Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Frigging Messenger

I got a notice from MSN Messenger this morning that there is an updated version available, and would I like to download it? “Sure!” said I. “Let’s go for it, and see what happens!” In fact, I’ve already downloaded it at home, and although I was only using it for a few minutes, it looked like there might be some new features, and/or upgraded functionality.

Unfortunately, the new version disabled a feature that was critical for me to be able to use Messenger at work! I used to be able to set Messenger to use a different proxy server than I set Internet Explorer to use—which I did, because I have to use a proxy for Messenger at work, but not for Explorer. That feature is no longer available—I now have to use the same settings for both. (You have to set it in Explorer, and then Messenger uses the same settings.)

This is supposed to be Rule #1 for application development: Never take away a feature that the product used to have. I’m surprised that they did this.