Minor update to Essentials released today

Minor update to Essentials released today

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Today we released an optional update for Wave 3 of the Windows Live Essentials suite in all 48 languages. This is a minor release that updates Windows Live Messenger, Mail, Family Safety, Writer, and Sync. You can install it from http://download.live.com, or through Microsoft Update as an optional update. While this is our last planned update for Wave 3, we will continue to support this release for the foreseeable future as it will be the last version that supports Windows XP.

This is a minor release with a small set of targeted bug fixes and minor changes. Even though most users will not run into the issues we addressed, we felt they were important to fix. This update also contains a small set of changes to ensure that Essentials supports new advances coming in Wave 4.

Rest assured, we’re continuing to work hard on Wave 4 and are in the final stretches. This update is a first and important step in that direction.

Arthur de Haan

Director, Windows Live Test and System Engineering

Update: Apologies for having left Writer off of the list of updated programs earlier. A small bug fix for Writer is also included in this update.  - Arthur

Update 2,  5/14/10: I want to elaborate a little bit more on some comments I’m seeing here about issues with the webcam feature. Here’s a little background.

The next version of Windows Live Messenger, releasing globally in the coming months, features two-way calling with high quality audio and high-definition video. This enhancement required significant changes in the audio and video stack used across all of our Windows Live services. This week’s Wave 3 update (called “QFE3”) upgrades the current release of Messenger with the new stack. As part of this upgrade, we are retiring one-way webcam functionality.

We never take the decision lightly to remove a feature, but we think that the improvements in performance and call quality for Wave 3 customers and the addition of high-definition video for Wave 4 customers made this the right decision.

82 Comments
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  • can someone tell me how to get the individual webcam back pleasee? its really bugging me :@

  • Oh and another thing

    Video calling with people who do not have the upgrade causes their msns to crash, tell me, was this an intentional update too?

  • Optional?! I had this update done autmatically when I upgraded to windows 7 32 bit coz I'm on a laptop) and installed msn on my laptop, there was no optional about it! I hate the 'retiring of the single webcam functionality' take a step back in time why don't you?! I'm sorry to come across as rude but quite obviously I am not the only one who is frankly p***ed off with this new update, and how exactly does removing a feature that is seperate to video calls make the video call quality better? Thats down to the web cam is it not??

    It was most certainly not the right decision and I reckon you guys have shot yourself in the foor with this one, to be frank.

  • jonkoor
    1 Posts

    If nothing else, at least you made 98% of the people commenting bellow join windows team blog just so they can express their anger and disgust! The bottom line is essentially not even removing the feature that everyone obviously uses but the way the change is communicated with the users. Further, leaving them without an option to reverse to a previous version if they don't like the new one is even more tragic. Maybe you can understand how bad this is through a simple example: This is the same as if the government confiscates everyone's car and says: "in few months (or years) everyone will have an option to buy hybrid and electric cars, we are basically helping you by not allowing you to use them until we made cleaner and faster cars available. How you will get to work or go about every day life is up to you to figure out. Actually it's the best for you to move to another country! Understand now? Probably not. Sigh

  • Lmao omg to funny you guys acualy call degraiding a program and anoying thousands users by remmoveing a popular and well used feature enhancments and upgrades? You guys seriusly need to have a reality check and acualy speak to the users not just the one or two that had a problems useing  something that was esensualy idiot proof. I fail to see how removeing a feature (show cam)  that works and is loved  and replaceing it with a feature no one uses and sucks.

    Honestly this program just goes from bad to crap in one giant leap and i thought the forced change for the old msn to this flawed live msn was bad and now they think that removeing features that people use and makeing it harder for people to do what they want to do.

    Duno about anyone else but the likes of yahoo / skype are looking alot more apealing to me these days

  • As a long time Micrisift use (ie. DOS back in the 8088 processor days pre GUI) I have to say this is one of the single most annoying changes yet. In the gaming world we call this a Stealth Nerf. In my world we call is foolish.

    I am curious just how much market research you folk did before determining this was a good option to remove. Sure, Grandma Confused and Grandpa Bad-Eyes are some of the first folk to respond to your surveys and participate in the Customer Experience Program. But they are not the only customers you have. Half of them only have the newest versions of your software because their families tell them what to get. They do this, because they themselves use them, and enjoy them. And the parents get this software because their socian-netowrk junkie teenagers install them. These chatterbugs open 3, 4, even 5 camera sessions at a time, and fill their screen with their friends, and type away like madmen to them all. I sit here, hours away from folks I know and love, in rural nowhere, and have my camera sessions going with three or four friends, sometimes one-way only, always with no audio.

    Since I refuse to take underhanded measures to "fix" something that the community sees as a problem, I am not forced to not show my cam, or view the cam of others. I am forced to make a decision on who I deem more important to talk to, and then quickly disable my mic and sounds. (the rest of the people around me don't need to hear my chat, nor does the person I am talking to need to hear what is goign on around me)

    I sincerely hope you folk realize how much of a mistake this is, and do something about it, and fast.

  • Microsoft, you really need to start listening to your customers.

    How dare you remove a feature used so much by your users?

    Video calling in MSN has never been good, I use skype for that. On WLM I use send webcams, so I can talk to multiple people with one cam, something that Skype hasn't done.

    Now you have disabled this feature, for no reason at all..don't give all this chat about 'its to make another feature better', You should NEVER have to disable a feature, to make another better.

    As soon as Skype find out what you've done, they'll implement what you've removed, you really have no idea about how to make a program work for customers, do you?

    You really need to grow up and find out you don't own the program, your customers do, your customers want things left how they are, they like new features, but NEVER remove old features, ever.

    Just bloody fix it. Now.

  • I needed Windows Movie Maker (not sure why it has anything to do with Windows Live) but it seems to have updated my MSN Messager.  Now I am unable to make Video only calls.  I do not want voice calls.  The camera quality is the worst I've seen.  Please put it back!!!

  • This is absolutely disgusting. Millions of people use this webcam service every day, and it is one of their favourite features of the program, I know that because it is one of mine. To remove this feature would surely be the stupidest thing ever? Well. Come on Microsoft, I was looking forward to this upgrade, as were many other people - there are a million ways you can improve this service, but to remove one of the most popular parts to it, just when other big names are coming through and making an impact like Skype is surely moronic.

    At the end of the day, it is us that are using the service, and should in the end be able to choose how we view the webcams and I know a large number of people who are going to miss the function. I repeat THE USERS OF THIS FACILITY ARE CLEARLY NOT HAPPY - CHANGE IT BACK!

    Furthermore, having trialled the video chat in comparison to the usual webcam chat I am used to, it is clear that the quality is far worse, and the little screen is out of proportion. These are the things that I expect to be addressed to come the release of the new Messenger - but at least give us a chance to not display our webcams if we don't want to.

    I would like to point out that this is the stupidest 'upgrade' I've ever witnessed happen, and the people who are making the 'upgrade' happen obviously don't have any idea about the program itself, let alone use it themselves.

    Finally on a high point, I would be expecting Messenger Plus to save us from this apparent no-brainer and add an individual webcam function. Or maybe I cant see the positive side to this?

    Way to mess up Microsoft (N)

  • As a software developer myself I was thinking about your argumenst and the longer I think about them the more ridicilous I think they are.

    You have a full featured Video Call, Video streams both directions plus Audio calls. What the hell is so difficult in making a reduced version of that having a one way video stream by swirching of the other and switching off audio? Your arguments that it required double coding show only one thing: Your programmers are poor guys and the design of everything is totally wrong! At least give the possibilty to switch of ones cam...

    I personally used maybe 3% Video Calls and 97% one or both sides just sending web cam. You say many people did not understand the feature??? What people are that I want to ask? Not the power users of your software that have recommend MSN to other like I often did. I will not do that anymore, I will recommend Skype from now on. I'm just now having inMSN status message an explanation why I "reject" requests to Web Cam that I don't even see coming from Users of older version, which are now INCOMPATIBLE with my version.

    Wow I never thought even people from MS can do something like that. Next time I'm no longer a PC, I'm an Apple then... Enough of that. Vista Ultimate Extras was a joke... Updates without me being asked was something incredible wrong... And now this again.

  • MieLa
    1 Posts

    Video calling quality is even worse, what on earth is wrong with my Microsoft ? Bring back the older versions of "MSN" !!! Live messenger has always been bugged, major flop there Microsoft.

    Switched to skype & I must say it's much better !!!

  • Ken77
    7 Posts

    @simo182 - cant say i have noticed that problem, though i havent used it alot this week. @bfgarcia - ive had no problems with it .. heres another link to same version with inof on page (its where other the linked originally went to, but has since changed to megaupload as its a faster download) digiex.net/.../3487-windows-live-messenger-2009-wave-3-build-14-0-8089-726-offline-install.html

  • I think the new MSN update that only allows video calls is ridiculous and highly irritating. change it back please

  • AGP
    1 Posts

    Windows Live Team,

    I sincerely hope you do not continue to push out this update to the masses. Many people use MSN everyday, and enjoy the one way webcam features, but not as much the video call. I don't see how you can call this update 'progress' in removing one of the most favoured features included on Windows Live Messenger. This is no way an update, due to the fact that it is not actually updating anything, but instead removing my (and many others) favourite thing on MSN and then promoting the video call, which I have never used while using Windows Live Messenger. I use other 3rd Party Applications such as Skype for this, for it having better quality video, sound and also a highly stable connection to others.

    I think trying to compete with Skype, in boosting the use of the video call, is a frankly stupid idea with it being the most popular application for long distance voice conferencing. Windows Live Messenger, you will never be able to keep up with Skype in the features they include for VoIP, so I don't understand why you would even bother trying.

    I sincerely hope that you reconsider bringing back the single way webcam usage on Windows Live Messenger, as I feel it was the only reason I would use it over something else, like Skype. This update will be a drain on your popularity and also your download numbers, because I know many people that would use the webcam facilities, installed on older, 'better' versions of WLM, and so removing this option will decrease the usage of your application.

    I have seen many comments, agreeing with my own thoughts, in that people do not want this feature removed as it was probably one of the best bits about using WLM. But, I have also seen many of the Windows Live team, thanking them for their ideas about their updates and then doing nothing about it. I do hope that you will actually take notice of the complaints that are coming through to you now, before you are overhauled by the uninstallations and goodbye's from long time WLM users, such as myself.

    If you do not bring this webcam facility back in the next 'update,' then I, like others, will not be using WLM and will be saying my goodbyes to Windows Live Messenger. Frankly, I think this is a very stupid idea and I hope you do see sense and reinclude the single way webcam feature, otherwise you will be losing very valued users from around the world, then you'll be stuck wondering what went wrong.

    So before your next 'update,' I will be waiting upon the return of the webcam feature...

    Thank you and goodnight

    AGP

    (Life long WLM user, possible uninstaller...)

  • is this link with the downgrade msger an OK link? does it (the version in it) really work, with no turning offs? rejectings? i've never heard about the site we are directed to... cheers

  • Someone has a German version of the old version? The given set-up will not work on my PC (Vista 64 Ultimate German) and I really hate this removal off the feature that I used most in WLM.

    By the way I had up to now 20 friends asking me whats wrong with their Messenger or why I click away video calls, which I normally accepted. GREAT I spend a day for research whats wrong, because I even didn't noticed I had this "OPTIONAL" Upgrade. This is again the Mircrosoft way of doing things against their customers without even letting them know what they do. With windows update we have seen this already, updating even when you said no update without asking.

    Will you ever learn you guys at Mikrosoft? Will you?

  • At first t remove the unidirectional web cam feature is a step in the very wrong way from point of view. I had to reinstall Messenger lately and got this "update". Wondering whats going on until I found this Blog.

    And then when I did a video call the quality was a nightmare. Before my camera worked cristall clear as its a Logitech Qickcam 5000 Pro. Now its just a mess of pixels.

    How can I get a version of Messenger without this update??? This is far from Beta status away and I'm not willing to be tester for you...

  • simo182
    7 Posts

    @ Ken77 @ karie do you find that webcam turns itself off a lot?

  • unhappy
    0 Posts

    Similar to other users here, I also just joined this blog to give my opinion on the removal of the "Show My Webcam" function. I updated my Windows Live Messenger not long ago today, however I have already changed back to the old version. The new version does NOT suit my needs. I don't want sound, and although I CAN mute, I would rather not have the hassle of doing it all the time. I have a logitech pro 9000, which is a webcam frequently advertised on MSN itself, however the quality in video call... as compared to the 'show my webcam' is ... for lack of a better word, bad. The removal of this function is, as others have stated before me, a downgrade for sure. I sincerely hope that Windows decides to put the function back in in the next 'update' as Skype is really looking very appealing right now.

  • Peterc
    1 Posts

    Nice work removing a feature (virtually) nobody asked you to remove. You're doing a hell of a job.

  • simo182
    7 Posts

    @ ken77 @ karie THANKYOU, got it to work :)

  • matt22t
    1 Posts

    @  

    Chris-Gonzales

    May 18, 2010 I figured out why they wanted to remove the one way webcam deal. They want us to go out and buy their expensive HD "life cams"

    When video calling poor quality webcams dont work as well and always freeze and stick even with good internet speed so they obvi want us to buy HD life cams

  • Ken77
    7 Posts

    Simo182, no its a previous version (14.0.8089.726) and retains the "show webcam" option - it works perfectly well (until they decide to "force" upgrade upon us)

  • karie
    3 Posts

    @simo182 try going to the link again. there should be a megaupload link on that website.

  • simo182
    7 Posts

    @ken7 when i go to that website, the only thing i can download is the windows live patch 3, isnt that this new rubbish one?

  • Ken77
    7 Posts

    Thanks again Karie, that worked perfectly to rollback Messenger to before this rubbish "update" - I suggest all others that want to roll back and regain "Show Webcam" functionality and have associated problems reverted (such as users getting auto regected with webcam requests and you not even receiving a msg that they tried to request cam) use the following link. Uninstall current windows live, and install the downloaded version, then be sure not to allow updates that affect windows live.-

    idiscovery.webs.com/.../3878677-windows-live-messenger-minor-update

  • Ken77
    7 Posts

    Thank you Karie .. will give it a go, though im sure my future is with SKYPE now, Windows Live just dont listen!

  • Syrazel
    1 Posts

    I think it's super retarded that you made only video chat available!!!!! What if only one person has a cam or both people have cams but dont want to video chat or dont have a mic etc??? I LOVED having the option to either video chat or view/send ones cam and now I am forced into either video chatting or nothing.... WOW this is the kind of bs that makes me want to not use msn etc at all anymore...It's gonna be as bad if not worse then the people that keep changing the facebook layout..... PLEASE IF YOU CHANGE SOMETHING THAT BIG AT LEAST HAVE AN OPTION TO WHAT YOU CAN DO NOT JUST CHAGE IT AND SCREW IT ALL UP!!!!!

  • karie
    3 Posts

    i think we should all be downgrading now.

    downgrade link here

    idiscovery.webs.com/.../3878677-windows-live-messenger-minor-update

  • IRA
    2 Posts

    And stop pushing windows 7 on everyone by relinquishing support for XP, millions of people still use and prefer Windows XP. Why should families fork out hundreds of pounds for a new computers just run win 7? it's a joke.

  • IRA
    2 Posts

    I seriously cannot understand the purpose of removing the one way cam, i can't get my head around it. Explanations mean nothing, everyone likes and wants to have one way cam. Please re-instate the feature. No wonder Apple has taking over Microsoft, pulling strokes like this. Make your users happy, not unsatisfied.

  • I need to downgrade to this version 14.0.8089.726 , so give me link please.

  • ANC
    3 Posts

    @wildrice77

    Downgrading to the previous version is not a solution as what is needed is a fix for the new version and the coming ones.

    If people just downgrade then only few will comment and share their thoughts.

    There is an easier way to get the old version back but sharing it might not be helpful.

    Furthermore, users might face problems due to a system restore and then they will start pointing fingers....

    Also, Piero Sierra wrote: "We're looking at some of these for Wave 4." so still hoping for the best.

  • I managed to get mine working again.  I completely uninstalled Live Essentials, then I went to a system restore point to before I did the DOWNGRADE to the newest version.    Of course this will only work until they won't let me log in with the current version.  I can't believe Microsoft is so out of touch.

  • simo182
    7 Posts

    @ihatewlm2009 Same! i only joined this to get my feelings heard, what annoys me most thought is that when i updated msn on my new laptop, there was no mention of this crummy new version with changes, change it back windowslive!

  • I made an account on this blog just to comment on this article, and ask to please!! put the one-way webcam functionality backs to it's place.. I prefer to have things work nicely than to be forced on a upgrade that I don't like. This all just goes to show on how and why Microsoft continue's to lose customers to other company's.

  • Ken77
    7 Posts

    wildrice77 - not only are the using the term "upgrade" when its in fact a downgrade, but they are also using the term "optional upgrade" which is a complete pile of rubbish, nothing is optional about this!

    First line:

    "Today we released an OPTIONAL update for Wave 3 of the Windows Live Essentials suite in all 48 languages."

    Complete nonsense Windows Live!

  • The webcam functionality change is absolute garbage.  Often, my friends don't want to turn on their webcam, yet would like me to.  I can't tell you how upsetting this is.  Do you have any idea how long it will take me to convince all my friends to switch to yahoo?  I can't believe you're actually using the term "upgrade" here.

  • Ken77
    7 Posts

    www.skype.com/.../home will get much use, with Windows Live making this backwards update. I also notice they have gone very silent on the issue!

  • simo182
    7 Posts

    Would also like to point out that on countless msn help sites, people are complaining and asking for help about why they can no longer use webcam like before.

  • simo182
    7 Posts

    @Arthur de Haan. Apart from the webcam thing, good update, but i just think the whole webcam thing though is ridiculous, you should have the option to just view webcam, as literally everyone i know who uses messenger doesnt bother calling, please  return the option of just viewing webcam.

  • simo182
    7 Posts

    BRING BACK THE OPTION TO JUST VIEW AND SEND WEB-CAM!!

  • SaaNi
    1 Posts

    Hello Arthur, now seriously wht the hell hav you done??i mean we dont call it an update...but still work is appreciated alot...but can we hav some link or something so we can download the older version too...because honestly this version sucks pretty bad...so if you could help all these people who are complaining bout this newer version facilities and give us a link to older version which is 14.0.8089.726 ...tht will be so good :) ...because honestly video call works worse now...and it needs a better connection too... so its like you're taking features back from the users now...anywayz just one humble request to give us a link to download the older version too...people who wanna use this new version can use it...and people like me and 99% of us who dont wanna use the latest version of WLM they can switch back to the older version :)

    thanks alot!!

  • Seppo
    1 Posts

    The destruction of webcam functionality is bad.

    The update could be okay, if you make the video call better. You MUST add easy ways to mute your microphone and shut your webcam. This way, we don't need one-way webcams if you can disable your webcam easily before the video call opens. (And not after it opened and the partner has seen you naked...)

  • Dest
    1 Posts

    This is a huge step in the wrong way - I can't wait *sarcasm* until you FORCE people to upgrade, then they find out about this... basic violation of rights... I don't even want to have to think about this, this is disgusting.

  • Skai
    1 Posts

    I installed MSN Plus! and after a few days, I tried to webcam with my friend and realised the "show my webcam" function was gone. I thought it was the third party software that caused the problem and thus I uninstalled it. I did numerous re-installation of WLM, with and without deleting its data folders in the system's drive. I wasted half a day before I found out about the removal of the feature because I never expected MS would downgrade its product. I'm sure many others have and are going to waste their time "debugging" their WLM before they come across this website.

    The main issues of not having the webcam feature are:

    - Sometimes the users need to webcam with more than one friend instantly

    - Some users' internet connection is not suitable for Video Chat, and at the worst scenario which I had experienced before, my friend could not even connect to Video Chat.

    The video chat quality is more than good enough for now and I don't think the priority should be upgrading it, or at least, not at the expense of throwing away the webcam feature. I don't think MS would take into consideration of the complicating coding for having both webcam and video chat functions since the programmers should be some of the best in the world. Regarding end-users mixing up video chat and webcam, I'm sure the smart team can solve it by re-designing the interface instead of removing the webcam feature. Maybe there can be a dropdown with radio button or simply another icon besides the webcam icon to choose whether you want to the webcam chat with (video chat) or without sound.

    We really need the webcam feature back. Dear team, I'm sure you guys can do wonders even if you put back the webcam feature.

  • Like i mentioned in my last post, i am considering leaving windows live messenger for another instant messenger service. I am looking at yahoo or skype.  I dont think that dropping compatibility for windows xp is fair to those who are only able to use xp as their Operating system. I ask that those who are involved with the Windows Live Messenger team, to reconsider because you will lose a lot of customers because of this move.  Someone mentioned below that the changes are  a HUGE GREAT BIG ENORMOUS MISTAKE. I agree with them 100%. All my friends also use windows live messenger. They are going to be leaving the service as well and will also encourage others to do the same, and this will get passed on and more and more will leave Windows Live Messenger.

  • Kmxys
    1 Posts

    Yes it was a little upgrade and a HUGE GREAT BIG ENORMEOUS MISTAKE and downgrade.

    Thank you.

  • jwevrsn
    1 Posts

    Seriously, what the hell? Windows Live Messenger just took a huge step backwards! I bet the download rate for alternative applications like Skype just shot up through the roof.

    Well done Microsoft you just took a HUGE step backwards, and you didn't even think to inform your "customers" that you were removing features. Upgrade? more like Downgrade.

    People aren't going to care about Wave 4 if you don't fix Wave 3.

    People with lower than the latest build get automatic rejects when attempting to establish a 1-2-1 webcam connection. The person with the latest version aka your downloaded product aren't even informed of the other persons attempt. People who don't know about this change are going to think that they have technical issues with their machines instead of it being caused by removed features.

    I for one personally would like to connect to multiple people on webcam - so until Live Messenger supports it again half of my conversations are going else where.

    Cue Mass Exodus

  • @Piero. Thank you for the clarification.

    and yes they are nice webcams. I have a laptop with a webcam built in, so no real need for another one.  I do apologize for saying what I said, but at the time it seemed to be the only logic explanation. a PR stunt to get people to go out and buy your products.

  • We should have the option to turn webcam off. Since we can't unplug them for laptops. Like I and many of my friends own laptops. We can't unplug them so it''s annoying! And it's annoying to mute the call everytime we want to use webcam  - _-

    Also the video call's have got worse. Now when I am on video call about 10 minutes in my webcam freezes and the picture freezes. Pausing and unpausing the webcam cause's it to turn to a grey box -_-. Then after about 20 minutes of a video call it ALWAYS just randomly ends. I really hate this now. If this is staying like this i'd rather tell all my friends to get Skype.

  • Ken77
    7 Posts

    This "update" is the most crazy thing i have seen for messenger .. Removing the "Show webcam" option for just audio/video call has ruined the one function that i used WLM for. Now there is no reason for me not to make the switch to Skype. Seems clear windows live are too focused on the silly social networking aspects and advertising, than true features that are wanted by its users

  • Thanks for the feedback and suggestions on this topic & bearing with the complex explanation.  We're looking at some of these for Wave 4.

  • Ok, so I can mute my microphone if I don't want to send audio, and people can still see my cam even if the don't have a cam and/or mic themselves. That's good. And I understand the reason for simplyfying. But you're still missing some things (in fact you ripped them out) which really should be present in a decent video chat.

    1: Give people full control over what they send, so in addition of turning off audio give people the option to turn off the cam too so they can truly passively watch someone's cam without having to disconnect their own cam from the PC. In fact if you really want to do this properly people should be able to specify what they want to send before the communication starts, I don't want to have to find the mute button in panic while my music is blasting through the speakers, just so I can view someone's webcam.

    2: Allow people to have multiple video calls simultaneously. Sure there are technical limitations to this, mainly bandwidth. You might want to inform the users quality degrades as more calls are made, but more and more countries are rolling out fiber now. Soon it will be possible for me to get 100Mbit up and down at my home in the small country of the Netherlands, in other areas high bandwidth connections like this to the home has already been possible for some years. Skype is starting to allow multiple conversations simultaneously too (in their latest beta).

    I really hope these will be implemented in the upcoming Wave 4 Messenger release.

  • Can we still have a easy hide webcam feature. Like I want to see a friend and use call. But can't go on webcam as I am not ready or something. Then I have to dodge the webcam and pause it very quickly before it loads. I hate this... And as for winks. A lot of teens use MSN these days as part of the social part of the web. So they are fun to play around with :) Don't take all the best features away from MSN. You already took away one

  • Not liking the update to remove the webcam feature, especially with the reduction in quality and increase in bandwidth. However looking forward to this improvement in Wave 4 when it arrives, hopefully soon after the feature was removed or it's a move to Skype.

    By the way; those winks someone said to remove would be inadvisable if only a play feature, especially with the increase in long distance relationships due to communication some are fun to play around with now and again.

  • emile
    2 Posts

    @Nater: Please put your superior reading ability to good use and kindly point out which of the posts -- I'd read all of them -- "specifically debunks" my complaints.

    Piero Sierra did a really good job of explaining how you can still have one-way video calling -- with one person.

    I, on the other hand, was lamenting the fact that you can no longer simultaneously view a second person's webcam without automatically sending them your own webcam feed as well.

    Sorry if you missed the subtle distinction.

  • Nater
    147 Posts

    @ emile:  Please learn to read.  I can't stand when people bandwagon on cryposts and complaints, when they obviously haven't read the posts in the thread that specifically debunks those complaints.  Have fun with your Yahoo! Messenger.

  • emile
    2 Posts

    @PcBoyGeorge: I know exactly what you mean!

    So, if I want to see someone's webcam but do not feel like broadcasting mine, I have to physically disable or unplug it. Annoying, yes, but I can do that. What do I do, though, when I want to broadcast my webcam to one person while viewing another person's webcam without wanting to send them my feed?

    Hmmm. Where is that Yahoo! Messenger download link?

  • I dont know if i am the only one with this comment. but i don't agree how you will be dropping compatibility with Windows XP.  I personally don't think it's fair to those who use Windows XP and can't afford to get any of the newer versions of Windows. and for those who can't afford to get laptops or desktop computers. So well those who have anything higher then Windows XP will have the pleasure of using the new version of windows live messenger. and those like myself who will be stuck with XP, will only have the last updated version of Windows Live Messenger before it goes over to Wave 4.   Will you guys be doing anything to compensate to those who will be stuck with the old messenger. I honestly was looking forward to the new messenger as i always do when a new update comes, but after reading what ive read, i am honestly disappointed and i know that i will be considering going to another messenger service.

  • ANC
    3 Posts

    @Piero, Thank you for the explanation.

    When using the webcam in a video call, the webcam quality is greater than when using the webcam only, is that right? If so, this is the reason why I am facing a problem. When making a video call with another country that has a lower internet speed, the webcam hangs and is not as smooth as when using only the webcam. Can you add an option which can change the quality of the webcam in the video call; i.e. performance vs quality?

    This will be worse when switching to HD webcams...

    Also, can you develop a short program that just allows the use of only webcams that can be downloaded along with live messenger? Live messenger was one of the best programs that allows viewing the webcam of 2 or more friends at the same time and now the feature is gone...

    It can be similar to the current version of messenger but with only the contacts showing. It should also work even if you are signed in to live messenger.

    Awaiting your reply.

  • RE: Removal of “Show my webcam”.

    @PC Guy, @Chris-Gonzalez, @franwick, @PcBoyGeorge, @Tommyinoz, @xiphi – There seems to be some confusion on the update to the webcam feature.  Let me clarify that one-way video conversations are still very much supported.  It is still absolutely possible to “share your video” with a relative abroad who does not have a video camera.  Or see someone else’s webcam when you do not have one.  Let me explain how you do this:  Let’s say you do not have a video camera, and are chatting with a friend who does.  In the chat window, click “Video” (or click the webcam icon next to your friend’s user tile).  This will set up a one-way video call.  You can then mute or unmute your audio by clicking the microphone. You can control your friend’s audio by clicking the speaker icon.  Simple as that, and you still have the control.  The inverse is also supported (where you have a webcam, and your friend does not).

    Some background on what has changed:

    In the past, we offered two choices to start a video conversation with someone.  You could either click “Video Call” or select “Show my webcam.”  Video Call is the full-featured option that includes two-way video and audio.  It is how most people expect video calling to work. Show my webcam was a one-way feature, where you could show your webcam’s video to your friend, without audio.

    This caused a lot of confusion, and our data showed users would often click “Show my webcam”, only to be surprised they didn’t have audio, and couldn’t see their friend.  They would then attempt to turn these on separately.  Furthermore, the two features used a different video code-path which made switching between these scenarios hard, and also made it hard for the team to make quality & performance improvements to the scenario as a whole.

    In our latest update, we have simplified the command to just “Start Video Call”…  If you have a webcam, but your friend does not, they will be able to see you and hear you, and you’ll be able hear them if they have a microphone.  If you do not want to hear your friend, or do not want to share your audio, you can simply toggle the microphone icon next to your picture or the speaker icon next to your friend‘s picture.  

    There are only really two aspects that are different:  (1) it is no longer easy to hide your webcam’s feed if you have one enabled when you start a video call (you can still do this using the AV settings dialog).   (2) You can no longer set up “webcam rings” with multiple people sharing silent video one-way.  There are valid reasons to enable both of these scenarios, but their usage was very infrequent, and made both the user experience and the code overly complicated.  This is why we have chosen to move forward with a simpler option.  Please look for a post soon about our expanded video capabilities in Wave 4.

    @Chris Gonzales - If only.  :)  They're nice webcams though aren't they?

  • I figured out why they wanted to remove the one way webcam deal. They want us to go out and buy their expensive HD "life cams"

  • xiphi
    2 Posts

    With the removal of one-way webcam views, I won't be upgrading or using Wave 4 when that's released. Very dumb move, MS!

  • Tommyinoz
    46 Posts

    Wow, that's unbelievable!   How could you remove such a feature?  The excuse provided is that the new audio and video stack doesn't support one-way video and that's justified because it will support high definition video and audio.  Huh???   What does that mean?  Did someone forget to put it in the spec when designing the new audio video stack?  I don't understand why this basic feature was left out.  You need to explain why the new audio and video stack cannot handle it.

  • This is just horrid! Individual webcam was awesome. Like sometimes my friend wanted to be on webcam while I could not like I was not feeling Ok or something. Same the other way around! And many of my friends don't have webcams. Also there are times when we have 2 webcams on but no audio call like being in a house with everyone asleep. So Now we have to mute the mics and speakers. I really feel like switching to something like Yahoo Messenger or something that has individual webcam. This has 100% ruined Windows Live Messenger for me. I had fine quality calls. I would MUCH rather have individual webcam than Higher Quality calls. You don't need them that HIGH. I find Skype better! Just please add it back in another version! You really ruined it this time!

    Also WINKs please don't remove. I like using winks quite a lot. They are quite funny :)

  • frankwick, that is correct. Microsoft is pretty much letting the door open for people to go to other programs. Stupid mistake.

  • frankwick
    37 Posts

    I don't use messenger, but let me make sure I understand.  The Live team removed the ability to have a one-way video call?  So, if grandma wants to see the kids on the PC, and she doesn't have a webcam but hey do, she has to find another program???

  • All I have to say is removing the right to view the grand kids and their art project is just wrong. The other side may not have a web cam or they may not want to broadcast it at the moment. I'm sure you can find a way to provide "HD video" for one way video chat.

    The feature you need to remove is the winks. No one uses those expect 13 year olds.

  • dda
    2 Posts

    Removing one-way webcam is a bad step.

    Hopefully you guys change your mind and put it back in.

    Because a lot of people will gonna miss one-way webcam functionality..

    I'm gonna downgrade now..

  • Live Messenger , this is a step in the wrong direction, i for one have downgraded due to the loss off the webcam feature , im pretty sure most people will do the same ,  put it back in!

    Regards

    The PC Guy

  • Well I have not installed the update this blog talks about. And in my case, the webcam functionality is not working with McAfee antivirus installed or I don't know why. When we try to view the cam of our contacts, their webcam sometimes opens but is just all white...sometimes it doesn't connect at all (inspite of 1 minute of connection tries) even though our contacts are not using the cam anywhere else...and sometimes it works perfectly fine. When our contacts' cam is not working or is white, we disable the Mcafee antivrius, Mcafee firewall, etc. and then the cam works. Why is this issue?

  • @Murat, @Islander, @7flavor, Thanks for reporting your experiences with changes to the webcam functionality. I've added a bit more (Update 2!)  to the blog post above to give you some background on why this change was made. Thanks again for your feedback, always appreciated.

  • 7flavor
    352 Posts

    What kind of update removes features? This "update" has remove the ability in my Messenger to independently show only my webcam or my contacts' webcam and only a webcam without an audio call. Now it seems It is only possible to start a video call which starts the webcams of both people communicating and which also automatically starts audio calling. I guess now's the time to dump Windows Live Essentials in favor of something else whose latest version will continue to support Windows XP and updates won't remove features.

  • I love Windows Live Writer, in fact I write all my blog posts through it. It just owns!

  • Arthur, thanks for informing about this minor set of updates (“QFE3”). Would you mind informing about the included changes in detail (Change log/Release notes)?

  • @ABomb - thanks for the report. We did indeed update Writer for one bugfix. We have updated the post to correct that.

    @Murat/Islander: sorry to hear that you ran into issues. We'll follow up with you offline to understand and investigate your report.

  • Good to get this update. Waiting eagerly for Wave 4.

  • Islander
    46 Posts

    I confirm, video capability is completely broken in this version of Windows Live Messenger, you can only send an invitation for video chat (which btw does NOT connect at all), no way to send a single video feed to someone who doesn't have a camera.

    Fix please!!

  • @ABomb - yes they had an update as Windows Live Writer is part of Windows Live Essentials :-)

  • ABomb
    2 Posts

    The Live Writer team is tweeting that they also had an update.

  • Murat
    1 Posts

    Hi Arthur de Haan,

    After you install the new version I started not to unilaterally open webcam.

    Additionally, Windows Live MSN Messenger web camera can not hide.