COMMENTARY: Verizon Message+ for Windows not working as of 8/31/19

UPDATE 9/20/19:
Today, I noticed that the sync started working again for both Verizon Messages (Windows UWP/Microsoft Store app) as well as VZW Message+. (The legacy Win32 app installable that’s no longer available from VZW’s web site.)

There’s been no explanation as to what went wrong but it was clearly a backend service issue because nothing changed on my or anyone else’s computer at all.

(What I’m saying is that the VZW Support’s explanation that “Message+… is not compatible with Windows 10” was & remains totally wrong. If you’re reading this, blaming Windows 10 “compatibility” was a really silly & annoying tactic, Verizon.)

BTW: Props to DavidR_VZW from Verizon Support.  His explanation on the community boards was the most accurate in all the other responses, I’d seen:

We apologize for the issues experienced when using the Message+ Verizon Messages – Windows Desktop application, JoEbY-X. We always want to make sure you’re able to use any available service, and you can rest assured our Message+ team is working on a resolution. DavidR_VZW

UPDATE 9/13/19:
VZW Support chimed in. You can see in the Support forum below, they have spammed the forum with the same canned answer over and over and over again:

The Message+ application is not compatible with Windows 10 computers. The Windows messaging client for Verizon messages is being temporarily removed to prevent syncing issues. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. You can utilize the messaging web client as a windows alternative by following the steps in this link below

https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/knowledge-base-54302/ .

I got the same from @vzwsupport on Twitter. Virtually the exact same wording.  No update, no ETA, no commitment that the matter will be fixed.

The fact that they feel it’s better that their customers are ignorant or dissatisfied with their support response tells me something is likely afoot here. 

ORIGINAL POST:

imageOne of the critical apps I install on my PC is called “Verizon Message+”.  It’s a simple Win32 app that allows me to text using my Verizon Wireless account from my desktop as if I were using my phone.  It keeps synced with my phone so I can seamless text from my desktop and continue when I leave with my phone.

On August 31st, the Verizon Message+ apps for Windows & Mac stopped working and the community isn’t very happy about it… to the tune of 35 pages of “feedback” on the VZW community site:
https://community.verizonwireless.com/t5/Verizon-Messages/Message-Plus-not-syncing-with-windows-10/m-p/1129310/highlight/false#M32768

BACKGROUND:
I have the same problems as everyone else.  I suspect they have recently started to have service failures with the Internet gateway they have that connects the SMS text messaging service with user’s Win32 Message+ apps. (Modern App from the Microsoft Store & the old Desktop app that we all love & saved the installers for, amirite?)

Like everyone here, Message+ (Win32 desktop install) stopped working on my workstation on 9/1/19.  I’ve installed the “newer” Modern App version from the Microsoft Store and it suffers from the exact same problem.

The web app at https://web.vma.vzw.com/ times out and doesn’t seem to be able to maintain a dormant HTTPS: connection so that fails somewhat regularly.   My Android device however works with it’s Verizon Message+ (or whatever it’s called on Android) just fine – but I strongly suspect the connectivity is done over their cellular network and not over the Internet, hence it doesn’t use the same gateway that the Win32/Modern App clients use.

I’m a little surprised that they don’t appear to have this as a high priority (Service down???) being that SMS text messages are a revenue-generating service.  But then again, maybe many VZW customers have Unlimited SMS text msg plans and thus this is not a big deal to them.

Its’ September 11th, 2019 now and it’s still not working.  I really do hope they get this resolved.  Based on the thread it appears to have failed before but subsequently resolved  but I guess an issue has reared it’s head on 8/31/19 all over again.

DOWNLOAD:
For those interested in the app for Windows – assuming it gets fixed – there are 3 options:

1) Message+ for Win32:
This is the old desktop app that VZW no longer makes available sadly.  This is the app that long time users have depended on for more than a decade and it has run on everything from Windows Vista on up to Windows 10.  VZW removed the app from their site but the installer is still downloadable from the link below:
https://web.archive.org/web/20150717102459/https://web.vma.vzw.com/downloads/Message+.exe

2) Message+ for Windows 10
This is the new “Modern App” that only works on Windows 10 available for download via the Microsoft Store in Windows that apparently VZW doesn’t advertise either.  Its similar to the Win32 app but requires that you download it from the Store.  It’s downloadable from the link below:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/verizon-messages/9wzdncrdcsnz

3) Message+ Web Client
This is the web page you can sign into that provides similar, but lesser functionality through a web browser.  All you have to do is sign into the link below:
https://web.vma.vzw.com/

————-

HELLO VZWSUPPORT!
Note: I’ve started pinging @VZWsupport on Twitter and referencing the Community forums thread referred to above, in the hopes of getting a status or even a resolution. 

VZW’s been radio silent on the matter.  I have yet to receive a response either on the community forums or on Twitter.
https://twitter.com/kurtsh/status/1171686713837490176

7 Responses to COMMENTARY: Verizon Message+ for Windows not working as of 8/31/19

  1. Mark Summitt says:

    I’m in exactly the same boat as you. I went ahead and installed Google Messages on my (android) phone and on my desktop (it runs in a browser), and it seems to be working fine

  2. dw2546 says:

    your site helped me locate the message+ for windows installer, however, it’s a pretty old version (1.0.16 from 2015). does anyone have version 2.0.2 or newer?

    • kurtsh says:

      I normally don’t reply to these but you’ve sent this twice now and you’re confusing the versions as being the same piece of software: 1.0.16 and 2.0.2 are two different software products you’re referring to.:
      1) 1.0.16 is the latest version of Message+ for Win32. There is no “more recent” version. That was the last build that VZW created and they aren’t building any newer releases.
      2) 2.0.2 is the latest version of Message+ for Windows 10. This is a completely different product. It is effectively dead from a development standpoint & was removed from the Microsoft Store by Verizon Wireless. As far as they’re concerned, it no longer exists and they aren’t republishing it or supporting it. There is also no standalone “packaged” version of the client – that’s not how Microsoft Store delivered apps work.

      Microsoft Store apps don’t “download a package” and install it. They’re installed by streaming the software to a PC with the source software remaining online in the store. This allows the developer to have full control over the source software; i.e. they don’t want old releases floating around on the Internet like what’s happened to the Message+ for Win32 1.0.16. If they wanted to provide a standalone installer, they could actually do that but it’d be without any of the Microsoft Store support: They’d have to produce a new installer package that they maintained and hosted on their own servers. Very few software developers these days are interested in doing that.

      More to the point, it’s been made clear to me that Verizon Wireless has completely discontinued development and support for Message+ for the desktop and not supporting it at all. Because there’s no longer any money to be made in SMS text messaging, they don’t want to:
      – Maintain the Message+ for Win32/Win10 apps
      – Maintain the Message+ Internet gateway
      – Support phone calls/forum messages asking for help on the client
      …when they’re not making any money on any of it.

      The only reason the existing Message+ for Win32/Win10 software still works is that there are some very high profile users of the apps and so they maintain the SMS gateway for it (which is probably not cheap) but I suspect at some juncture, they’re just going to tell everyone to “go use the web client” (which is much cheaper to maintain) and the old Message+ clients will stop working.

      So enjoy it while it lasts.

  3. dw2546 says:

    sorry i wasn’t specific. i used to use the win32 version and i don’t remember it having a main window and then separate windows for each conversation. i assumed there was a newer version out there somewhere so when i saw someone talking about 2.02 i thought they were referring to an updated win32 version. anyway, i thought the last version of the win32 app was more “all in one” like the win10 version. if i find a newer win32 version i will report back here but it sounds like there isn’t. thank you!

  4. Brad Nagel says:

    I currently have Messenger+ installed on my Windows 10 PC without any issues. Use it to text recently. Not sure why they took down the download. I only noticed because I was checking to see if there was a newer version.

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