Because I am bothering my co-workers and friends with my interviews, Bram Lancsweert (see his interview) thought that it was time to ask me about my connection to Windows Live.
Bram: Nice that you got some minutes to talk with me about Windows Live and You. To get started, please describe yourself and your connection with Windows Live, in one sentence.
mynetx: “Messenger-addicted” – I think that term matches me and my relation to Windows Live the best.
Bram: “Messenger-addicted”, you say, how many hours per day are you on Messenger?
mynetx: As web developer, my work is nearly 100% web-based, and thus I am usually signed into Messenger all the time that I am on my computer, half of that time even with two accounts simultaneously.
I usually work up to 12-14 hours per day.
Bram: What is your favorite feature in Messenger?
mynetx: My favorite Messenger feature is a very basic one: the ability to set your status. While there were quite many different statuses up to Messenger 8.5, they got reduced to only 4 in Messenger 2009. Many people considered this as a disadvantage in first place, but, to be honest, it’s an advantage. In my opinion this has brought the way the status is being used, back to the originally intended one: Just to show your status. I mean – you can always tell your contacts what you’re doing exactly, in your personal status message…
mynetx: I am glad that most people in my contact list respect the status I set. They won’t disturb me when I am Busy, they won’t try to talk with me when I am Away, they will bother me when I am Available (lol), and they won’t see me at all when I Appear Offline. 😀
Bram: Talking about a status, am I disturbing you now?
mynetx: Well, you are a bit, but I find it interesting to talk with you about my own relation with Windows Live, so that doesn’t matter. 🙂
Bram: I know that you are a relatively good script and skin developer with Messenger Plus! Live, what do you most like to create, a script or a skin?
mynetx: Hah, good question. You know, I love creating both. Seeing as skinning brought me into the Messenger Plus! beta tester team, back in late 2007, I like creating skins. Of course I am not able to create as highly-polished skins as people like Will Ingles, but people do like the designs I realize for Messenger.
You might be surprised though, because I only created two skins so far. That is simply due to the fact that creating a skin involves much – really much! – work. You have to edit hundreds of images, arrange them properly, restart Messenger dozens of times (yes Patchou, please remove that painful obligation!), etc. The end result might look simple, but my opinion is: the cleaner, the more simple a skin looks in the end, the more work it has been for the designer to create this awesomeness.
On the other hand, I haven’t counted the dozens of scripts I already finished, like WLMStatus (showing your Messenger status on web images). I have also helped other scripters to add functions to their scripts. Many of these scripts are just small tools, but they enhance your experience and that’s why I find delight in realizing them. Some of the ideas for scripts come directly from the users’ inputs, while others are born out of simple need for having a certain function myself.
Bram: Messenger Plus! Live has an update function for scripts and skins, this was your idea, I heard. How did you came up to this idea?
mynetx: The truth is: it wasn’t my idea. However, I reheated the topic when I saw that many people were using outdated versions of scripts being up-to-date in the Official scripting database.
Bram: Let’s talk a bit about the future, what is the thing you’d love most to be added in Messenger?
mynetx: Tabbed Chatting. I know I know, so many people said that before me. But – if so many people say it: why is it ignored, for ages, by the Windows Live team?
Bram: Why do you want this feature, when it is already available in Messenger Plus! Live?
mynetx: Microsoft has implemented tabs in Internet Explorer – why not in Messenger? Millions of users would shout hurray! I don’t like that a great product only gets usable with a certain third-party add-on. Of course, many features are not added directly in Messenger because the percentage of people who would use this is too low, compared to the total Messenger user base. But tabbed chatting – out of 10 users, how many would want, or at least, like to see this in Messenger? Interesting idea you brought me, I will have a look at the settings statistics of Messenger Plus!: Then we all know how many percent of Plus! users use tabs vs. single conversation windows.
It’s just – the principle. Microsoft should continue their way to listen to their users, and not only when the common opinion matches randomly their company and project road map.
Bram: And do you think tabbed chats will be added in Windows Live Wave 4?
mynetx: Honestly, I don’t know, but I hope it very much. Possible is anything… And as I am interesting in anything that is being added in Wave 4, I will keep my eyes and ears open to get news when they are still fresh.
At least the Windows Live team is currently gathering and sorting ideas. It’s very silent behind the curtain these days – not even Butterflies get fresh info. Who knows what’s going on…
Bram: I find it great that you took the time to talk with me about Windows Live and You. Thanks for your time!
mynetx: No problem – was quite interesting to think about my own relation to Windows Live. Thank you for your time and – you did a good job! 🙂