Spaces contacts vs. Messenger contacts vs. Hotmail contacts – Not the same?

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this, but what irks me a lot is that there’s different kind of contacts on Windows Live. Instead of one simple unified contact system, there’s at least 3 different categories of who your contacts are : Messenger, Spaces, and Hotmail.


If you add a:

Messenger contact – You get to view them on Messenger, Spaces (if they made one), and Hotmail. Wow. It’s amazing isn’t it? Sometimes you might have to ask permission if they kept their Spaces private for whatever reason, even if you are a Messenger friend.

Spaces contact – You only see them on Spaces. That’s it. You have the option to add as a Messenger friend, from their Space, or you could ask yourself for their real e-mail address. Least friendly place to add a contact.

Hotmail contact – You can see them on Hotmail, Messenger (if it’s a Windows Live or Yahoo! account), and Spaces (if they made one).

So the best places to add a contact is directly from Live Messenger, and you want to avoid making contacts from Live Spaces. Funny, considering Live Spaces is suppose to have a community feel to it, rather than being reclusive to make friends.

What’s with the need for so many different types of contacts? If I add a person on Spaces, I expect them to instantly be in my Live contacts to have easy access via Messenger and Hotmail. Not the opposite of "easy access". I wouldn’t add somebody if I didn’t think they were worth of communicating on more private areas like Messenger and Hotmail.

I can understand the distinction between Hotmail contacts vs. Spaces+Messenger contacts, because not all your Hotmail contacts will actually use a Windows Live account. But Spaces and Messenger friends should automatically be paired up. NO sense in not doing so.

Jamie wrote a great article about Live Contacts and what needed fixing, with a good number of issues relating to Spaces vs. Messenger contacts.


7 thoughts on “Spaces contacts vs. Messenger contacts vs. Hotmail contacts – Not the same?

  1. "NO sense in not doing so"
    There is actually. The reason they don\’t do this is for reasons of privacy. Many people might want spaces contacts to be messenger contacts but others might not. They have to take the lowest common denominator and assume that somebody WON\’T want it. I actually agree with this policy – annoying though it may be.

  2. @ Jamie : I\’m aware of this, and I can understand this myself, but I want that option by default. If I go to Live Messenger, and feel for some reason I don\’t like this person to be on my IM client, I could just delete them, but still be buddies on Live Spaces. I don\’t mind with most of the Spaces users I add these days, and I could just delete them off my IM client if I had to.
    Or they could have the option upfront when you\’re adding a Spaces user. There could be "Add as contact" option, and there could be a choice between "Just Spaces" or "Spaces & Messenger". That way, for people who are picky about Spaces contact could just opt only for Spaces, and those who don\’t mind could pick Spaces and Messenger. That way, I don\’t have to go back and bug them to be a messenger friend, or e-mail buddy.
    I think the second option would be better for everybody. Of course, people could think there\’s a distinction between "friends" and "contacts", but I definitely don\’t want to get into that. It already seems messed up just looking at Live Contacts.

  3. I like the option upfront idea a lot better. Makes it a more faster process than going back, sending a message, and waiting for a reply and then add their e-mail.
    I would also like to add on from "Just Spaces", "Spaces and Messenger" with "Receive contact updates" as well. Killing 3 birds with one stone.

  4. Microsoft has, once again copied off apple. \’Microsoft Zune\’ I think they are a total copy and pathetic compared to the Ipod. Even though I am an apple lover, I kinda agree with you about the pathetic macbook airs. I would love them If they had a CD drive and two more USB ports. I agree with you on the Windows Live thing.

  5. @Jo: Where did I mention Zune? Nobody else did. Exactly how does the Zune "copy" the iPod? For being a PMP? What a crime.
    Not to mention the many times Apple copies Microsoft. If Zune is a copy of an iPod, that makes Apple TV a copy of Windows Media Center Extender, iWork a copy of MS Office, Safari a copy of IE, etc.
    I\’m not trying to spark something bad here, but I just hate it when people drop a comment without any explanation to a harsh insult.

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