I got the invitation for testing the Windows Live Mail Beta & I opted for it, anticipating some enhanced UI that will help me use my Hotmail better. The invitations for this next generation of Hotmail are given out by themselves only, no existing beta tester can invite anyone else, as in the case of Gmail. So I jumped on, upgraded to Windows Live Mail Beta and logged in. But after using the interface for a few minutes, I was quite a bit disappointed, even though I’d known from the first looks that I’ll be disappointed!!
The mail interface is horizontally divided into three frames. The left frame has the list of folders like Inbox, Deleted Items, Junk Mail & user folders etc. The middle frame displays the contents of the current folder, so if you click a folder in the left frame, the contents of the middle frame will change. The right frame is the biggest of three and displays the email message selected in the middle frame. The interface smells strongly of the sweet aroma of AJAX but it also stinks of the nasty odour which comes when too many things are crammed up in too little space!!
Since the whole interface is AJAXified, you need to have a modern browser to view it, though I’m not in favour of using any older browsers(you are not supposed to be browsing internet if you are stuck with an older browser). But there are three things that annoyed me most & because of which I’d say that the Windows Live Mail is crap as of yet!!
Firstly, you cannot view more than one email at a time, since you cannot open email messages in new windows/tabs as was possible with earlier UI, which leads to frustration as mentioned in the next point.
Secondly, since you cannot open email messages in new window/tab, you are restricted to viewing the emails in that confined space of rightside frame which means that you’ve to scroll a lot both vertically & horizontally, which is quite frustrating.
Thirdly, whenever you open a folder, the first email message of that folder is automatically opened in the rightside frame. Now this will lead to more spam!! How you may ask!! Well, sophisticated spammers & marketers use tracking images in emails so that they can track which email addresses are valid & how many people read the emails. This is done by embedding an image in the email which is called from the server of the spammer/marketer. The URL of this image is made unique & attached to the email so that actions for every email can be tracked. Now when the email is opened, the image is loaded & the info is sent to the spammer/marketer that your email is valid & it has opened the email. Now this may not be that much of a problem since images from unknown senders are blocked & you’ve to click a link to view them, but still its irksome, since you sometimes get advertising emails from known senders as well and I for one wouldn’t want to pass them the info that I’ve seen their ad email. For example, I subscribe to a newsletter which also sends me emails from their advertisers. Seeing the subject lines of these emails, I simply deleted them earlier, but now they are opened(if they are at the top) without my consent whenever I open my Inbox, thus providing the advertisers info that I’ve read their email(which will surely prompt them to send more ad emails).
Now another nuisance of this interface is that the Live team has crammed up too much into too less area that I can’t even read the subject of emails properly, thus allowing me to delete useless ad emails!!
I think that its these kind of small details that become major nuisances if they are not paid attention. They can add however much AJAX they want to the interface, but if the UI isn’t usable, they are not getting much out of it in my opinion. If they are to be competitive with Gmail(which certainly is their agenda) then they’ve got to become usable from unusable. Gmail excels in that, and they provide both enhanced UI as well as simple basic UI, and a user can pick any of them as per his preferences. If I wanted an Outlook type interface, I’d have chosen it instead of webbased email, wouldn’t have I? So I don’t know where the Live team got their delusion that people wanted an Outlook type interface, and even Outlook doesn’t have the quirks that this Windows Live Mail has!!
And a word for those who want to try this new interface. 😕 Its nothing which you should be excited about, not right now that is. Your current Hotmail interface is much better that that, trust me!! 😉
Yahoo does it & so does Windows Live Mail, Gmail doesn’t do it at the moment but they quite possibly start doing it after sometime! They provide you a service for which they don’t charge you directly, so they earn via ads. Its upto the individual as to whats acceptable & whats not! 🙂
If you were running a website which provides something to people & were earning via ads, I don’t think you would come out in the favour of blocking ads nor would you be suggesting these kinds of ideas to people. 🙂
Hotmail live sucks.
Today I could not believe my eyes when after hitting the button send after writing a message .., I got the following message from hotmal.
The server is busy . Try again later.
In other words . They did not sent my mail.
HI , Its been now more than 2 monthes sending and recieving emails from microsoft tech support team to solve my problem with Windows live mail . and still nothing happened i wasted time by replying back and wasted time by reading their help. till now ….. can u believe it . i can view all my folders attached to my email account but once i click on any email this what i get :
Email can not be viewed. plese try again later.
really i never saw stupidity like this.
You all should give Gmail a try….it is the best web base mail
I just got done writing a comment on someone else’s site about Windows Live eMail, S U C K ing … I’ve been using computers since the Texas Instruments 99/4A computer came out, and this is by far the worse eMail client yet. Just the fact that you can’t manipulate the source code anymore eliminates several types of eMails you can send, or you have to alter the look and feel drastically. If you can’t edit the html inside the eMail, you can’t put images where YOU want to put them anymore, rather than the software doing what it wants. Do note that Windoes Live eMail’s been out for quite awhile and this is March 2008… within 5 minutes after installing it, I realized it sucked. At least Windows Mail lets you see the source code and change it if so desired. However, I quit using it because the Deleted Items folder kept getting corrupted.
I agree with you Windows Live SUCKS!
Windows Live Mail is a piece of crap. Not even a feature to flag messages that I can find. I also sent a photo and there was no copy in the sent box so I don’t know if it was sent or not. The fonts are so tiny I can hardly anything.
A total piece of crap IMO.
this live mail sucks!!! here we are again waisting time messing with a program that works worse the the one before. I can not even access mail from icon desktop without getting the blue screen of death!!! I have to go through the msn site to read mail. Going in that way you have less of the options to use. And Bill still makes money!!! I liked outlook express better
Hotmail Live Help SUCKS!!!!!!! I get most of my messages with a small error message next them which reads: This message may be dangerous Click here to find out more. Clicking the link brings up a blank page in Live help and when you input the same phrase in help you get 0 topics found. What’s even funnier is that when you input the Hotmail you get 0 topicsz found.
Someone at Live help needs to get fired. Who did they sleep with to get their job in the first place? There are no security sections in Hotmail to allowyou to choose to see html content and rely on your virus program to block out attachments and virused pictures. Mainly I just think that the help program should give me a detailed explanation of why the pictures and rich text are blocked.
Anyone else having a problem with Live mail, when sending and inserted Picture to multi people using cc and or bcc? I send from live email then also read it in live email but all I get is the coding but not the pic. Reminds me of the old days when one could not read email and see pictures from AOL and Compuserve clients in Microsfot programs! All you got was a garbled mess!
It’s really bad. Always freeze my computer. Every click means taking forever to loading the stuffs. I tried to send the big (10MB) attached file and it froze my screen after 10 mins waiting and no message about if it’s already sent or not.
Microsoft changed the developer team? or sth? or it’s just a second system effect??? why all stuffs come from them lately big time sucks… don’t mention about vista… the mother of all sucks.
yes it sure sucks. new and improved CRAP the new mail look can’t they make things easy i hate it to the point i might not ever use it. haven’t figured how to remove it yet if i can it’s gone. all windows live . there might be some reason why they did it but millions hsven’t figured out why
First this site loads like a snail. Second, what do you cheap bums expect? You are getting free email service. If you want no ads, pay for it!