Microsoft Welcomes Yahoo
"These are all there to ensure compatibility across our products. Not only will we continue to offer the existing Yahoo Messenger product that is optimized for Windows XP, but we will also continue to enhance that as we want all users to have the best experience possible with our product," he said. For his part Brad Goldberg, the general manager for the Windows client business group at Microsoft, welcomed the move, which he said would provide "a truly engaging communications experience" with Windows Vista.Asked which features from the Vista version of Messenger would find their way into the XP version, Skyrm said that while the XP version might not have the full cinematic user interface, some of the core communication features necessary to ensure compatibility across the products would be used in both. On the competitive front, Skyrm said this product "is all about the experience. There are a host of features that Yahoo and its competitors have in their products that are important and which are innovated on in many ways." "In this case our focus was to take the core communication features and make sure that we had a Vista-optimized interface and experience around them," he said. To read more about interoperability between the various communications platforms, click here. However, Yahoo Messenger for Vista will bring features that are optimized and only available for users of that operating system, along with a cinematic user interface that provides animation and visual design. The team, using the Windows Presentation Foundation, have done a lot of work on the traditional contact list, so that each tile can now be resized. Instant previews of how things will look if changed are also available throughout the application, and are an integral part of the experience. "The goal is to make this more of a dashboard versus just a contact list," Skyrm said. New features and innovations include a custom gadget that takes advantage of the Windows Sidebar feature in the operating system, and which is on by default. This allows users to keep close tabs on their friends and family by dragging and dropping that icon into the sidebar. That icon then becomes part of the sidebar and is permanently displayed, Skyrm said. The product also takes advantage of high resolution displays with a scalable vector-based user interface so that "as 200 PPI (pixels per inch) displays become more popular we will be right there and ready to support them, he said. "It also brings the ability to interact with interest groups in themed environments, some of which are automatically created," Skyrm said. "This is very proprietary to Yahoo because of the Yahoo Network, the largest Internet suite of properties in the world that we can tap into and which no one else can." In addition, Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger friends can be added to the contact list and users will be able to see when they are online. Photos can also be accessed from the desktop or Flickr and shared. Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.
"Yahoo Messenger for Windows Vista will clearly deliver the wow moments that fulfill the promise of Microsofts new operating system," Goldberg said, referring to the consumer release of Windows Vista and Office 2007, which will be celebrated in New York on Jan. 29 at a launch event that Microsoft firm has dubbed "The Wow Starts Now."