ailon's DevBlog: Development related stuff in my life

Live Globalization

6/12/2008 5:26:00 PM

Microsoft has nice tools to implement "global" web sites. Unfortunately they overuse the technique most of the time.

I was looking for an alternative to SkypeOut calls to call my daughter cheaper while she's on vacation in Germany and I've read several nice opinions about pc-to-phone calls in Live Messenger. So I went and installed it. But I couldn't find the option to call a phone from it. I started looking around wondering WTF and then I checked this page called "Call"

messenger_3ways

Do you notice anything wrong with this picture? The URL is "threewaystocall", it says "Get big savings on phone calls around the world" and then there are TWO options: video calls and pc-to-pc calls. And where are the PC-to-Phone calls?

If you dig through the help you can find a small sentence on the "Call a contact's phone or computer with Windows Live Call" page that says "This feature is not available in some markets."

I assume that I'm part of that "some market" but wouldn't it be clearer and less awkward if they've just placed an asterisk on the "threewaystocall" page saying that "PC-to-Phone calls is not available in some markets/your market" rather than just hiding it? I know it looks cool on paper that you can report to someone that you can automatically detect user's "market" and display content accordingly and it's a nice "demo" feature but sometimes old-school remarks work better.

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