Webcam in Messenger – moving backwards?

Video conversation in Messenger 2011

With Windows Live Messenger 2011, webcam conversations are going to change. Up to now, you could view your contact’s webcam or let others view it, without launching a full video call. This is going to change soon.

In Messenger 2011 (Wave 4), you will start a video call whenever you choose to view or send webcam. Furthermore, the compression codec used to compress webcam data has been changed. Users with a slow web connection will notice worse quality. As preparation for the new Messenger, an update for Messenger 2009 has recently been released (Wave 3 Build 14.0.8117).

Wave 4 aims to go forward. Does Messenger go forward with these changes, or is it rather a step backwards? What do you think?


  1. Wow that really sucks, I use the show my webcams with a few friends out of state just because when they launch the full feature video call the video isn’t as good. I got the update and now looking to revert back to an older version. If this was confusing to some don’t take the feature out, just rename it as video only or move it under some other option.

  2. its horrible. especially considering my webcam doesnt work on video calls for some reason, but it did work on the show my webcam feature. so now i have no webcam options 🙁 so im switching to skype.

  3. This is way more than lame. I have the new MSN with that stupid video call shit. I’m looking to downgrade because it’s just plain annoying. I HATE it. So do all of my friends. We’re ALL looking to revert to the older version because this ruined it for us.

  4. the picture quality on video call is poor. The picture freezes on one side. I also liked the option of either receiving or sending cam without being forced into sending videocall. This is a regressive step. Problem is we will be forced to upgrade. Pity I enjoy using msn messenger.

  5. Also think this new video set-up is rubbish. My daughter has quite a few friends whose older computers quite simply cannot handle video calling so they rely on webcam only. The result is that she now cannot ‘see’ them when talking on Messenger and she is REALLY unhappy/annoyed about his.

  6. this is awful!!
    I will be writing to messenger to ask for a full reimbursement for the cost of my cam! I used to have multiple webcams open at once and now can just have one. bloody annoying! it was perfect before for people who didn’t want to do video calls. just so fraustrating, and the quality seems even worse!!
    revert back before someone starts a FB group!

  7. Please ROLLBACK these new Webcam feature….. Seriously, it SUCKS…I want to be able to start my webcam only !! Plus the video quality is lower when you force audio ! I have been using Messenger for year now, ad every new version was always adding a plus, but this is a MAJOR DRAWBACK !! Please give us again the ability to start the Webcam only !! Cheers

  8. really bad ! some laptops doesn’t even contain a web cam and so requests to seeing someone are left pending !

  9. I really HATE the new webcam “features” with WORSE cam quality and REQUIRED videocalls, NO MORE just cam chats with typing, no more single side cams when only one person HAS a cam, no more FLEXIBILITY!!! This is just stupid, what moron thought this up? Yes, let’s go forward by giving our users LESS capability, and LOWER quality!!! Boy that makes sense to me! Most of my video usage, in fact over 90% is overseas with people in developing countries and the quality is very bad indeed !!!! The videocalls drop constantly. So unless I can find some way to upgrade the entire Third World to Microsoft’s insane high-level network standards, I’m sunk! Thank you SO MUCH Microsoft!!! Yes, that was being facetious! But hey, you’re Microsoft, you can do anything! Right?

  10. Looks like I will have to change everyone I know over to Skype and drop Microsoft’s product! Good going Microsoft! You just alienated me and everyone I know!

  11. The new compression codec is a good idea. But it is the only one good idea.
    I could not talk with a friend and see him just because I don’t have a webcam on my computer.
    Moreover, the cam starts in fullscreen… And to see the discussion part, I must type something (like “pojjoiihlkk” and then send it). Really nice ! Seriously, think twice before including this in the final release, or nobody will use Messengee 2011, even if some new features are interesting.

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