Yahoo Messenger for Vista finally launches

Yahoo Messenger for Windows VistaBetter late than never is overstated, what took so long?

A preview version of exclusive Yahoo Messenger for Windows Vista is finally available today after almost 12 months of radio silence. Hard to believe this application was announced all the way back in January at CES 2007. During the same amount of time, Microsoft has delivered five versions (3 beta, 2 final) of Windows Live Messenger.

However above all, the new Yahoo Messenger is possibly the first real mainstream application to take advantage of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and a number of Vista APIs for which I salute them for adopting new technology.

Comparing this preview release to the original conceptual design by Frog Design shows a number of subtle interface modifications but also a major disappointment.

Changes to the interface include the application windows are now encapsulated inside Windows Aero Glass frames. On one hand, this satisfies Microsoft’s Vista user experience guidelines which suggests all windows use the standard frame, but on the other seem rather quirky because the application has two harshly different styles of transparency.

The major disappointment is the lack of voice, video and sharing capabilities which were widely fanfared and demonstrated at CES. These features simply don’t exist in this version which leaves this client nothing more than just a fancy text instant messenger. The official blog states explains these features and more are coming in future releases which I hope isn’t on another 12-month cycle.

Yahoo Messenger for Windows VistaOne of the major roadblocks for WPF applications has been performance and it looks like this application suffers the same fate. On a dual-core system with a more than plentiful graphics card, this application can’t even render the emoticon popout opening and closing without obvious pauses. Generally when anything animates, CPU usage flies right up and performance hits rock bottom.

Along with the client is also a Sidebar gadget that allows for easy access to favorite buddies, a.k.a. people you want to stalk. Unfortunately I couldn’t get this gadget to even load, where it would just display a red cross like an image failed to load in Internet Explorer. I gave up after several tries.

For more than 12 month’s work, this application is an embarrassment. It looks great with a lot of fancy graphical wizardry, but there’s not much here. Unless they fix the performance issues and add back the features which were exciting, it is simply not worth switching to from Windows Live Messenger or even Yahoo Messenger 9.

Update: I’ve heard some indication that Yahoo Messenger and presumably WPF runs better in Vista SP1.

56 insightful thoughts

  1. Why would you even use this if it doesn’t have any voice/video support? It’s best to stick to Trillian or Pidgin in that case. Neither of them are bloated, and they basically have the same support as the official client. The only feature not widely available in the multi protocol clients is audio/video.

  2. I don’t really understand WHY Microsofts WPF ahs such performance problems – I know it does, but why? Why???

  3. Oh, no, it doesn’t run on Vista 64bit 🙁

    Damn…i was really waiting for it… 🙁

  4. am I unlucky ?? there are NOTHING without screen bugs 🙁

    it’s a completely bad application .. nothing is working and nothing is good in that .. the UI is completely bad …

    I don’t know why but there are black elements almost everywhere .. the sidebar gadget doesn’t work (I only have a small blank square and nothing else), the text format button is not working and button at his right neither (maybe it’s for everybody this one).

    When a conversation is in maximize –> you have to go to the right top corner to make it non maximize… pfff… in WLM just double click and it’s gone from maximize to non-maximize and the opposite !

    No picture are displayed … PFFF… the tabs are nice but not intuitive.

    I really need to see graphical bugs fixed because it is totally HORRIBLE.

    just look at that :

  5. just look at these screenshots :

    and the button of text format is not working .. and the sidebar gadget is just a blank empty square (the 4th images in the screenshots).

    it looked so good one year before… and now it’s just so bad… just as Firefox 3.0 :(… why MS are doing better product than they ever done ? and why other are just doing bad work? :/

  6. I’m not a heavy IM user. So perhaps I am totally not dissapointed about the lack of video & sharing capabilities. But the performance is not dissapointing on SP1 RC. And I’m running it on a Dell Box with a mere 1GB RAM & intelGFx. The memory utilization is definitely better than Y! Messenger 9.

  7. @Saurabh
    Vista SP1 RC does have noticeable performance improvements for WPF. After reading your comments I went back to playing around with a sample Expression Blend project and it works MUCH faster!

    …I’m still surprised that the performance is poor at all. I run a C2D 2.4, 4GB RAM and a 640MB 8800GTS and it’s not perfect by any means…

  8. mmh.. I’m running Vista SP1 RC with .NET 3.5 I think.. not 100% sure but almost.

    maybe it is the graphical drivers…(even if nothing is wrong apart this application).

  9. I have uninstalled the application. As someone pointed out, it is basicly a fancy text messager nothing else. They seemed to have removed 80% of the functionality of yahoo v8. Without voice and video why use it? Furthermore a “normal” user isn’t goint to be running a dual core, 3 Gb, high end graphics card configuration. An application that does not meet the needs of it’s user is useless no matter how flashy it is.

  10. pretty weak! not impressed whatsoever…. pidgin is fine, this yahoo is just that – bunch a yahoo!


  11. useless and ugly crap

    WLM 9.0 beta is better than this shit…

    You can put animated avatars, connect on multiple PC’s, audio/video support etc. etc.

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  13. its simply “crap” if it requires a single word description… you cannot transmit video or use voice chat in it. please stop using it.I am opting out of yahoo and asking my friends to opt in for a different environment like skype.

    yahoo will lose subscribers with such an annoying so called updated version

  14. ooVoo has voice, video, and sharing capabilities that Yahoo Messenger lacks in its new version. It allows user to record video chats, free phone calls, and special effects for users. Its an interesting way to do video messenging but still has all the qualities of IMing if you don’t feel like being on camera. Like I am doing right now. Because I have my wet hair in a towel but have to talk about what I’m seeing on Lost. More info for the curious:

  15. i triied to download the ym for vista, and tried using it.. but unfortunately, i cant have the chatroom and voicechat.. y?? is there no latest design for it? i think this ym for vista is exclusive only for those vista users and for your friends that are also vista users, but wat if the’re using different? but, as a summary its really really great!! but im still longing in time that the voicechat and room will be implement.. thank you..

  16. why there is no chatroom and when i use the normal version ,,i don’t have a voice in chatroom?

  17. I recommend you go to a proper Vista forum for help on installing Yahoo Messenger. As we probably won’t be much help.

  18. I have uninstalled the application. As someone pointed out, it is basicly a fancy text messager nothing else. They seemed to have removed 80% of the functionality of yahoo v8. Without voice and video why use it? Furthermore a “normal” user isn’t goint to be running a dual core, 3 Gb, high end graphics card configuration. An application that does not meet the needs of it’s user is useless no matter how flashy it is.

  19. Looks nice, but still haven’t found a compelling reason to upgrade to Vista. Running a dual boot of Vista and XP, and still use XP 98% of the time. Vista is pretty much gaming only. This is a prime example of why people don’t want to switch over to Vista – resource hog. Unless you have a fast computer, forget it, your performance will simply dissapoint you.

  20. @mohammed khan
    Performance issues ‘should’ go away with the release of .NET 3.5 and SP1.

    It all depends on what you want to do with your OS. I go back to XP, and like many Vista users, I sit there and say “how did I use this for all of those years?

  21. when i download yahoo messenger for vista , it wont run it keeps saying Yahoo.Messenger.YmApp has stopped working and shuts down… what might i be doing wrong. i have windows vista home basic 32bit.. ive never had anything like that happen when ever i downloaded other versions they all worked not took a crap and shut down.. any ideas on what i might be doing wrong or why its not working properly?

  22. im having the same problem as Ashley m

    yahoo.messenger.ymapp has stopped working

    A problem caused the program to stop working correctly.
    windows will close the program and notify you if a solution
    is available only diffences is mine was working until i installed sp1 and updates yesterday, then this error,
    i have uninstalled it and reinstalled it still the same, then system restore same problem now and im so P***** off now as i have spent the last week installeding my stuff on to this computer and i dont want another format

  23. Wow, I have the same problem as Ashley and Andrea! yahoo.messenger.ymapp has stopped working! It was working for a week just fine. I kinda like the UI i think it is an improvement. It may not be as good as the others by all I use is Yahoo there’s something about lol… maybe it was the old commercials… Does anyone know when the fixed version of yahoo comes out?

  24. i blasted microsoft over this error since mine stopped working as soon as i installed the vista sp1, i wonder since microsoft decided to not buy yahoo that they didnt care again if it works or not, they said it has to be a yahoo problem and to contact them. what is yahoo going to do if its vistas problem, thankfully i have found a older verison that works for now as i was off for a week before i got a yahoo messenger of any type to work, i think its verison 8 that works, anyway i wish they would all hurry up and fix this problem because the new yahoo was fine for me since i only type chat and didnt use the voice part anyway

  25. I installed a new version of messenger, but it doesn’t work. windows found problem to open it. I uninstalled it and ran it again, but this doesn’t work. could you please give me a solution?

  26. I just got a new Quad core PC, I Downloaded & Installed Yahoo for Vista Twice……… Doesn`t Work !!!
    What the hell`s wrong with people at Yahoo ? They are starving for people to stay with them, but can`t even give you a program that works or is up to date. No wonder they lost so many users to Google & MSN :- /

  27. im so pissed off! i just downloaded YM 9 and made fresh install on my Vista Starter SP1 edition/ it works fine on my adminitrator account but it just doesnt open/launch on standard users with parental control (though my child is allowed to open any program), /whenever we launch the application. the arrow mouse pointer just change into a busy one and then do nothing then resumes to normal arrow poniter after like 3 seconds

    i tried, right click/properties/security and edit permissions under my child’s profile to a full control, but to no avail, im so lost, i dont know what to do, need your help guys

  28. Robert, I’m with you. I did the same thing. It works under my account and my wife’s but not under my daughter’s. Also, if you open task manager you can see that the service is running it just doesn’t seem to do anything. Been going crazy trying to figure this one out. Uninstalled and reinstalled it with reboots in between but nothing worked so far.

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