Let me begin by stating that I am not a fan of the Microsoft Store. It's a poor attempt to emulate Google's and Apple's store, and thus provides little incentive to draw good application developers, which brings us to the Verizon Message+ application for Windows Desktops.
When I first discovered the Message+ desktop app, it was available for download on the Verizon website. It was a bit clunky, and in desperate need of improvement, but it did a pretty good job.
Fast forward to Sept 2021 and not only is the app gone from the Verizon website, it is being phased out and you won't be able to provision the old desktop app anymore. Now you HAVE TO use the version on the Microsoft Store.
At the time of this writing, the VerizonMessages app has a very well earned (if not overrated) 1.2 stars with 72 reviews, all of them within the last 3 weeks of this writing. However, the only choice you have is to use the web client of Message+ that takes forever to send/receive messages and requires you to maintain a completely separate contact list in the VCloud.
So here we are with the "new and improved" ( VerizonMessages, and what do we get for being loyal Verizon customers? (I've been one for about 12 consecutive years) Let's take a look.
The first thing I notice up launching is that window is divided into 2 main panes. The pane on the left has a list of conversations, and the pane on the right is a list of recent contacts. The first thing that jumps out at me about this (aside from colors) is that all I see are phone numbers. Not a single name. If you recall, the other desktop app had integration with Windows to look up contacts and present the show the names of everyone you are texting. Nope. We can't do that anymore. Not that I've been able to figure out anyway. I've even gone to the VCloud and added a contact for an active conversation in the app, and it still doesn't show the name. So there's a FAIL #1!!!
The next thing I notice is that the application window seems lop-sided with the left pane (Conversations) being about 1/3 the width of the window, and the right pane (Recent Contacts) which displays nothing but a list of phone numbers (because remember, you can't see contact info) that you've recently texted. That's OK, I'll just adjust the width of the panes. I put my cursor on the line between the two panes so I can drag it over and, nothing. You can't adjust the width of the panes. FAIL #2!!!
Next, I take a deeper dive into the Conversations list and see that only conversations from yesterday and today are showing. Where are the rest of my conversations? Oh, I have to go to my phone to see those. Silly me for thinking that they would sync like they used to with the other desktop app, and the way they do across my other devices. Yes, I have 2 tablets with Message+ installed so that I can text from several devices. I suppose this is probably a precursor to the sync function of Verizon Message+ going away. Either way, FAIL #3!!!
Another feature I've enjoyed is the ability to search through one or all of my conversations for a key word or phrase. It's quite handy when you are trying to recall something said earlier in a conversation, or if you are trying to remember who told you about a specific thing, you can do a search through all of your conversations for key words/phrases. Yes, the "new and improved" app still has a search feature but it's not nearly as good. I can only search all conversations, and the search results show only which conversation the key word appears in. It no longer shows you the exact message and highlights the word. You have to go and find that for yourself. Feature FAIL #4!!!
Every version of Message+ for desktop that I have used has been a little bit clunkier than the last version, and this one takes the cake! Verizon should be anything BUT proud of the application. You should in fact be ashamed of it!
What I want to know is, how did this app ever pass Quality Control? Assuming that Verizon has such a department or procedure.
In closing, I add that I took a couple minutes to use the "Report this product" link in the Microsoft Store to point out to them the poor star rating of the application, and suggested to them that they pull it. Because as noted in the beginning of this rant, it's an example of how easy it is to get a poor product listed, thereby dragging down the overall usefulness and public opinion of the Microsoft Store. You guys are dragging down Microsoft. Now, that's an accomplishment!