Microsoft Live Essentials 2011

Recently I made the horrible mistake of installing the latest version of the usually reliable Windows Live suite.  For everyday use, I generally use Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Writer – both of which have been historically fairly stable until now.  Where to begin??

Live Writer

This very useful application was a revelation a few years ago.  Combined with the ability to add plugins and support for a wide variety of blogs, it’s been just shy of bliss to punch out blog articles. 

Until now.  The new version inexplicably freezes on regular occasions, and generally becomes unresponsive.  They have integrated the Office 2007 toolbar “Ribbon” and basically hidden all the functionality in that hard-to-understand fashion.

Live Messenger

imageOMG!  They’ve killed Messenger.  Simply put: it’s a disgrace.  Below is a screen capture of the latest release and it’s a bonafide nightmare. 

For an application whose purpose is to facilitate instant messenging communication, you’d be hard pressed to figure that out on first glance. 

This is hideous

imageThe Contacts list has been squished into a small tree view control on the middle
right hand side and it can’t be resized.  The rest of the screen is taken up
by this ridiculously huge social media page, resembling the “MSN Today”
screen (which I assume no one uses).

I’m uninstalling now, and I’ll probably move to a multi-IM solution (like the good
old days), or digging around trying to find an old installer for the releases
which resemble software written by people with some degree of sanity. 

This version of Messenger should be burnt to a cinder, and the people responsible
for this insult to software should never be given jobs in the IT industry again.

                                                                                                                                          Previous Version
Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m a big fan of these applications (normally) and I certainly appreciate the price tag (free), but when they take two applications which have been working so well and just destroy the usability, or stability it’s really hard to excuse.

Normally, these kind of changes would be tested in a Beta version before being released as an RTM version so that the community of religious users (such as myself) would have a chance to send feedback via the increasingly useful but, alas, not this time.

If you want to witness this evil for yourself, you’ll find all you need here:

Last word…


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