I recently received an invitation by Microsoft to try out
their new product, Windows Live Mail Beta. It's a brand new interface
of webbased email exploiting the AJAX application structure. It's
Microsoft's attempt to compete with Google's now very famous Gmail.
In simple words, it's a new version of Hotmail.
First, an invitation. If you don't have one, there are some methods you can try to get them.
use Live Mail, I have to go through a transition process between my
Hotmail account and Live Mail. This transition process will move all my
emails, contacts and everything into Live Mail account. So, it doesn't
mean that you have to sign up for a new email account or anything.
Microsoft promise that if at any stage, I would like to opt out of this
beta service, I can. That's promising enough for me.
What's special about Live Mail?
you have in Hotmail is available in Live Mail. Live Mail uses AJAX
technology, similar to Gmail. AJAX is not actually a technology but a
user some very cool features and fast browsing without having to reload
the page all over again.
Upgrading to Live Mail gives you 2GB of free space instantly. 8 times better than the regular 250MB.
The whole page is divided into three columns.
One for major folders, one for the list of emails with subject lines
and contact, and the last one to view your selected email. It is also
possible to resize the columns according to your liking.
You can right click on where ever you want to see a list of options.
For example, right click on the "Junk Folder" and select "Empty
Folder". Or right click on a email message, and a few options such as
"Reply", "Delete", "Forward" and "Move to" will appear.
Drag and drop feature. Haven't tried it out but you are suppose to be able to drag inbox messages into Junk Email.
Calendar is available with dynamic interface as well though I haven't ventured into it but I'm positive it's gonna kick ass.
Beta being Beta have Beta bugs
Beta bugs are one of the things you have to expect when you become a
beta tester. While the interface have still plenty to improve on such
as user friendliness and all, it's no where near as happening as Gmail.
of the things that Live Mail promise is speed but even after utilising
AJAX, speed isn't what they have. I suspect this may be caused by too
much client side programming.
For example, to write an email.
Inserting a contact is not easy, it is very slow due to a special
feature that calls up similar email contact that is suppose to be smart
enough to know who are you writing to. But it's filter go through the
process over and over again that it lags behind. This incident occurs
for the body part as well. Spell check is a wonderful feature, but it's
There are always a delay in whatever you want to do. It makes a http call in every click and every key you type.
still in the beta process and working hard to impress the beta testers.
I have high hopes for this product. But whether or not I will move back
to hotmail is definitely not going to happen. Well, maybe for the
*Updates: It appears it's easy to sign up for Live Mail, just go to their sign up page and do it on your own.
**UPDATES: For those who would like to know how to cancel this service, click here.
References: How to get a Live Mail Invitation, LiveMail Ideas, Live Mail Signup, Live Mail Blog,
Tags: Live Mail, Beta, Hotmail, Gmail, Microsoft, Google,