why msn sucks (1 Viewer)

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,857
#1
aka Martin's exclusive guide to instant messaging

Almost all of us use it now. It was a new, innovative idea with irc, I believe the first chat kind of protocol. Then came icq and led the masses onto the path of instant messaging. Today it's so widely used that it's hard to find a person who doesn't chat at all. So since it's such a key point of our daily habit, it's time to take a run down of the various candidates out there.


** The candidates **
Msn messenger
ICQ
Jabber
Yahoo IM
AOL IM

Ok so there are 5 main players here but since I've barely used the latter two, I'll leave them out. Let me underline that we want to stress the distinction between the protocol and the client. The protocol is the set of rules that describes how a certain messaging system should work, what possibilities and limitations it has (does it allow file transfers? avatars? etc). The client is the program/software that implements (uses) the protocol. Different clients can use the same protocol but do it in different ways. However the limitations of the protocol cannot be changed, if a protocol is inherently bad, a client can only go so far to improve the usability.


+++ Msn messenger +++

The protocol
The protocol sucks, this is the biggest problem. It's awfully designed and lacks in usability. Allow me to point your attention to a few glaring shortcomings:

+ no offline messages (it has to be dumbest limitation ever, why the hell should I not be able to message someone who is offline, so that they get the message once they sign on????) :yuck:
+ impossible to get rid of people (all your contacts are stored on the msn servers, everytime you add a contact it gets added to that list. so far so good. now you want to remove a person you never talk to anymore, or you want to remove their old account which isn't being used anymore. ok, you can delete the user from your contact list. but then you sign on with a different computer and guess what? yes, that user you wanted to get rid of is still there!!! and this goes on for every computer/client you may use to connect to msn. in effect you have to register a new account to start from scratch and drop all the old contacts.) :yuck:
+ Microsoft has it (seriously, this is an objective point. every once in a while MS decides they wanna block those of us not on windows/msn from using the messaging service. they change the protocol a bit, force everyone to upgrade (remember those nasty emails about you having to upgrade msn last year?) and shut others out. fortunately other clients get around that anyway. this also means that other clients will never quite catch up to the msn messenger in features because everything has to be reverse engineered. starting to understand that choosing an OS actually matters?) :yuck:
+ no user profiles (since you can't find out who is who they also decided no profiles are gonna be kept for people, you don't have a profile by default.) :yuck:
+ everyone uses it (the saddest part of this guide is that the worst messaging service also happens to be the most widely adopted one. in other words we're stuck with this crap.) :yuck:

Functionality:
file transfers: yes, unless you use a firewall, that is
offline messages: no :wallbang:
file transfers: yes
avatars: yes
group chat: yes

The client
+ usernames are not permanent (this one really takes the cake. the msn messenger DOES NOT allow you to rename users on your contact list. those users are identified either by email or by the usernames they choose themselves. if you have 50 people on your list and 10 of them notoriously change their nicknames, you have to either remember all those 10 emails or be keen to guess on which user is called what today. it has to be the single dumbest thing about msn. every other client I've seen allows you to rename your contacts) :yuck:
+ ugly ass interface (I can't stand how shitty the client looks, it's like they made it for kindergarden children. it has absolutely no appeal to "experienced" or "power users" who want to get the most out of their software. instead you have a hideously limited subset of customization possibilities and a thoroughly crappy interface.) :yuck:


+++ I seek you (ICQ) +++

The protocol
The protocol is pretty much what it was 5 years ago afaik. It worked fine then and it still does. The biggest problem with icq is
+ spam (unless you set the privacy settings to block all messages from people not on your list, you're flooded with spam.) :yuck:
+ widely adopted (by developers that is, there are lots of clients that support icq out there and the people behind ICQ never tried to prevent others from making alternative clients or access.) :thumb:

Functionality:
file transfers: yes
offline messages: well duh
file transfers: yes
avatars: ?
group chat: yes

The client
+ bloated (The client is bloated with unnecessary features that very few need and it just makes it harder for newbies to get up and running properly.) :groan:


+++ Jabber +++

The protocol
Jabber is
+ open source (which means everyone can easily find out how it works and how to write a client for it. thus you have a ton of different clients to choose from, just pick the one you prefer.) :thumb:
+ accounts are server based (when you register an account, you register it on a server running jabber. if your username is [email protected] and cooldudes.com suddenly stops responding, how the hell are you gonna use your account?) :doh:
+ hooks into msn, icq etc (each jabber server can be configured individually, many have "transports", that is programs that allow you to connect to your icq or msn account through jabber) :thumb:
+ unpopupar (what's the point of a good protocol when people are on msn anyway?) :lazy:

Functionality:
file transfers: yes
offline messages: yes
file transfers: yes
avatars: afaik, no
group chat: yes
provides access to other im's: yes

The client
+ pick your favorite (there is a ton of clients for jabber, just pick the one you prefer. on the downside, not all have full functionality) :)


+++ Trillian +++
Ok, so most people use msn whether you like it or not. But you don't have to use the piece of trash client. Sure enough, you can do nothing about the protocol sucking as it does, but you can replace the client. Enter Trillian, it's a client. It does
+ connect to several im's, including msn and icq (use one client for all protocols) :cool:
+ improves msn usability (gives you a wider set of options to set, also gets rid of the ridiculous no-rename bug mentioned before) :thumb:
+ improves icq usability (provides a subset of the features in the icq client and IMO makes icq better to use) :thumb:

Trillian is the best client I have ever seen, though it's not the only client to provide access to several im services. If you have to use msn, I strongly suggest you try Trillian. But remember that you should register an account with all the im services on beforehand cause that is one thing Trillian doesn't do well.

Lastly, I'll tell you what I use.
Windows environment: Trillian
Linux: Kopete or gaim (both multiprotocol clients)


Good old web

www.icq.com
www.jabber.org

www.trillian.cc
http://gaim.sourceforge.net/
http://kopete.kde.org/
 

Dragon

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2003
27,407
#3
I use msn because everyone uses it here. I really liked on ICQ that you could be invisible and still talk to people. That ruled

There is a program for msn called msn plus!, it allows you to rename your contacts and all that stuff. Its a really cool program
 

Hydde

Duke NUKEM
Mar 6, 2003
36,694
#4
Hehee yeah.. i use it because is lighter than ICQ...

yeah i miss all the features Martin said.... but MSN is so simple...that i dont really bother :p

it sucks ... but somehow i like it more than Icq:)

maybe ebcause is quicker..


PD: Hey it seems that a virus is going through MSN.... it foked my pc some days ago :(
 

Dragon

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2003
27,407
#5
Yeah, I got a virus on friday too, but I already fixed it.

A cool feature MSN has are those display pictures
 

Majed

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2002
9,630
#6
I've used Trillian a couple of years ago. I liked that encorporates all the others (i logged on with Yahoo, msn, ICQ all at once).


What i didn't like is that it was a bit "heavy," and the GUI was awefull. it could have been simpler. the awekward smilies weren't too good either.

anyhow, I have no problems with msn. it's light and GUI is actually good looking and it has the basic functions that i want. my only problem is that there's no invisible loggin like yahoo, but i get around that by blocking almost everyone and unblocking when i feel like chatting (you can see whether a blocked person is online or not :thumb: )

as for its "No offline msgs" limitation. I dont blame msn. I know the offline messages cost yahoo a lot. many people dont log on for a while and it stacks up in their servers. it also ensures that msn is spam free. besides, If you want to talk to someone, just right click and send an email :doh: ... no biggie :)

BTW, in msn, i think you CAN get around the firewall problem...or at leats i know you can get around it with the XP firewall.
 

gray

Senior Member
Moderator
Apr 22, 2003
30,091
#7
Nice summary Martin

I use GAIM at uni and i tried trillian, but since i don't use ICQ at all anymore and I don't use Yahoo, i just stick to MSN. That said, I can name some things that suck about MSN

1. What does the M stand for?
2. This is basically saying the same thing as the first point, but anyhow here it is
 

Majed

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2002
9,630
#8
++ [ originally posted by Graham ] ++
Nice summary Martin

I use GAIM at uni and i tried trillian, but since i don't use ICQ at all anymore and I don't use Yahoo, i just stick to MSN. That said, I can name some things that suck about MSN

1. What does the M stand for?
2. This is basically saying the same thing as the first point, but anyhow here it is
"MicroSoft Network Messanger" = MSN Messanger.

...what's wrong with 2?
 

gray

Senior Member
Moderator
Apr 22, 2003
30,091
#9
++ [ originally posted by Majed ] ++
"MicroSoft Network Messanger" = MSN Messanger.
:wallbang: I was implying that Microsoft is the problem
++ [ originally posted by Majed ] ++
...what's wrong with 2?
Sounds an awful lot like spyware to me
 

Majed

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2002
9,630
#10
++ [ originally posted by Graham ] ++

:wallbang: I was implying that Microsoft is the problem
swoooosh... that one went right over my head ... :embarass: :doh: :D
Didn't look like a implication to me as it was in the form of a Q and there was no smilie. Anyhow, my bad, I should know that you know better.

Sounds an awful lot like spyware to me
a lot of Apps do that. They just want usage stats. Now whether they get more info than that, I dont know. Even winamp asks you that as soon as you install.
 
OP
OP
Martin

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,857
#11
You know I would love to go Mozilla on the issue cause I despise msn more than IE but the problem is that there isn't really anything better out there, how sad is that. :wallbang::wallbang::wallbang: Jabber was supposed to be it but I'm just not convinced about the server based accounts. Plus it's hard to find a truly kick ass client, nothing that beats Trillian is out there it seems.

Majed, what server stress? How many messages do you send to an offline user? I send one or two. That's hardly a big amount to handle, after all the servers are made to work for chatting aren't they. Server load is a lame excuse, this is a function that has been around since the dawn of time and msn doesn't have it, pathetic.

And the thing with Trillian is that the gui is xml based, which makes it very slow on slow boxen. I remember in the school lab it would take an eternity to start.
 

Majed

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2002
9,630
#12
++ [ originally posted by Martin ] ++
You know I would love to go Mozilla on the issue cause I despise msn more than IE but the problem is that there isn't really anything better out there, how sad is that. :wallbang::wallbang::wallbang: Jabber was supposed to be it but I'm just not convinced about the server based accounts. Plus it's hard to find a truly kick ass client, nothing that beats Trillian is out there it seems.

Majed, what server stress? How many messages do you send to an offline user? I send one or two. That's hardly a big amount to handle, after all the servers are made to work for chatting aren't they. Server load is a lame excuse, this is a function that has been around since the dawn of time and msn doesn't have it, pathetic.

And the thing with Trillian is that the gui is xml based, which makes it very slow on slow boxen. I remember in the school lab it would take an eternity to start.
I remmeber back when that Yahoo had problems with offline messages. You may not sendany, but there are people who send a lot and not open their account for a long time (like me. I had 7 yahoo msngr accounts :wallbang: :D ). It stacks up...trust me.. What really makes it stack up, is the fact that there's so much spam in yahoo. People send messages (like: Hey! I'm Amber, check out my webcam @ fsfjsf.ifssfd/asflkjdas.com ) to random people and if they're offline, in a weeks you used to get dozens of messages. People also used to save their messages. (poor yahoo client didn't save the offline messages locally)

Yahoo had to put strict rules on messages. Offline messages are deleted as soon as yahoo as soon as they are read (or you can store them localy as soon as they are read, but that doesn't help if you use yahoo on other PCs). I believe they also had to set a limit on the number of offline messages that you could get and an expiration date set to the messages in the offline inbox, so they would be deleted if not read in a certain number of days.

I dont know how much yahoo msngr has changed in the past year or so. I havn't used it since.
.......

I think MSN just didn't want all those headaches.
 

Amr

Senior Member
Dec 25, 2003
3,465
#13
the best feature with msn tht if any1 has @hotmail u cna add him/her and get it going, i like very much the msn messenger.
 

Majed

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2002
9,630
#14
++ [ originally posted by Egyptian_Juventino ] ++
the best feature with msn tht if any1 has @hotmail u cna add him/her and get it going, i like very much the msn messenger.
actually, that's not true.

you can add @[anything] doesn;t have to be hotmail or MSN.
 

Majed

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2002
9,630
#17
++ [ originally posted by Egyptian_Juventino ] ++
ya,but it's more comftrobale using @hotmail ;)
so you CAN use @[anything]... i wasn't talking about which was better :lazy:




PS. What's with ";)" in 90% of your posts?
we can check the email from a click
true.... but who still uses hotmail?!! :howler:
 

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