First look at Microsoft’s new “Messenger” client

UPDATE – Oct 12, 2015: A newer version (1.10.7000.0) is now included in Windows Insider Build 10565 which you can try out yourself by joining the Windows Insider program and being in the Fast ring.  Among possible other fixes, it includes a full emoticon set and the Ctrl key doesn’t seem to be sticking.

A version of Windows 10 leaked out late last week and contained within it was the long-awaited Windows Messaging Universal app.

Supposedly written from scratch, it’s the successor to the Messaging app contained in Windows 8.0 and the Skype WinRT app previously available (since withdrawn).  The executable is still named SkypeApp.exe however.

For these keeping track, this app is labelled as version Windows Messaging 1.9.26001.0:
Windows Messaging 1.9.26001 version windowThe user interface is barren when you begin.  Messaging window blankBut soon fills up when you start conversations:Messaging with conversationsWhen sending messages, Messaging claims they’re being delivered on Skype, which is technically not accurate as I was signed in with a non-linked Skype account and speaking only to .NET Messenger contacts.  I suspect Microsoft is trying its best to blur the difference.

Messaging runs in the background separate from the user interface itself and appears as a second location in Messenger while you’re logged into Windows.  After starting it for the first time, it took a while to start working initially and during usage, regularly disconnected.  There was no indicator in the actual Messaging app when these disconnections occurred and although messages appeared in the window as being sent, they weren’t delivered until later.  UPDATE: I observed later in the Event Log that the background SkypeHost.exe process was constantly crashing.  This is most likely the cause of the disconnections observed in the client.

Emoticons are extremely limited in this version, as well as being static and non-animated.  Space bar and backspace buttons are added presumably for use on touchscreens.  You can bring up Windows’ touch keyboard and use its standard emoji though. You certainly won’t be finding any custom emoticons here.
Messaging emoticonsThe paperclip in the conversation window does not function yet, but I assume will be used for sending files when activated.

There’s an integrated search function but it seems quite limited in its results as shown as individual lines of text.  Typing your search term too quickly seems to not put the search through, although adding a space to the end seems to help:

I also encountered multiple instances where it seems the Ctrl key on the keyboard got “stuck”.  Here’s an example where I’m trying to type Jon and as Ctrl-N starts a new conversation, when I get to the letter n, it starts a new window:

This problem was reproducible on multiple machines, so I don’t believe this to be a hardware problem. At least I was able to successfully put in my name by copy/pasting it to the box.

Toast notifications for Messaging have a textbox to reply back to sending contact and although you can type in them, I’ve found they work inconsistently.

A significant problem with the notifications is that once they’re gone, there’s no little indication that you received a message. The Messaging taskbar icon does not blink and the only way you’ll know you received a message is by opening up the Action Center or the Messaging app.

I’ll note that the notifications broke on all my machines after some light usage and never seemed to worked again, even after multiple reboots.

Sending messages is a bit painful right now, as upon presssing Enter to send a message, it adds a new line to the textbox instead of just sending the message. You have to press Ctrl-Enter to actually send the message. Hopefully this will changed or be an option in later builds.

Messaging has a select option and is the first of the built-in Windows 10 apps to support select all (a feature still painfully missing in Windows 10’s Mail app).  You can select conversations to mute or delete, as well as Delete, Copy and Forward individual messages.
Messaging forwarding

When you forward the message, Messaging makes a new empty conversation with that same text and if you switch to another conversation, it will make a draft just like an e-mail client.
Draft Messaging_2015-10-08_05-29-21

I’ve connected Cortana and Mail to my Office 365 account and Messaging seems to know about that too:
Messaging Office 365 2015-10-08_05-31-15Searching the Office 365 Directory didn’t seem to work yet however.  If you push the + button in the corner, another window shows all your contacts and offers to search the Skype Directory.  This doesn’t work either as it attempts to load a “skypepage” that doesn’t exist.
Search Skype DirectoryMessaging uses a separate Skype Video app to do voice and video conversations. I wasn’t able to get it to successfully call another computer but it does appear at least try to make a connection:
Skype_Video_2015-10-08_05-42-25Unfortunately you won’t find winks, custom emoticons, display names, animated display pictures, nudging, coloured text, customization, games, voice clips, or any other of the standard Messenger features in this application.  I couldn’t find an Options screen, so there isn’t much in the way of things to tweak.

Even compared to Windows Messenger that came with Windows XP, nevermind modern instant messaging clients like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram or Kik, Messaging still has a long way to go.

Posted on October 8, 2015, in Messenger, News, Skype. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I’m afraid after this app will be finished, Microsoft will totally shut down MSNP21. 😦

    • I don’t believe this app will not be “finished” (which I would argue would be considered feature-parity with the current Skype desktop version) for many many years.

      However, although I haven’t looked through the protocol part yet, but I can fairly confidently say that there’s no dependencies with MSNP21 here. MSNP21 and this app just aren’t related in any way.

      One thing that does appear to use some MSNP21 dependencies is OneDrive, as it contains the non-Skype version of the Web Messenger as well as supporting the Messenger groups’ shared space. This shared space has been announced to be shutting down October 16th. What that will mean for Messenger and MSNP21, I’m not sure.

      • I think its obvious what is going to mean for msnp21.
        Most likely the end of WLM, like i said earlier this year.

      • “This shared space has been announced to be shutting down October 16th.”
        Sad to hearing that. Except there are more depedencies from other product(s), Microsoft has no reason to keep alive the MSNP21 protocol.
        Skype using MSNP24, I think the new Messaging app too. Even the old Messaging app in Windows 8 used/using different (if I remember correctly it was based on MSNP22). Plus officially the WLM era was ended more than 2 years ago.
        It’s hard to accept but we must, that MSNP21 will be shut down soon. 😦

  2. “é as vêrções mais recentes do windows estão décrinado com muitos pobremas, e os ápricativos feito para ele ..ou melhor esta janela tánbem paresce não gostar muito dele e o estão rejeitando, e por conseguinte eu tenho a atualização do 10 mais tenho usado muito o sevem ultimate que ainda é o melhor.

  3. yo sigo con windows live meseenger vivaaa no tengo otro correo

  4. Help me please. How to sign out from this app? Yesterday I tried it out, then shut down my PC. Today evening one of my friend stated that I remained logged in during the entire day. Is there a way to sign out?

    • I noticed this too, even after many days of not using it, it’s still signed in.

      The only sure fix I’ve found is to uninstall the Messaging app by opening up PowerShell and executing:
      Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Messaging* | Remove-AppxPackage

      Then sign into your account using Windows Live Messenger and use the “Sign out from everywhere” option.

      If you want to reinstall the Messaging app later, you can do so by opening up an elevated PowerShell again and executing:
      Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Messaging* -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

  5. I’m having a problem with WLM (started a few days ago). I can sign in fine but I’m not displayed as signed in to my contacts (I appear offline to them while appearing online to myself) and any messages I send to my contacts or receive from them do not go through. I effectively can’t communicate with anyone (can’t send or receive messages). I know for a fact it’s not me because I had one of my contacts (who’s running WLM 2012 + Reviver just like me) sit down right next to me and we both signed in just fine but appeared as offline on each other’s msn interface. Neither of us received any messages when we tried to send a message to the “offline” contact. Is there anything you can do about this Jonathan?

  6. It seems, you can log out using the Skype Video app and then the sign out option.

  7. This app is a bad joke.

  8. The new Skype UWP preview and the Messaging apps are even worse than this.
    Microsoft really lost his sh*t. Do they even try? Are there any concept behind their moves? It’s not seems so…

    I’m afraid after they shut down the MSNP21 protocol and finally kills WLM, I won’t use their service anymore.

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