Windows Live Mail Beta – a user’s perspective

Today I got an account in Windows Live Mail Beta (FINALLY, after 2 months). Although it is a little early to comment on it, it is hard not to compare it to GMail. GMail’s been around for a long while, evolving all the time.

Here are my impressions:

POSITIVES

+ The UI look & feel is great. Outlook is used by many people around the world, so they will find the interface quite intuitive. Drag & drop is nice too.

+ Calendar is just as in Outlook. Plus you can share it.

+ Pulls up all your Messenger contacts into Mail Contacts automatically

NEGATIVES

– You need to wait a long time to get on the Beta program, and it’s not so obvious how to sign up, it is limited according to citizenship (which I don’t find nice, but probably is due to some legal implications).

– There’s no little tool to have an automatic notification (like the GMail Notifier). You need to have MSN or Windows Messenger for that.

– The ads are very intrusive comparing to a one line, simple, text-only ads in GMail. I personally hate such ads, especially when I check my account over a GPRS connection.

WHAT I WOULD FIND VERY USEFUL

¾     Something like the GMail Notifier – lightweight and efficient tool for checking my inbox in the background. I don’t want to use MSN or Windows Messenger, since Office Communicator is my one-point communicator for SIP and MSN contacts

¾     Ad-blocker, especially that the ads are Microsoft Live, not other company

¾     Correction of the bugs (but this is Beta, so it’s clear): just on the 1st hour of use I found one (go to calendar, and then you can’t go back to your Inbox)

¾     In the future maybe a way to synchronize chosen items from/to my Live Mail calendar, tasks, notes with another account that I’m using in Outlook.

SUMMARY

This is just a few, quick thoughts after using the account for a few hours. The Microsoft Live Ideas are well worth checking. Even though they are in Beta, the builds are quite solid and I personally, did not have any problems with the software. But remember to backup your system beforehand as alwaysJ

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~ by alipka on April 2, 2006.

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