Adium Messenger Reviver

adiumreviver

As there’s been some requests for this, I put together a simple dmg which lets you copy the newly patched libpurple to the correct Adium (/Applications/Adium.app/Contents/Frameworks/libpurple.framework/Versions/Current) folder.  Hopefully Adium is updated soon so this won’t be needed.

The post, Most third-party Messenger clients have gone offline temporarily has more info about the change made.

Additionally, you can also revive the official Messenger:mac client.

Known issues

  • If you receive a message that the “libpurple folder” requires an administrator password, you probably don’t have Adium or the right version of Adium installed.
  • On some accounts you might not be able to see your full contact list, this should soon be resolved in other clients and hopefully fixed in Adium too.

Messenger Reviver 2:mac

Messenger Reviver 2:mac

Download Messenger Reviver 2:mac

Before installing, you may want to consult the Known issues and workarounds section below on this page.


Starting November 13th, 2014, Messenger:mac clients are no longer able to sign in to the Messenger service and you will receive the following error:

Sign in to Microsoft Messenger failed because the service is not responding.  The service is not available or you may not be connected to the Internet.

Messenger:mac failure

As the underlying problem is similar to the issues from earlier this week, using the same technique used by the third-party clients and for Windows Live Messenger 2009, we can revive Messenger:mac.

Using Messenger Reviver 2:mac
To revive Messenger:mac, download the Messenger Reviver 2 dmg and open it from the Downloads folder.  Then right-click on the Messenger Reviver 2 mac icon and choose Open.
Messenger Reviver 2: mac opening

If you receive the “unidentified developer” warning message choose Open when asked.   Next, you may get a message reminding you that you’re about to install software, click Continue.  You can then click Continue to the Introduction screen, then the Install button, type in your password, and finally click the Install Software button.  After Reviver has completed, Messenger:mac should re-open and you should be able to sign in.

Important note: Unlike the Windows version, Messenger Reviver 2:mac at this time is not able to automatically download and install Messenger:mac.  If you do not already have it installed, you can install it from c|net Download.com.


Known issues and workarounds
When you sign into Messenger:mac after using Reviver:mac, you most likely will see various contact list addition requests from your contact list.  This is a side effect of tricking the server, and can either be ignored or dismissed.  Unfortunately, they will return again when you sign in again.  This issue is being seen in various third party clients as well.

In addition to this, even though contacts appear on your contact list, you might receive a message “Do you want to accept a message from an unknown sender”.  Click the Accept button and you can proceed with the conversation.

Lastly, on some accounts you might not appear online to your contacts.  Regrettably, this is a result of the same issues above.   You can workaround this problem by signing in on another client first (including logging into your Microsoft account at Outlook.com) and then signing into Messenger:mac.  The other client will put you online and Messenger:mac will take over your Messenger session.

System Requirements
A compatible version of OS X running Messenger:mac 8.0.1.

Most third-party Messenger clients have gone offline temporarily

YzK3IFf[1]If you have been using BitlBee, Pidgin (or anything using its library, libpurple), Trillian or some other third-party instant messaging client that supports the msn protocol, you may have noticed over the past few hours that either your contact list is no longer accessible or you cannot sign in.

In BitlBee, you’ll see:
<root> msn – Logging in: Authenticated, getting buddy list
<root> msn – Login error: Connection timeout

In Pidgin, you’ll see it attempt to log in but get stuck at “Available – Connecting…”.  In Trillian, your contact list will just not appear.

The problem seems to stem from a change on Microsoft’s end about which application IDs are allowed to retrieve contact lists.  The ID used in the above clients is the applicationId (CFE80F9D-180F-4399-82AB-413F33A1FA11) from Windows Live Messenger 2008 (8.5).  When the client attempts to get the contact list, the server will reply with: Invalid Application Header Application ID is either not defined in database or blocked from access.

The Fix
The 2012 application ID key still works as do clients revived using Messenger Reviver.  If you’re wanting to re-compile any of these applications with source code, just edit the code to change the above ID to the 2012 one, 484AAC02-7F59-41B7-9601-772045DCC569.  Additionally, if you’re familiar with running python, you can use this python script to automatically patch your client (thanks dx for creating this).

For Pidgin users, you might consider using the msn-pecan protocol plugin, then setting up a new account as the WLM protocol in Pidgin.  This has several benefits, including avoiding the issue mentioned below.

UPDATE: Both BitlBee and Pidgin have both updated their source code trees, and Trillian has a new beta release.

Not showing online to your contacts
On some accounts, you will no longer show online to your contacts after changing the application ID.  This issue is being investigated, but does not affect the Microsoft Messenger clients revived using Messenger Reviver.  On Pidgin you can also use the msn-pecan protocol plugin to bypass the problem.

Meanwhile, despite “the end” of Messenger supposedly 12 days ago, the Messenger Service continues to hum along.

 

When is Messenger really shutting down?

Messenger Shutting Down?In the past few weeks you most likely read the headlines in the popular press, “MSN Messenger to end after 15 years”, “MSN Messenger Turned Off Forever!”, “Microsoft Is Officially Killing MSN Messenger Once and For All”, and similar captions of the same premise. Reading through these articles, you’ll find that Microsoft has sent out messages to the current Chinese users of Messenger, informing them that after October 31st they will need to use Skype to sign in, plus a bonus $2 Skype coupon for their trouble. The writers then jump to the conclusion that there will be no Messenger after that time, as it seems none of them have noticed that you can still use Messenger and that they’ve just been using Messenger in Skype.

With no other evidence to the contrary, Microsoft is most likely doing the same in China as it did for the rest of the world, force-upgrading its users to use Skype as their Messenger client instead of Windows Live Messenger.

Here are some facts about the situation:

  1. Messenger contacts (as of yet) did not transfer to Skype contacts. When you link your Skype username to a Microsoft account, Skype (or also Outlook.com) will sign you into both Skype and Messenger services. Despite the accounts being linked up, you can still sign into your Skype username separately or sign into your Messenger account separately using another Messenger client.
  2. Recently Microsoft started blocking users from signing into older versions of Skype. This seems to be primarily to push people into using the newer versions of Skype which support MSNP24 (Microsoft Notification Protocol version 24). To compare, Windows Live Messenger 2011/2012 uses MSNP21, so they are in fact transitioing from Skype’s native protocol to the Messenger protocol for all Skype communication. You can view the MSNP server and protocol information in Skype by opening up any Skype window and typing /dumpmsnp.
  3. The Messaging app included in Windows 8.0 (removed in 8.1) signs into the .NET Messenger service.  As Windows 8.0 will remain supported until January 12, 2016, this client within 8.0 should continue to work within this supported time frame. This version of Messenger uses MSNP22.
  4. Although unsupported officially, third-party clients, Windows Messenger 4.7 above and “revived” clients still continue to work nearly a year and a half after the official shutdown date. These clients do not connect to Chinese servers or pretend to be in China.
  5. The dates of these forced-upgrades have been incorrect so far. Initially Messenger was to “shut down” on March 15th, 2013, and then was moved to April 8th. However, the forced compulsory Skype didn’t truly begin on the servers until April 23rd.  Then more recently was the issue of “MSP” (not MSNP) first declared to be discontinued first in March of this year, then May, and then the reference was removed from the Microsoft website all together.

The answer
I have no idea when non-Skype Messenger clients will no longer be able to sign in.

Regardless of the facts above, Microsoft could still prevent non-Skype Messenger clients (and their subsequent versions of the protocol) from signing in at any time. I would personally implore them not to do so, as they only face to alienate more users to other services, particularly with their dwindling usage and increased competition. Additionally, once their move to the MSNP24 protocol on Skype is fully complete, they could open and encourage third-parties to write for that new protocol.

Final note

After reading through the most recent Messenger headlines, I think it’s worth a reminder that MSN Messenger was replaced by Windows Live Messenger in 2006. Everyone knows that Messenger is colloquially known as “MSN”, which can correctly refer to the protocol (MSNP) being used, but in reality the actual versions of software called MSN Messenger were discontinued and replaced in the years following the name change, particularly as older versions of the protocol were retired and security issues were found.

Windows Live Messenger 2009 signed in on September 11th, 2014

Windows Live Messenger 2009 signed in on September 11th, 2014

Solving error 800488fe once again

In July of last year, a number of users found they couldn’t sign into Messenger and were receiving error code 800488fe. This appears to have started again today and additionally, you might have gotten an “Unusual sign-in activity” message like the following:

Unusual Sign-in

This would seem suspicious normally, but the IP address shown is actually the users real IP, so it seems to be a false positive and can be dismissed.  You can always check your account activity to verify this.

I’ve received this message myself in the last few hours on an account I only use for e-mail and never Messenger – so it seems Microsoft is having trouble with their security detection.

Like before, to solve the problem, just sign into Outlook.com with your Messenger Microsoft account (which may or may not require you do extra account verification) and then you should be able to sign into Messenger again.

Small possibility of Messenger shutdown this weekend (UPDATE: didn’t happen)

UPDATE (June 4, 2014): Messenger (MSNP) is still available.  It seems whatever MSP truly is, it didn’t affect Messenger or never was shut down in the first place.


own-messenger-smiley-crossed-fingersI don’t think it will happen personally, but there is a small chance that some time this weekend (or Monday) may be the end of the ability to sign in to the Messenger servers.

The March date
The date in March was originally based from a reference on the Windows Live Developers site (no longer available, old archive.org version) which stated that “implementations that use MSP (Mobile Service Proxy) will continue to work until March 2014″.  After this date passed, the page was changed to show May 31st as the date.

So it’s May 31st?
The confusion with this statement lies in the claim that the Mobile Service Proxy will be the component that no longer works after May 31st.  At the time this information was presented, the various media outlets automatically assumed this is what Messenger uses, but Messenger uses MSNP (Mobile Service Notification Protocol), not MSP.

What is MSP/Mobile Service Proxy anyway?
I really do not know.  Despite a decade of technical work on Messenger, I had never heard of the Mobile Service Proxy or MSP mentioned until it showed up on that page.  My guess is that it could be part of the Messenger web API I’m not familiar with, Messenger connectivity on mobile networks (via SMS), or it could be that the protocol got renamed and no one bothered to inform anyone.  Since this term first appeared, I’ve searched periodically for more information and the only reference I ever found was someone else asking the same question on the Windows Live dev forums.  The only answer given was, “MSNP in general is not supported by Microsoft for non-Microsoft applications.

What about April?
There was some discussion that since Windows Messenger was part of Windows XP that the XP end-of-support date of April 8th would be the day the servers were taken down.  This of course did not happen and the Messaging app in Windows 8.0 (not 8.1) contains the standard Messenger implementation using MSNP.  Windows 8.0 is supported until January 12, 2016.

Will it shut down?
We’ve recently seen features like e-mail notifications and offline messaging disappear from Messenger, as well as changes to Outlook.com messaging, and the rare message originally directed to Skype pop-up on Messenger randomly.  Clearly changes are being made but how they will affect the older Messenger clients long-term is not known.

Going forward
One great thing about the March and May dates was that they gave a definitive time we knew the Messenger service would be operating.  Past this weekend we will be entering more uncertainty.

I’ve set up a new Messenger Status page to reflect the current condition of Messenger service and its features so everyone can check what is and what isn’t working.

Offline messaging broken

Offline messages in Messenger have always been stored on Hotmail (now Outlook.com), and with the e-mail count and notifications for Outlook.com in Messenger being removed recently, it was no surprise when the reports that offline messaging was no longer working.  I can sadly confirm that to be the case.

However, it’s more complicated than simply being gone.  Your offline messages can be triggered to be sent to you in Messenger… by using Skype.

If you want to try this yourself, link your Messenger Microsoft account to a Skype ID.  Then with Messenger signed in already, log into Skype using your normal Skype username (you could use your Microsoft account as well, but you don’t have to).  As soon as Skype logs in, your offline message will magically appear in Messenger.  Note this requires Messenger 2012, it does not seem to work on 2009.

Additionally, you can also see your offline messages by using Outlook.com’s web messaging feature by signing in with your Microsoft account (note that it does not need to be a Live/Hotmail address to work).

 

 

 

 

E-mail message count and notifications broken (update: probably gone for good)

In the Email Toastlast week I had two people inform me that their Hotmail Outlook.com e-mail count was wrong in Messenger.  This wasn’t a new situation that I’ve heard as over my 10 years of supporting Messenger this came up many times (including in my own account) and the issue simply resolved itself after a brief period.  I double checked my own account and the count and subsequent mail notifications and they were working for me.

But today I’ve heard from many more people that this feature has been failing.  After checking my own personal and test accounts, it’s now fully broken for me also.

From a technical perspective, the message count and notifications are completely handled by the server which then just notifies Messenger.  Unfortunately this means there’s nothing that can be done to “fix” the problem as the server isn’t sending any mail notifications to the Messenger clients.

One can only hope this is a temporary problem and not due to a roll-out of a new version of Outlook.com that’s removed the feature completely.

UPDATE (April 16, 2014)
The e-mail notification feature has been fundamental to Messenger since it’s very inception.  In fact Microsoft has exploited this feature for a long time — it’s been used as the basis for Hotmail mail checking in Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, Hotmail and Outlook.com.  I was thinking more about this today and wondered that with the feature gone, if Outlook.com had a new way of handling mail notifications.

So, I took two accounts and tested them.  One account is a standard Hotmail account with Messenger contacts and one is the same but linked to a Skype account.  The normal Hotmail account signed into the web-based Messenger client fine as normal, but was not able to receive any new e-mails until I manually pressed the refresh button.  However, the account that’s been linked to Skype was able to receive mail notifications and immediately refreshed.  I can only summarize e-mail notifications have been moved over to Skype, although they don’t yet appear in the current versions of the software.

Just to be clear, linking your Microsoft account to a Skype account will not magically restore your e-mail notifications in Messenger.  (Doing so will restore automatic receiving of mail while in Outlook.com however.)  What it does mean is that some time in the future, the Skype desktop application will be able to notify you to new e-mail and that the notification feature has probably been removed for good in Messenger.

I would recommend you use the freeware tool Howard::Outlook.com/Hotmail email notifier as a replacement.  Although the default is every 5 minutes, you can set the check time to every 30 seconds, which is the minimum on any of the protocols without Exchange Activesync (supported on phones, Windows 8 Mail and Outlook 2013).

UPDATE (May 1st, 2014)
In the prior update, I mentioned how you couldn’t receive new e-mails on the Outlook.com site without Skype linked to your Microsoft account.  It seems they have fixed that problem as accounts that aren’t linked to Skype can now see messages arriving once again.  However, the Messenger e-mail notifications are still missing, giving further evidence that they won’t be back.

Christmas comes early! Microsoft updates Windows 8.1 for Messenger 2011/2012 support

Ho-Ho-Ho--Santa-on-Windows-Live-Messenger-2This month’s Update Tuesday brought an early Christmas gift to those who want to use Messenger 2011 or 2012 on Windows 8.1.

Prior to this update being available, when you tried to sign in, you would receive error code 80090004.  After the fix is installed, you will be able to sign in as normal.

The update is contained in the 8.1 December’s rollup update (KB2903939), which contains 18 fixes including KB2906900 (Error “0×80090004 (NTE_BAD_LEN)” occurs when you try to sign in to Windows Live Messenger).

You can either download the update from Windows Update in Windows, or at the Download Center (32-bit, 64-bit), a reboot will be  required to use Messenger again.

Although I quickly managed to write some code to automatically check, download and install the update on machines that need it, it will be a few days before I think it’s ready.  In the meantime, I have withdrawn the version of Messenger Reviver which blocked Messenger 2011/2012 installations on 8.1 and you will just need to manually update Windows 8.1 if Windows isn’t updated automatically.

A special thanks to user Chooky who was the first to notice the update!

 

Microsoft to remove server-side instant messaging history and conversations

I was rather pleased when I discovered that Outlook.com had a server-side message history last August.  It’s quite handy at times to have conversations stored elsewhere without having to deal with Remote Desktop, add-ons and other trickery to do the same thing.

But today, I received an email from the Outlook.com Team with the following information:

We’re contacting you because we are making a change to the messaging history feature in Outlook.com.

Whenever you chat using Outlook.com whether it’s through Facebook, Google Talk, or Messenger, a copy of your chat is saved in the Messaging history folder. As part of adding Skype to Outlook.com, the Messaging history folder will be removed sometime this fall.

So there’s no actual cut-off date, just “sometime this fall” and my saved conversations will just disappear?

If you want to keep a record of your chats, you’ll need to move them to another folder. To move your message history:

1. In Outlook.com, right-click Folders, and then click Add a new folder.

2. Enter a name for the folder and press the Enter key.

3. Click Messaging history, and then click the check box at the very top of your message list.

4. Click Select everything.

5. Right-click any message and then click Move.

6. Select the folder you want to move your messages to, and then click Move.

I completed this process and it took nearly 10 clicks, plus some typing.  This doesn’t sound like a lot, but why do I have to do this manually?  At the very least, why couldn’t it be as simple as one button to ‘Save your data’? And Since there is no actual date, I’ll have to continue to do this process periodically until it disappears as not to lose anything from now on.

After the Messaging history folder is removed, a history of your Skype, Google Talk, and Facebook chat sessions can be found in the Messaging pane.

After the Messaging history folder is removed, the chat sessions will be found in the messaging pane?  Are they referring to the ones I just moved to a folder of my own choosing?  Does this mean they’ll be in both locations?  It’s really not clear.

messagehistoryFor me, this is just another example of how Microsoft continues to fail their customers.  According to news reports, Skype support in Outlook.com has been rolling out in preview form for four months and was was first talked about nearly a year ago.  Was this not an issue before in their rollout?  I understand why they might want to discontinue the feature since Messenger is officially on its way out, but why remove the existing conversations?  And finally, do they truly believe my conversations have no value to me that I wouldn’t want them archived automatically?

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