Three new Windows Live betas now available

Three new Windows Live betas now available

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Today our Windows Live team is releasing new betas for several Windows Live applications:  Windows Live Messenger 8.5, Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Writer.  All three are now available for download.

A little about each one:

Windows Live Messenger 8.5

Windows Live Messenger 8.5 presents a brand new look-and-feel that's more in tone with Windows Vista.  While this update largely affects the back-end, it also adds several new emoticons and integration with Windows Live OneCare Safety Center.  You can expect performance enhancements in there as well.

Windows Live Mail

As mentioned before, Windows Live Mail is the successor to Windows Mail in Windows Vista (and Outlook Express on Windows XP).  Windows Live Mail is also the successor to previous betas of Windows Live Mail desktop.  It sports a brand new UI that more aligned with what's being adopted across Windows Live.  Windows Live Mail will allow syncing with Windows Live Hotmail, serving as a client-to-service bridge.  The first beta of Windows Live Mail will offer:

  • Offline mail 
  • Windows Live Hotmail account aggregation 
  • Additional account aggregation for POP3 and IMAP mail accounts 
  • RSS feed aggregation 
  • More advanced photo-sharing capabilities 
  • More advanced search via integration with Windows Desktop Search 
  • Additional safety measures (AV scanning, anti-phishing, anti-spam protection across aggregated accounts for customers who do not have an AV product) 
  • Additional integration with Windows Live services including Windows Live Spaces

And, there will not be any graphical advertisements in Windows Live Mail at this time.

Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer is a tool for composing blog posts and publishing them on several of the web's biggest blogging platforms (such as Windows Live Spaces, Community Server, WordPress, and TypePad).  Windows Live Writer allows for custom plug-ins to be installed from Windows Live Gallery that extend its publishing abilities amongst blogging platforms.  Today's new beta of Windows Live Writer comes with features like inline spell checking, the ability to add categories, table editing and easier image insertion.  Windows Live Writer’s new beta will be available in the following markets: US (English), US (Spanish), India (English), UK, Spain, Germany, Japan, China and France.

Remember, these applications being released today are betas and not final versions.  You can submit feedback on any of the betas at

And lastly, I expect Brandon will have screenshots on his blog soon.

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  • If you are having installer issues with the Windows Live Betas, the Windows Live Writer Team has posted some troubleshooting tips - including a downloadable "fix" that may help you get the betas installed. Check out their post here:!D85741BB5E0BE8AA!1368.entry

    - Brandon

  • Hi

    Everytime i try and Install Live Mail in Vista Premium, it won't install.

    I double click the .exe, it loads up, i agree to the t&c and click next and it disappears.

    Any thoughts?

  • J3551C4
    1 Posts


    Loveeee the new Windows Live Mail.  The only problem I have had so far is that I cannot print emails from the window where you actually write the email.  The print option is disabled in the file menu, and the control + p function does not work.



  • markm66
    55 Posts

    I tried Live Mail for a few days on a new laptop with the intention of installing the copy of Outlook 2007 I had. I installed Outlook 2007 and then uninstalled Live Mail and this is when the fun started. Trying to launch Outlook after the install I found it wont because of a now missing DLL (It was running fine before live mail was removed). A repair install allowed outlook to launch but when I started a new email it went thru up a "doing some configuration dialog) a few minutes later this went and an office Install dialog popped up and wanted the office 2007 disc which I gave it but the problem persisted. However now I would get the same dialog if I launched Word or Excel. I had to remove both Outlook and Office 2007 (Home and Student ed) and reinstall them to get them to work. Needless to say a few expletives were used during this time period :). So I suspect if you are going to try this remove Live Mail before installing Office/Outlook.

  • These links at NeoWin worked for me at last:

    Whatever is on MS's sites doesn't work for me.

  • Thanks for the links - Just installed live mail - looks really promising!



  • Nick White
    1204 Posts

    Hey Condor:  I've gotten a couple of similar reports; I'm looking into it.

  • jchandler
    13 Posts

    These betas are looking great, I am using the new Windows Live messenger and I just love the new graphical interface you guys have used, it just works.

    All the best

    Josh Chandler

  • Is it me or the new Live Mail Desktop 12.0.1184 has a problem ticking emails... How are you ment to select them without using the keyboard

  • Could be a cookie issue. Try unblocking 3rd party cookies and see if you can access the sites. Not sure what else to suggest.

  • Condor
    18 Posts


    It could not be a cookie-related issue, could it? I always have my browser block 3rd party cookies. when i click the messenger 8.5 beta link given by nick I get to a Windows Live home page showing a privacy block of something like ""

  • Condor
    18 Posts


    I can get all betas, but not Messenger 8.5 beta. Currently I am using 8.1, just like ThomThom. I can only get to a page that links to 8.1, and installing that gets me the option to repair or remove.

  • Condor, the link works for me. You can also go to to access the betas there - which also works for me. I've tested the links out on two different PC's on two different networks and they both work.

    - Brandon

  • Condor
    18 Posts

    @Nick, May 30: The <messenger_betas> link does not work, I get a Windows Live home page. The other two link to proper beta dowwnload pages.

  • myles, your problem with signing in yesterday wasn't a bug-related issue in Messenger 8.5 - apparently they were having some Messenger network issues throughout the day that prevented Messenger users from signing in. So even folks with Messenger 8.1 had some issues (like my brother) signing in.

    I am glad you like the beta. My personal thoughts behind it is in sync with yours. 8.5 is very stable especially on Windows Vista and has some fantastic performance improvements. 8.5 *feels* right.

  • myles
    1 Posts

    I've been using WLM 8.5 since it was upped, so far i've only had one problem with not signing in, looks to be a pretty stable beta, thank god they've improved the beta builds from the old WLM 8 betas

  • I tired downloading Live Messenger 8.5 from

    but when I run the istaller it only asks me to repair or remove.

    I'm currently running 8.1.

  • The Outlook Connector is on its way. We'll post when its available.

  • spib
    1 Posts

    Any news on the new outlook connector which was announced on

  • Nick White
    1204 Posts

    Hey marshall:  the links are all there, but for clarity, I'll call each out individually:

    - Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta:

    - Windows Live Mail Beta:

    - Windows Live Writer Beta:

  • marshall, check again. I see the betas on the site when I click the link. They are rolling out the betas as we speak as well.

    Here are the individual beta sites:

    - Brandon

  • marshall
    30 Posts

    Well,  I went to the link in your blog but it still shows up as Windows Live Mail desktop.  Also, no WL Messenger Beta 8.5 either.  Have not tried Windows Live Writer as I use word.....