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I'd Really Like Better Messenger Integration with IE

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I've officially declared Friday to be Browser Fiddling day.

Overnight, I tried out Slim Browser and Maxthon (MyIE2) - thanks to Brad C's comments, they both:

  • allow middle-click-open-in-new-window-in-background
  • have tabs that can be closed by double-clicking
  • have their “search from the address bar when a hostname is typed” option disabled
  • have a cool-looking default skin that isn't too cluttered

And I'm becoming progressively more impressed with Maxthon.

As the title of this blog mentions, one thing I'd really like to see is better integration with MSN Messenger from the browser.

The usage scenario is pretty straightforward: I'm looking at a page, and want to send the link to someone on MSN IM.

At the moment, I have to copy the url, switch to the Contacts window, double-click the contact to start the conversation, paste the link, then send the message.

What I'd like to be able to do is hit a droplist button “Send Link By IM”, and be able to pick the IM contact from the IM contact picker. Ideally, an MRU list would also be created as I send to a recipient (some recipients I'm not going to send links to, so I don't need the whole list all the time), so I can just Send Link By IM -> Barry rather than have to use the contact picker every time. If I can accomplish the whole thing without switching applications, I'm happy.

I have no idea how hard this would be to implement in a toolbar, but it'd save me clicks and an application context switch, which has to be a positive step forwards!

Comments
  • Hi,

    This is not exactly what you are thinking, but Sauce Reader has integrated Windows Messenger (not MSN messenger) and IE toolbar. If you turnj this on then you can 'IM This' page to your contact IM from the toolbar.

    Check it out at http://www.synop.com/Products/SauceReader/

    Regards,

    Victor Hadianto
    (victor@synop.com)

  • Thanks - I hadn't seen Sauce Reader before (though the name rings a bell, so I've probably heard of it!).

    I wasn't able to get the IM integration to show an actual IM This link so far (though it does display my contact list).

    If I were to replace my web browser with an RSS Reader-and-Web Browser, it'd be a good solution (and something I hadn't considered, but why not?)

  • As I've said before, I believe Maxthon (MyIE2) is the best browser, but has the worst defaults. Here's how to get what you want from Maxthon:

    1) Middle click open new in background. Options, Maxthon Options, Tab, New Tab, check 'Middle mouse button click on links.' Close the options dialog and look on the status bar in the right hand corner. The middle icon in the set of 5 is button to toggle 'activate new window.' Make sure it's not depressed.
    2) Check out Options, Maxthon Options, Tab, and change the drop down for 'Double Left Click' to 'Close Window.' I usually make middle click the same.
    3) Options, Maxthon Options, Search, delete any search 'helpers' you don't want. I usually delete all of them.
    4) I usually select 'No Skin' which makes Maxthon fit in perfectly with the rest of your Windows (and I like Maxthon to basically be IE + tabs).

    Maxthon requires a little bit of work to unclutter the toolbars (I only have Menu, Standard Buttons, Address, Favorites, and Tab). I put the address bar up to the right of the menu bar, cut down the standard buttons to roughly the ones IE has, and then put the favorites bar to the right of that. Tabs as the third row and you still have most of the window for browsing.

    The sort of IM integration you want will be around in longhorn (think sidebar), with a semblance of that functionality available now in MSN 9. Lastly, there's no need to copy and paste the address. Just grab the icon next to the address and drop it in your IM chat window.

  • Brad, thanks *so* much for the tips - Ahh! Middle Clickness! I'll be playing with Maxthon for a while longer.

    Back on the contacts- the drag-and-drop Url doesn't stop me actually having to open the contact list, then open a conversation window, and task switch, which is the major part I'd like to avoid - I usually just want to send a link to Barry, then discuss it (in that order).

    I tried dropping the address bar item onto the contact (which looks like a drop target), but it doesn't trigger a conversation in 6.2 or WM5 (though dropping a file object does...). I'm not too upset about that, as actually having to have the contact window visible to be able to send a link is annoying anyway!

  • Ah - getting rid of the * quick search provider is what stops the title bar search behaviour.