Fishbowl is a clean, fast, and amazingly simple Facebook client that works on Windows XP/Vista/7 with the .NET Framework 3.5. It is an experimental demo project by Microsoft, available for free download here. It supports most of the common Facebook functionalities such as browsing feeds and photos, updating status, and uploading photos. On Windows 7, you get Jump Lists, taskbar previews, and multi-touch support as well.
Main Window: Status & News Feed
When you launch the Fishbowl Facebook client, it shows you your Facebook news feed. You can navigate between different views using the toolbar at the top. The number of notifications are shown on the toolbar itself in a red-circle.
On the left are the familiar Friend Lists, and links to Photos, Pages, Notes, etc. You can zoom in and out of the view using the +/- buttons on the top right. Likes and Comments work just like in Facebook.
On the top left is a box where you can set your Facebook status. You can also attach links or photos to your status from here.
You can browse friends in multiple ways. Sort by display name, last name, their last status update, or upcoming birthdays.
There is an interesting new element introduced by the Fishbowl Facebook client that is not in Facebook: “Interest Level”. You can adjust your interest level for your Facebook friends within Fishbowl, which you can then use while browsing your friends, their photos, etc.
Browsing & Uploading Photos
You will just love to browse photos in Fishbowl! Slick, snappy, and fast. Browse albums sorted by last updated, album title, name of your friend, or your Interest Level. You can save entire albums to disk in one click, or sit back and watch a full-screen slideshow of the album.
You can scroll through the photos in an album using the mouse scroll-wheel, zoom in and out of photos, and save or print photos.
For uploading photos, use drag and drop or browse and select. As you will discover, photo browsing and photo uploading are the coolest features of the application!
Mini Mode & Win 7 Goodies
You can use the Fishbowl Facebook client as a light-weight notifier of new items in your feed, or for new Facebook notifications. The “Mini Mode” brings up a transparent window that tucks away unobtrusively on the side. You can quickly jump to any specific status update or see your notifications as they come in.
Fishbowl takes advantage of Windows 7 features to provide nice little goodies. You can directly jump to specific sections like news feed, friends, photos, etc. from within the live thumbnail preview. Even when the program is not running, the Jump List provides the same functionality.
By default, Fishbowl opens external links in the Facebook newsfeed within its own window, using Internet Explorer. If you wish to use a different, faster browser to display external web pages, you can specify that in Fishbowl settings, which are accessed from the gears icon on the main window toolbar.
Do you think the Fishbowl Facebook Windows client makes a nice desktop companion to Facebook? Share your thoughts in the comments!