Windows/Mac: Back in November, Microsoft featured an attractive Facebook client to demo Silverlight 4, and many people wondered where it went. Well, Microsoft has finally released the fancy Facebook client for download, and it has almost everything you could want from Facebook.
Above all, this app is beautiful, certainly more beautiful than Fishbowl, the client that was released after Silverlight’s introduction and confused many by its lack of similarity to the client demoed. Not only does it have cool photo grids integrated into your news feed, but there are some really cool (but subtle) sweeping animations when viewing photos in an album. It even features a photo uploading tool to replace Facebook’s mediocre uploader.
Viewing photos is certainly where Silverlight’s strengths come into play the most, but the app has pretty much every other part of Facebook integrated — you can view your news feed, friend list feeds, profiles and even your inbox. You can view a list of upcoming events, but the event pages themselves are not integrated — clicking on it will take you to the event’s Facebook page in your browser. The app doesn’t currently support chat, which isn’t really a drawback due to Facebook chat’s suckage — but if you are that addicted to Facebook chat, you can already get it on your desktop easily through a client like Pidgin or Adium.
The app has a few minor bugs, which is to be expected due to the fact that it’s still a developer preview. It’s supposed to have TweetDeck-style notifications, which I’m not seeing, and sometimes new posts just don’t load. A new post on my wall showed up in my news feed but took awhile before it showed up on my wall, so it seems there’s a bit of a delay in updates. In addition, it seems you can’t use your scroll wheel in the application — you actually have to click the arrows or the scroll bar to scroll up and down. These things are hardly a deterrent, though — if you, like many, have been looking for a desktop version of Facebook since 2005, this looks like the app to use.
The Microsoft Silverlight 4 Beta Client for Facebook is a free download, requires Windows or Mac OS X with Microsoft Silverlight to use.