Windows Live Mail Preview

Microsoft has been trying to keep up with Google and Yahoo, so now the Beta of Windows Live Mail is up, and I was lucky enough to get an invite for the service.

First Impressions

Windows Live Mail seemed too simple and the design is just ugly, it’s a white background and the text is blue or black.
It doesn’t work on FireFox (not that I’m surprised by this… it’s Microsoft’s after all, though I expect FireFox support to come soon), not even the invite button, so I had to use the ol’ Internet Explorer to sign up for the service. If you try to load up in FireFox it just redirects you to the old MSN Hotmail service, and even though it’s just a private beta, users shouldn’t be forced to use Internet Explorer to check their emails.

The service itself proved to have a decent speed, mainly because it now uses AJAX, instead of reloading the page, but some features like the calendar took a long time to load (maybe longer than reloading a page in the old MSN Hotmail), so speed could still be improved.

It also looks like Microsoft has put some thought on the UI, and I liked the fact that I can move to other emails without needing to go back to the inbox, since the inbox is visible all the time while reading emails.

Another feature I like is the resizable columns, which allow further customization of the UI.

Still, Windows Mail Live needs some work done; mainly the browser support and a better UI, the old ugly buttons of MSN Hotmail are still being used.

It won’t replace my Gmail account, because Windows Live Mail lacks some features I like about Gmail: labels, live search, and the ability to customize the UI the way I want with Greasemonkey Scripts.

News Reporter

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