Few months back when I tried to sign up for the Windows Live Mail Beta, I was just asked to register and was told that I would be notified when the service is available. It was never done !
Few days back when I was checking the Windows Live Ideas Page, I happened to see a signup link next to Windows Live Mail Beta. I signed up and lo my normal Hotmail account got converted into a Windows Live Mail account.
Did I like it ? My expectation from Microsoft were pretty high and I should say I was thoroughly disappointed.
This is what Microsoft says about the Windows Live Mail:
Itï¿½s all-new Web mail, built from the ground up. Preview your e-mail without loading a new page each time (like Outlookï¿½) drag and drop messages into folders, and generally power through your e-mail in a flash.
The interface is ï¿½outlookishï¿½ much like in Yahoo Mail. However I was not able to resize the panes when I opened the mailbox in Firefox. Without resizing the panes, there is no way you can customize the layout of the UI the way you want.
In IE it seemed to work fine. Now if MS thinks that people are going to use IE to do this task , they are damn wrong. Iï¿½d rather stick to a E-Mail service which works on all browsers.
Check out the screenshot of the home page:
The Windows Live Banner along with the other content (Search Box & User Name Details) takes almost 30% of the height on my widescreen monitor. The inbox widget was too small to manage both the message list and the preview pane.
Press on say ï¿½Optionsï¿½ link and press the back button in your browser, the mailbox is again loaded ! (which is time consuming in a low bandwidth environment). This is at least manageable, sometimes by mistake when I pressed the back button I got the ï¿½Page Expiredï¿½ message and I had to re-login. Pathetic !!
The Find Mail/search feature is of no use, I gave a search string based on the E-Mail ID of a message and I got 0 results !. The Contacts/Address Book also didnï¿½t have much change compared to the earlier version.
The icons next to Junk E-Mail and Delete Items are used for emptying the folders. I initially thought it as a ï¿½refreshï¿½ option !!
However the feature which I found useful was the message organization feature, you can drag and drop the messages into different folders.
I should conclude that GMail still rocks, when Yahoo came with its Yahoo Mail beta, I was impressed with the changes they made, but still there were lot of features in GMail which were missing in Yahoo Mail.
And now MS comes with Windows Live Mail and I have no problem in saying : It sucks !. What do you think of it ?
I hope they really take the feedback of users and make the necessary changes.