Another great member of the Messenger community, who has been there for quite long, is Dane. Are you interested in his ideas for Windows Live? Let’s see.
mynetx: Nice that you got some minutes to talk about Windows Live and You. To get started, please describe yourself and your connection with Windows Live, in one sentence.
Dane: My name is Dane N. (sometimes referred to as Dane Smith), and I’ve been part of the Messenger Community since Messenger Plus! 2 Alpha in 2002.
mynetx: Quite a long time… Tell me a bit about your history.
Dane: In 2002 I applied to test Messenger Plus! 2 Alpha. Over the years, I’ve become obsessed with everything to do with (what was then) MSN Messenger (and now) Windows Live Messenger. The Microsoft Messaging Platform has always been my #1 Instant Messaging Service due to its ease of use and integration better than any other client into Windows. Over the years, I developed sometimes strange hobbies such as collecting new computer worms and viruses and submitting them to antivirus companies as well as working on the team of 2 startup webhosting companies and eventually starting my own, Technology Pulse. Today, I still test Messenger Plus! Live and market a product aimed to keep users in touch with contacts called WLMStatus Premium.
mynetx: So you are a Messenger tester?
Dane: Yes. I’ve been testing Messenger products for Microsoft since Version 6.0.
mynetx: Interesting. What has your experience with the testing platform Microsoft Connect, as well as getting in touch with the Windows Live team and the other beta testers, been like, up to now?
Dane: Well, back in the day we used a communication platform for testing called Beta Place. I liked this site because it wasn’t overly crowded and had just what you needed in order to test. Microsoft Connect is nice, but I think it keeps you a bit “too connected” with users and the voting system is never really used that much from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t seem like an effective platform for me. The Windows Live Team has always been easy for me to get in contact with, I have a few of them on my own personal contact list and as a Windows Live Butterfly, if I need to get in touch with someone I don’t have contact info for, I can get that information very easily. My contact list also contains mostly other Messenger Testers.
mynetx: Butterfly. Could you explain this term?
Dane: Yes. A Windows Live Butterfly is somebody who excels and goes above and beyond while testing Microsoft Windows Live products. Anyone who is recognized as a butterfly consistently provides valuable feedback to Microsoft and traditionally helps non-techie users with problems with their Windows Live Products. Windows Live Butterflies automatically gain acceptance into new Windows Live Beta Programs upon request, no application required, because as a butterfly our work is proven to be effective and useful.
mynetx: So it’s a great job you’re doing in testing Windows Live products. Is it still interesting for you, after all the time?
Dane: I’m glad you asked that. After all these years and versions, it is still interesting because even with minor releases, you see your work being put into the resulting Microsoft Products, even if its something as small as a bug fix or typo fix. Knowing that you’re contributing to making a great product even better is what makes it rewarding and fun.
mynetx: When you are going that far beyond an average Messenger user of nowadays, let’s talk about your personal habits. What part does Messenger play in your daily computer and web routine?
Dane: Messenger plays a big role in my life, online and off. You see, it’s such an important aspect of my communication that I have mobile versions of Messenger on my Apple iPhone 3G and am logged in (even if in Appear Offline status) for more than 12 hours a day usually. Right when I log onto a computer, Messenger is the first thing I check for. I sign in and catch up on messages before going anywhere else online. And when I’m done checking with the program itself, I scour the common technology news sites looking for more messenger related news.
mynetx: Hmm. “Addicted.” Sounds reasonable?
Dane: Yes. Without a doubt, it’s very important to me.
mynetx: What is your favorite feature in Messenger?
Dane: Out of the latest iterations, my favorite feature would have to be by far the Nudge function. I always hate when I’m asking someone an important question and they aren’t looking, its nice to nudge them and get that answer quicker.
mynetx: Like ringing a literal bell in front of the phone microphone?
Dane: Yes Sir. It never fails.
mynetx: :D. Unless people ignore nudges deliberately, lol. — However.
And what do you like most in Windows Live at all?
Dane: I only really rely upon two windows live products. Windows Live Messenger (of course), and Windows Live Hotmail Plus.
mynetx: What is the different between Hotmail and Hotmail Plus?
Dane: These days, not much. 10 GB of Mail Storage, No Account Expiration, No advertisements and File attachments up to 20 MB.
I originally purchased it for POP3, which is now part of the free hotmail.
mynetx: True—Good coup with Wave 3. Liked it?
Dane: Wave 3 is amazing. Another fine performance from the Windows Live Team.
mynetx: When Messenger is one of the two Windows Live products you rely on, I’m sure you’ve got a breaking tip for an “aha” effect. Give me a tip you consider precious. 🙂
Dane: I don’t really have a tip as much as a suggestion. Never use Windows Live Messenger without its proper counterpart, Messenger Plus! Live.
Dane: In my opinion, Windows Live Messenger is naked without Messenger Plus! Live cause the immense amount of useful features the Messenger Plus! Live software offers. My favorite features added by the Plus! Live software but not built into Messenger include Tabbed Conversations, Quick Text Recall, and Boss Protect Mode.
mynetx: Talking about Messenger features—what is the thing you’d love most to be added to Messenger?
Dane: Native Tabbed Chatting.
mynetx: Do you think this feature will be added in Windows Live Wave 4?
Dane: I do not. I feel like this is a feature Microsoft doesn’t want to touch as of yet.
mynetx: But why?
Dane: It would require another interface adjustment, rather large, and I don’t think Wave 4 will change the interface massively this time around to prevent confusion from users.
mynetx: And finally, what’s the Live-related project you’re currently working on?
Dane: I’m continuing my work on WLMStatus Premium, which uses Messenger Plus! Live and Windows Live Messenger to deliver status information in image form to users’ websites. I’m also working on another project, but I cannot discuss that at this time.
mynetx: Any hint? (A)
Dane: Haha, nope, sorry 😉
mynetx: Fine, then. 😛 Anyways, I found it great that you took your time to discuss your relation to Windows Live. Windows Live and You—what would your subtitle for this interview be?
Dane: “From The Beginning.” And Thank you for interviewing me.