Rafael Rivera Jr., owner of the Within Windows blog, doesn't just think the Photo Sharing feature added to the latest version of Messenger "sucks". He badly wants to KILL it. We know for a fact he's not the only one with this opinion. Rafael's arguments:
- It's not clear the person you’re chatting with can see the image. Obviously, you can override this behaviour by simply clicking Files > Send a file or photo from within the conversation window. But that's two clicks too many, right? Fed up with accidentally launching Photo Sharing everytime he dragged an picture file to the conversation window, Rafael decided to mess with Messenger and yes, he discovered a way to disable it.
- The sender already knows what the image looks like (i.e. why do I want to see again, enlarged on my screen?)
- The not-downloaded, downloading, and downloaded (gray, semi-gray, and colored respectfully) progress indicator is too subtle for Mom and Dad users.
- The feature engulfs the entire window, making image-related chat impossible.
For those interested in the technical details, check out the function at msnmsgr.exe+1FF651. It checks a passed in filename for an extension of .tiff, .tif, .png, .gif, .jpg, and .jpeg, and also makes a call to a function exported by uxcore.dll named ?IsValidImageFile@@YG_NPB_W@Z (which is simply the mangled form of bool __stdcall IsValidImageFile(wchar_t const *)).Windows Live Messenger MVP Jonathan Kay immediately jumped into the action and made a simple patch that does hex editing for you. Life couldn't get any easier.
...and for those interested in implementing this fix yourself, open msnmsgr.exe with a hex editor (like XVI32), go to offset 16392F, and replace the conditional jump byte 74 with unconditional jump byte EB. If the bytes differ, ensure you’re using the latest (at time of writing) build of Windows Live Messenger (14.0.8064.206).
>> Download Photo Sharing Patch for Windows Live Messenger 2009 (14.0.8064.206).
After patching, you can still access Photo Sharing via the Photo button in the conversation window.