. The offline message toast panel appears, so I can restart last day’s unfinished conversation, and soon Mail will alert me about received emails.
While nothing happens, I’m looking for anything, from school subjects to mere curiosity things.
mynetx: And the What’s new lists date you up?
Mauro: Not really… In fact, I’ve turned it off. It seems to not work really well. All updates I get are old (like 1 week old) and not interesting, only things like “Someone played with other one and someone won (few days ago)”.
mynetx: Heh. Did you know you can edit the settings of what shows up in the What’s new feed?
Mauro: I do =P, but it acts as if I didn’t change it. In your case for example, there is “45 Minutes ago: updated Twitter”, while twitter updates are turned off.
(And looks like I finally got something new…)
mynetx: Since when are you in the Live business? Tell me a bit about your history.
Mauro: Well, I first knew about Messenger with an uncle, the same who introduced me to graphics editing. It was MSN Messenger 6.2 yet, wasn’t really good, but I really liked it.
mynetx: When was that?
Mauro: I think it was about 5 years ago, not sure.
Then a friend told me about an add-on, Messenger Plus!, which extended its functionality. I installed it, liked, but like many people who just trust everyone, uninstalled it thinking it had ad ware.
Then everything was renewed by Live; a friend of mine got an invite from another friend.
mynetx: When was it when you discovered Messenger Plus?
Mauro: It wasn’t instant. First I got used to Messenger. then after the 7.0, I discovered Plus!. Dial up internet ;p, forgot how slow it was?
After I got the Live invite, and installed the new Messenger, I started looking for what was new. The look was gorgeous, Sharing folders kind of worked with the only one I knew to have the beta, and the Live concept was beginning to take a form. First, it was only Messenger. Then there were Spaces. Then a new Hotmail, then everything just came in a big bang.
After Messenger 8.5, I was thinking about buying Vista, and so did I some time later, only then I discovered how nice the Live suite was. Everything worked better than with XP, everything seemed more natural, and got even better after the 14.0 update. In the meantime, I was beginning to learn English. I first started using Messenger to actually use it in the 8.1 edition… When I had enough knowledge, I downloaded Plus! again, by that time I knew how to check if it would be safe.
I loved it! Seemed much better than the one I had used in MSN Messenger times…
mynetx: It had become Messenger Plus! Live 4 😀
Mauro: Yep =P It was MPL 4.21, I remember that well. After some time, I decided I’d help people who built it all, started to submit feedback about Messenger, some things were really fixed.
Then I’d be amazed at a new Messenger Plus! functionality, the one that made me be what I am today. I started to skin Messenger, a friend had just installed the 4.50 version and asked if I could build a skin for him as he didn’t like any of the ones there were available. Well, so did I. Ev0 was way too dark, and Apple Live was nice but it didn’t fit Windows, sorry =P
mynetx: Haha, Apple Live is my skin!
Mauro: That was the time when everything merged. The whole Windows Live suite, Vista, and Messenger Plus! were working together.
mynetx: When you’re using Messenger intensively, I’m sure you’ve got a breaking tip for an “aha” effect. Give me a tip you consider precious 🙂
Mauro: Don’t ever use network intensive stuff when video calls are active – your messages start to have a HUGE delay.
mynetx: And finally, what’s the Live-related project you’re currently working on?
Mauro: Do skins count? =P
Mauro: So, that’s all I do for Messenger by now. There aren’t any interesting betas right now, and the best I can do are them. I like to give people power of choice, so make skins which can change Messenger only a bit: there’s always a “return to default” option.
That power of choice was the same one I like to be owner of when I got the chance to test Live, and now I just want to give people that same feeling.
mynetx: Any details of your current skin in development?
Mauro: Sure =) It’s the light counterpart of “The Favourite”, which I think will be named Clarus. (To be the opposite of Darkus, both not yet definitive.)
I think you’ve already seen them, a skin based on different tones; dark overall with light details, and the inverse in the counterpart.
The next one will be a minimalistic skin for those people who still prefer low resolutions, so they’ll be able to save some space.
mynetx: Great! Looking forward to your contributions :). I really appreciate that you took a few minutes to talk with me about Windows Live and You.
Mauro: My pleasure! ^^