I really love WLM. It’s super easy to start an IM chat. It has a ton more features compared to other IM clients (like games, complete color choice, tabs, status message, etc.). And it’s a really simple IM client. And you can save the world using WLM.
However, it could still use some work.
So what would I love to see in WLM 9? Well:
- Fullscreen video chat – I hate viewing small squares in the IM window. How about doing fullscreen video chats? I mean, iChat can do that, but WLM can’t? Sad really.
- Multiple video chats – 2 people chatting is nice, but how about 3 or 4? Come on, it would be great to be able to speak to several people via video chat all at once.
- Better emoticons – small thing, but the emoticons in WLM are kind of sucky. The best ones I like so far, are in Y! Messenger. They show a lot more emotions better. How about updating the default emoticons set to 2008 standards?
- Get rid of tabs – You know the tabs alongside the main IM client? They’re completely useless. They take up space, and don’t really have much of a purpose for MOST WLM users. The ONLY ones worth using are Live Favorites and Live Alerts, but they can easily be placed in the top app. bar instead of being hung as tabs. Seriously, tabs don’t work that well.
- Be compatible across other IM clients – there’s been rumors, and maybe WLM can be compatible with not only Y!, but with AIM, ICQ, and Gtalk. It could be happening, but nothing to really confirm that.
- Have a nice ‘official’ site – Currently, http://im.live.com/ is all about how WLM is supporting many organizations by using WLM, but it could stand to have some more other useful info., like downloadables (backgrounds, animated display pics, winks, emoticons, etc.), latest news, extra tidbits, make a tab, giant DOWNLOAD button etc. We don’t need a separate site like the Messenger Cafe or anything like that.
- Less ads – at least not pop-out ads, or ads that make sounds as the mouse cursor goes over it. Luckily, the current WLM doesn’t do annoying ads like that. Although I know for a fact that AIM does. I also wish there weren’t any on the IM windows.
- Option to view contacts by their display pic, instead of the Messenger buddy (green guy = online, etc.)
- Open up chat rooms! – Many people still like to visit chatrooms and it would be just awesome if WLM had chatrooms to surf around. You could find a chatroom you want, ask a question or topic you want to find out about, and chat in the comfort of WLM.
- Way to send voice messages via offline contacts
- A new penpal-like program – Remember how in the old days you could try finding a pen pal from far away and write letters to them? Well how about taking that idea and applying it to IM? The WLM site can have a place where users who want to talk to somebody far away post themselves up, and add any specific requests to who the user wants to talk to (like "I want to meet a soccer fan, somebody from Italy, etc.). Great way to bring back the whole penpal concept and learn new exotic things.
- A nice web browser-based version – Some people might work on a borrowed computer, and installing WLM may not be a good idea. So how about being able to IM via a browser? With the FULL WLM being able to work right through it. With NO reduced functionality or anything? That would be great, instead of having to rely on Meebo to do just the simple things.
- Put some Silverlight in it – How about adding some sparkle to WLM? Make it look cool and futuristic and all? Like the brand new Y! Messenger. I would love to see a new kind of WLM UI in the next version that’s super friendly and works quite as well.
That’s the best features list I could come up with. Does anyone have any more suggestions that I should put up?
Hopefully the WLM team will do most of these solutions, and make WLM the great IM client there is. I really love it, and hope to see more coming from it.