February 19, 2008 on 6:17 pm | In Vista version | 30 Comments
Here’s the story, of a lovely lady…” If you grew up in the U.S. in the 1970s, you’ll know that’s the opening line of the theme to the television show, The Brady Bunch. It also served as the inspiration for a hidden feature in the last release of Yahoo! Messenger for Windows Vista that we’re internally referring to as Matrix Mode.
Matrix mode expands on the tabbed conversations feature in Yahoo! Messenger for Vista. Tabs are handy for keeping your desktop free of multiple IM windows, but sometimes staying on top of all your conversations can be tricky.
Inspired by the grid in the opening credits of The Brady Bunch, hitting Ctrl + Alt + Shift + b on your keyboard will turn your tabbed conversation window into one single window with a matrix of boxes, each showing an IM conversation.
Once you’re in Matrix Mode, just click on the conversation you want to jump into and start typing. A white box around the conversation indicates which one you’re in. As you’re in one conversation, you can easily see messages coming in on the others, so it’s easy to read and respond quickly to IMs. As more conversations open, the layout will adjust to accommodate them.
To activate Matrix Mode, start a few IM conversations and then be sure to condense them into one window as tabs. You can do that by dragging the bottom tab of one window into another, or hitting Ctrl + , (ctrl plus comma) on your keyboard. Once your conversations are in a tabbed window, hit Ctrl + Alt + Shift + b to enter Matrix Mode.
Try it out and then visit our feedback page to let us know how we should develop this feature further!
P.S. – Check out this picture of Product Manager Josh Jacobson during the naming brainstorm for matrix mode. Will the name stick???
January 25, 2008 on 1:56 pm | In Vista version | 22 Comments
If you’re using the new Yahoo! Messenger for Vista preview version, this latest Windows Vista Hotfix may be of interest to you. Recently, Microsoft released a Hotfix for the layered windows function in Windows Vista. This improves the response time of Vista applications when layered windows are being used.
In the case of Yahoo! Messenger for Vista, this Hotfix improves the response times when you’re doing things like opening menus that overlay the main interface (like the options menu or skin chooser). According to the WPF team Program Manager blog, installing this Hotfix can improve Vista Layered Windows performance up to 4x (depending on your machine’s specifications).
This Hotfix is available on Microsoft.com through the links below. If you are already running Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Beta, this Hotfix is included and there is no need to download it again. If you prefer not to install individual hotfixes, the Layered Windows Hotfix will be included when the final SP1 release of Windows Vista is available.
Click below to get the Vista Layered Windows Hotfix:
Vista 32-bit users
Vista 64-bit users
If you’re unsure which version of Windows Vista you have, please use the 32-bit link. Note that you need administrator privileges to install this Hotfix, and a restart will be required after installation. If the Hotfix has already been applied to your machine, a “This update does not apply to your machine” message will appear during installation.
January 22, 2008 on 5:45 pm | In Vista version | 79 Comments
Take a deep breath…and smell the refresh! In response to user feedback and some issues we wanted to fix ourselves, a refreshed version of Yahoo! Messenger for Vista Preview (2008.01.11.428) is now available. This latest version includes the following fixes and enhancements:
Performance & Stability improvements: We’ve improved overall responsiveness, including typing and switching between tabs and windows. In addition, we tackled some of the odd crashes that were occurring, so you should also find this version more stable overall.
A fresh look & feel for some areas: Attention all space-savers: now you can make the contact list even narrower. You’ll also find that some menus, like the display image picker, have been cleaned up and enhanced. Offline messages are more clearly displayed with a new “While you were out” tag and timestamp to denote the message. We also fixed a bug in the contact list so that when you choose to appear offline to a contact in your list, that contact’s name will become italicized (but remain bold).
Sidebar gadget reliability: We know some of you have had trouble loading and using the sidebar gadget that comes along with Yahoo! Messenger for Vista. We’ve made some changes that should make it possible now to drag and drop a contact into the sidebar if you’re on a 64-bit version of Vista. We also got rid of the red “X’ that sometimes appeared in place of a contact’s image.
Various bug fixes: We tackled a fix for some of the sign-in problems that have been reported from some users. We also fixed the bug where the message window wasn’t always scrolling down as the conversation progressed. And lastly, we fixed the contact list to maintain the open or close status of your groups between sessions. So if you open or close a group in your list and then sign out, the next time you sign in, it will appear the same way you left it.
Thanks in advance for installing this latest version and giving it a test drive. As always, please use our feedback form to let us know of any problems you encounter. We still have a lot of work to do but hope that these various fixes and enhancements make the Yahoo! Messenger for Vista Preview version even more enjoyable.
Senior Product Manager, Yahoo! Messenger for Vista
December 7, 2007 on 11:39 am | In Vista version | 55 Comments
Yahoo! Messenger for Vista Preview is now available for users who are running a 64-bit version of Vista. Please go and download the latest version from our website (build 2007.12.06.421).
Thanks to everyone for your input on the feedback form and here on the blog regarding the issue. Who knew there were so many 64-bit Vista users out there?
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December 5, 2007 on 9:00 pm | In Vista version | 171 Comments
It’s here! It’s really here! We’re thrilled to bring you the preview version of Yahoo! Messenger for Vista, the first Yahoo! Messenger built from the ground up for the Windows Vista operating system. This is your chance to try it out and give us your feedback to help make the next version even better.
This is a preview version only (pre-beta) so not everything is in here that you might be used to seeing in other versions of Yahoo! Messenger. Here’s a list of the features included today:
- Entirely new interface that harnesses the power of WPF, the graphics subsystem in Windows Vista
- Organize your conversations into tabs, or drag and drop a tab out to create a new window
- Keep up with your favorite contacts by dragging them into the Windows Sidebar gadget
- Send enhanced emoticons that have some extra oomph
- Change the color of your IM windows with a built-in skin chooser. Go crazy with a different skin for every IM window!
- Adjust the display size of your contacts with a handy slider
- Arrange your contact list into multiple columns just by resizing your window
- Send instant messages to your Yahoo! and Windows Live Messenger contacts
- Send files to friends as large as 2 GB
- Find contacts quickly with the contact search bar. Type in a few letters of the contact’s name or ID and they’ll come up in filtered results.
- As-you-type spell checker that’s smart enough to know that “LOL” is not something to correct
- A preferences menu you can access by right-clicking anywhere at the top of the main Messenger window
Check out the screencast to see Yahoo! Messenger for Vista Preview up close (alternate hi quality version):
If you are already running Yahoo! Messenger 8.1 or 9.0 on your Vista PC, you can continue to use it. Messenger for Vista will be installed to a different directory so you can launch one version or the other depending on what you need. Note that Yahoo! Messenger for Vista can only be installed on a Windows Vista operating system.
Many familiar features are not in this preview: voice, webcam, chat rooms, text messaging to mobile phones (SMS), IMVironments, Audibles, plug-ins, photo sharing (though you can send photos via file transfer) and conferencing. We’ll be working on many of these features
and 64-bit Vista support for our next releases [64-bit available as of 12/7].
We know it’s been a long wait for Yahoo! Messenger for Vista and we can’t thank you enough for your patience. We really want your feedback on this preview version, so please use our feedback form to let us know what you like, what you don’t like, and which features you’d like to see next.
To keep up with the latest updates and news on Yahoo! Messenger for Vista, please join our Yahoo! Group.
What are you waiting for? Download it now!
Senior Product Manager, Yahoo! Messenger for Vista
P.S. – Congrats to the Messenger for Vista team on the launch! Here are some photos from our launch event tonight (thanks Jeremy!).