I’ve actually been meaning to ask you, what do you actually use handwriting for? In actual use cases I mean.
Now, I’m not sure if I ever stated this anywhere but I’m very much a pro-handwriting/ink/pen user. I’ve bought the IR desktop pens, own and use regularly a 2009 pen ThinkPad Tablet PC and have loved the feature in Messenger since it showed up in a demo. That said, there are other ink-capable software that could be an alternative, depending on what you’re using it for.
It might be a stretch, but the rumour is Steven Sinofsky when he ran the Office team, was responsible for neutering the pen support in Office 2003 and subsequently when he took full control of Windows for Windows 8, pen support was significantly reduced everywhere, Internet Explorer (technically Windows Internet Explorer) removed pen flicks support (still not restored last time I looked, and other browsers support it fine), Lync 2013 removed handwriting support, and as we all know, Windows Live Messenger dropped handwriting at the same time.
Sinofsky is gone now and it does look like handwriting is making a bit of a comeback. The latest Windows 10 beta build has a whole-new handwriting input panel, the Lync “app” added handwriting support, the feature is touted in Surface advertisements and I wouldn’t even be surprised if the whatever-the-new IE is called, that pen flicks will work in it. I would be highly surprised if some sort of ink-support didn’t show up in Skype in the next few versions.
With regards to this protocol translation that’s been advocated, it’s not just direct translation that we’re talking about. MSNP21 made some significant changes to how messaging is done, including removing whole concepts (like switchboards) from MSNP18. In other words, we’re talking about creating a proxy server-side implementation of something that was only ever figured out on the client side, from scratch, for a client without source code, or even a working server to copy or test from. In other words, working in the dark with nothing but reverse-engineered protocol documentation that’s probably complete. Ultimately, as much as I would like to appease you, I know better to take on huge projects I can’t do or have the inclination to figure it all out.
All that said, I will tell you now that I do have a “Plan B” that I’ve been exploring with and will be working on in the coming days. I stress that Plan B does not involve reviving the 2009 version of Messenger.