tenpastmidnight blog

Making hay while the sun shines

Scattering icons in the wind

I installed Yahoo Messenger (sorry, Yahoo! Messenger, must remember that '!') today as a friend has been having problems with the MSN version. Even though I chose the 'Custom' option and unselected everything it wanted to install apart from the actual Messenger program I downloaded, i.e. Yahoo Toolbar, making Yahoo mail my standard mail client, making Yahoo my home page, it still then added itself to my startup items (there was no option for turning that off) and put two new icons on my desktop and in the quick launch area near my 'Start' button and in the bit on top of the first options you get in the Start menu. I've just noticed it also adds it's own icon to Internet Explorer's icons, replacing the standard Microsoft one with it's rather ugly smiling face with little anti-aliased bits around it, as well as two new links on the IE links bar. That's eight icons in all, in addition to the ones I expected to turn up within the 'Programs' section of the Start menu. Eight reminders of their service I didn't want staring at me from everywhere.

Now, I don't mind icons being added to my Start menu, either in the general or it's own section, but if you're going to add more I expect to be asked in the 'Custom' install, and I expect to be asked whether or not I want something to run at start-up, I expect it to be put in the 'Startup' area of 'Programs' so I can remove it easily, and I don't want icons all over the place. This is the kind of thing that irritates people, and you're losing enough ground to Google without irritating any more of your customers.

To add insult to injury, Yahoo Messenger kept going wrong and not sending through all the messages my friend was trying to send. As soon as MSN Messenger starts to settle down for him again the Yahoo product is going to be uninstalled. I would have left it around on the off chance of using it again in the future, but the way it's spread itself around all my other programs has irritated me enough I'll be glad to see it go.
You may hate me for saying this but how about giving trilian a try? I know its not free but it supports a bunch of messaging services and isn't bad really.

I used to use it when lots of my mates were on yahoo! messenger, although most (if not all) have switched to MSN so its rarely used now.
I can't hate you for suggesting such a thing. I've tried Trillian in the past, and Trillian Basic is still free, which would talk to Yahoo and MSN. I just found Trillian a bit fiddly, and when I received mail to my Hotmail account I liked the way MSN Messenger would tell me who it's from whereas Trillian would just tell me I had a new message.

Still, indeed if I have to keep using Yahoo's Messenger I'll give Trillian another try. Thanks.
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