Windows Live Mail helps you organize your life

Windows Live Mail helps you organize your life

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As Piero mentioned in his blog post, we had two main goals when building the newest version of Windows Live: making everyday tasks simpler, and connecting Windows 7 to the cloud. In the new Windows Live Mail beta, we did a lot of work to make these goals a reality, and today I’d like to give you a quick tour of some of the high points.

Making it easy to share photos via the cloud

Given all of the talk about sharing on the web, you might be surprised to hear that fully half of all content sharing is done through email. Attaching photos to an email message is convenient, but it actually isn’t a great way to share because of limits on the number and size of email attachments. A lot of people try to deal with these limits by shrinking photos before mailing them out, or sending them in small, separate batches instead of all at the same time, but these are compromises that you shouldn’t have to make.

The new Windows Live Mail gives you a better option. Now, by simply dragging your photos into a message that you’re composing, you can create beautiful photo email messages like these:

Photos in email - Squares template

Photos in email - Fan template

There are a bunch of different album styles to choose from, so you can show your photos in a way that best reflects your style and personality.

But the Windows Live Mail beta doesn’t just give you beautiful albums; now, limits on photo size and attachments are yesterday’s news. When you send photos, a SkyDrive album is automatically created for you, and your photos are uploaded to the cloud. The people who receive your mail will then see the photos in the email, of course, but they'll also see them in Messenger, in the social highlights feed:

Photo email shown in the Messenger social feed

…and in Hotmail:

Hotmail social feed screeshot

…and of course, when they click the images in any of these places, they can view your SkyDrive album from any computer or mobile phone that has Internet access. Your albums are privacy-protected, so only your friends who receive your mail can see your photos. All of this happens without any extra effort on your part – just drag your photos into your email, and Windows Live Mail takes care of the rest.

Windows Live Mail makes it simple to organize your mailbox

We also made big changes to make it quicker and more efficient to read your mail. The most obvious change is sitting at the top of the window. To make it quicker and easier to perform your everyday tasks, we identified the most frequently used commands, and put them front and center in the ribbon:

Windows Live Mail ribbon UI

Next, we turned our attention to the inbox itself. Those of you who get a lot of email know it can be confusing to follow email conversations that extend over several days. In the traditional, sorted-by-date view of the inbox, it’s tough to quickly find and skim any but the most recent replies in an email conversation. In Windows Live Mail’s new conversation view, related messages are grouped together, which allows you to see all of the replies on a subject in one place:

Windows Live Mail conversation view

I find that this makes reading and responding to my email much quicker and easier, but since some of you prefer the traditional inbox view, we made it easy to turn the conversation view on or off using the ribbon:

Conversation view buttons

Simplifying your schedule too

Last but not least on our tour of the new Windows Live Mail: the calendar. I live my life by my calendar – if something’s not in there, it’s not happening, or at least I’m not going to be there. Our user data shows that this is true for a lot of you as well: 25% of Windows Live Mail users use the calendar to schedule events.

To help those of you who are addicted to your calendar, we added a calendar pane to the side of the inbox. The calendar pane shows you upcoming events, and provides a quick way for you to create new events without ever leaving your inbox:

Windows Live Mail calendar pane

Together, these changes help you to manage your email and calendar more quickly and efficiently, all in one place.

So, that’s the short tour of the new Windows Live Mail beta. We hope you enjoy using it as much as we enjoyed building it!

Stephen Hui
Lead Program Manager, Windows Live Mail

37 Comments
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  • Mark: Thanks for the feedback.  The abuse I was referring to is actually malicious users trying to attack the Live service.  I agree that requiring sign-in doesn't affect the security of the photo album in a meaningful way.

    mailman: It sounds like there's something wrong with your installs, as the Reply and Forward buttons are of course supposed to work, and the close button does kill the process.  You can send us feedback at http://feedback.live.com, but it sounds like you might be better off heading to http://windowslivehelp.com and getting help resolving those issues.  Sorry you're having problems, but thanks for trying the beta!

  • mailman
    1 Posts

    is there an official beta site/forum to leave feedback and bugs?

    a.  I love the new UI, but i keep having a problem where new live mail windows wont appear.  i hit reply/reply all/forward and nothing happens.  this happens on both my computers.

    b.  restarting live mail seems to reset this behavior, but i have a complaint that you have to manually kill the wlmail.exe process to truly exit.  one of the many reasons this is problematic is because the exit button is kind of a lie...  if the user wants to minimize, there is a minimize button, if you are going to offer an exit button, i think it should exit.

  • Thanks Stephen for your response. But I don't understand wich type of abuse you make reference.

    Normally, only the photo mail receiver can access to the album by clicking on the "Download" link. I don't understand why having a Windows Live account for the receiver can increase the security or avoid the abuse.

    Otherwise, it would be a great idea to implement a "sending later" option, wich will give the possibilty to define to the software a date and an hour in the future to send a mail.

  • Mark: The current behavior requiring users to sign in before downloading the photos is deliberate, but we're evaluating whether we can remove the restriction.  (In case you're wondering, it's there as a mechanism to prevent abuse.)  You can still download photos from an album by clicking the View Slide Show link and grabbing them individually, but I acknowledge that's more cumbersome than just clicking the Download All link.

    jans: Thanks for the report -- we'll look into it.

  • jans
    1 Posts

    Congrats on a massive task well done, big step forward.

    Seeing that a detailed help file still not available I'm pushing my luck here.

    I'm sending many emails to senior users of W7 and therefore it is always loaded with inserted screen shots in my guides. Keeping the total size of the email within limits is the challenge.

    With 15.3.2804.0607 I'm lost. I always edit, resize, crop my inserts before I place it within an email. Before I start a new email I can therefore see the total size (KB) of the included graphics. With the new beta version I apply the "Original" option under Size and "None" under Picture styles.

    This is where all's going wrong, all my graphics increase in KB size once inserted. For example, an original before inserted = 37 KB, Pixel per inch = 200 x 200 - 8.10 x 10.95 cm

    This is changed by WLM beta to - size = 79 KB, Pixel per inch = 120 x 120 - 13.50 x 18.25 cm

    The bits per pixel (24) and color mode (RGB) identical.

    My questions is, how can I keep my original size original, the "Original" of WLM beta way too large.

    I do not want to apply reduced size options because folk that receive my mails all have problems with eye sight.

  • In the final version of Windows Live Mail 2011,does the receiver of a photo mail need to have a Wndows Live account to download the photos online on Skydrive ?

    Because with the bêta version, if i click on the "Download" link of a photo mail, the browser opens the "sign in" page of Windows Live. But if I click on the "download" link, while I'm connected to Windows Live, then I can download the photos.

    Is it a bug of the bêta version ? If not, it would be a huge limitation of the photo mail functionnality interrest.

  • captainjy
    14 Posts

    Thanks Stephen, I will do that.  Appreciate your reply very much!

  • In the Contacts window, if you select a contact in the list view and press enter, nothing happens - the default command on its context menu is edit contact, so the edit dialog should open.

  • Happy Monday, everyone.  As usual, thanks all for the feedback, and assume a response of "that's a good point, we'll look into it" for everything that I don't explicitly reply to.  :-)

    HeinrichP, captainjy: I'll tell my counterparts in the Hotmail and Sync teams about your comments, but you might also want to post your feedback in the comments sections of their blog posts:

        Hotmail: windowsteamblog.com/.../update-to-the-hotmail-rollout.aspx

        Sync: windowsteamblog.com/.../coming-soon-windows-live-sync-beta.aspx

    ianpaine: Don't know if you saw this already, but you can minimize the ribbon by clicking the "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" arrow at the top left of the screen, then selecting "Minimize the Ribbon".

    Also, I'm sorry to hear that Live Mail's running slowly for you.  Are there any particular actions that problematic?  You gave specific feedback on Photo Gallery, but not on Mail.

    Firas R.: If Rackspace's folders have different names than the Hotmail defaults, you'll have to configure Live Mail to recognize them.  You can do this by right clicking on the account name in the left pane (e.g. "Rackspace"), selecting Properties / IMAP, and entering the folder names in the appropriate text boxes.  The final release of Live Mail will do this automatically for Gmail accounts.

    jagansai: We show the calendar and contacts associated with your Live ID if you're signed in, and whatever you've entered locally if you're not.  You can tell if you're signed in by looking at the right side of the ribbon while you're reading your mail.  If there's a gray tile that says "Sign in", you're not signed in.  If the tile has the name of a Live ID under it, make sure it's the same ID as is signed into Messenger if you want the two to match.

    Hope this helps, and keep the feedback coming!

  • HeinrichP
    18 Posts

    Feedback: (I haven't yet got the new Hotmail interface but)::: Please do, so I can forward more than one email at a time to another recipient.

  • One or two more keyboard navigation issues:

    1. In the previous version of windows live mail, there were shortcuts to press the items in the bottom left hand corner: mail, calender, contacts, feeds, etc. eg, ctrl+shift+c moved you to contacts (this now opens a new contact dialog). You can get to these by pressing F6 a number of times, and then down arrow a number of times, but it's not very convenient. Was there a reason for removing these shortcuts?

    2. After opening the program, the focus is initially in the message list, but then it gets lost.( I sure this bug's already been spotted.)

    3. I couldn't find a listing of keyboard shortcuts in Help. Having one would be helpful.

  • irv321
    3 Posts

    It's too bad Windows Live Mail doesn't have Exchange or CalDAV account support, and that Windows Live Hotmail/Contacts/Calendar aren't accessible via Exchange ActiveSync (or CalDAV). There's no reason or easy way to shift from using Gmail and Google Calendar to Windows Live on my desktop PC and iPhone (for email, contacts, and calendars, I mean).

  • Jagannath
    11 Posts

    The contacts in Windows Live mail don't seem sync up with the contacts in hotmail. The same case with Windows Live Messenger.  Is that normal ? I thought the contacts should be synced up across hotmail, windows live mail and messenger.

  • captainjy
    14 Posts

    Can someone please explain SkyDrive? I just don't understand why Live Sync folders and Office Live folders don't sync into one folder.  Makes no sense at all.  So in other words, go to office.live.com, click SkyDrive.  Folders here are not the same folders for Live Sync.  Wouldn't it make sense to have access to may Office folders from SkyDrive?

  • Thanks for taking the time to reply to the comments here Stephen - that's highly commendable behaviour and I wish more Microsoft teams engaged directly with their users. Keep it up! Regarding the work-around for the Picasa issue, thanks, I'll give that a try.

    I noticed a new bug today: I had a category of contacts just for family members so I can email them all at once easily. It's a bit funky compared to Outlook's group function - the tie-in to Messenger makes it weird in a bad way - but it works well enough. Today though I noticed that I now have duplicates for nearly all of the people in the category. Why? Well, it's that darn Facebook integration. Because the contacts aren't merged, I have doubles of everyone - one Windows Live contact, and one Facebook contact. It's not a big deal for me to clean this up, but if I had 10+ categories, I'd be pretty ticked off.

    Regarding one of the issues I raised, the Safe Sender info, someone else contacted me about it - a fellow MVP - and it seems that it's only cloud-based if you have a Hotmail account. I don't; I sign in with my Live ID to keep my contacts in sync, etc. It would be great to see the Safe Sender de-coupled from Hotmail and part part of the Live ID profile...if you want people using this mail client beyond just Hotmail users, I think this is a necessary step.

    I'll also echo one of the other comments; keeping working overall app performance. On slower systems (HP dv2, dual-core AMD Neo CPU @ 1.6 Ghz) I see noticeable lag when I click to open a new email message. The previous version of WLM on the same hardware didn't have that issue.

  • Stephen: Thanks for the reply & clarification. It's good to know that you're working along with Google to make sure that WLM works with their implementation of IMAP. As for your question, my comments on Junk Mail (showing up in Unread, and not being able to delete them from the Junk (spam) folder directly applies to my Rackspace IMAP account as well.

  • What has happened??

    The Windows Live software is generally excellent, but this beta is really not good.  Both Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Mail had a clean neat look and were fast.  Now both have cluttered messy ribbons and are horrifically slow.  In WLPG scrolling through pictures in the viewer was near instant - now in the beta often 2-3 secs to change picture.  Painful.  WLPG used to be great for doing basic photo editing very quickly (anything more complicated than what WLPG could do then really should be using photoshop).  A few extra features which unlikely to use often at expense of greatly slowing down the bits use day-in day-out is really not worth it.  WLPG differentiated itself from likes of Picassa and the basic Photoshop with a super clean approach (i.e. in particular all meta-data in photos).

  • HeinrichP
    18 Posts

    Hi!

    First: I would like to acknowledge the new design, especially the simplyfying of the setting-page.

    But: That page is still totally confusing and badly arranged. I think it's very annoying you have to click: Oh! Set my name and click: Who am I going to share my name with? And after that: Oh! What is my middle-name? Who am I going to share that with?

    I think you just should like arrange a long, intuitive list of settings in clearly arranged boxes with headlines such as: About me, international settings, marketing prefrences an: "other settings"

    All these you set in the left side of the page.

    to the right you set all these "sharing-settings" and make people able to choise exactly what settings they will share. (eg. every individual setting, not just an overall-setting.

    I really hope I wasn't to tough in my comments, but it is really a very bad arranged page.

    PS: The logon-page have the abillity to choose between non-safe (http) and safe (https) page. Please remove this abillity and set it to safe (https). Or do as google and encrypt all mail and encrypt all "Live" in https.

  • Abhijit
    4 Posts

    Dear Stephen

    I just installed this new beta version. And I like it very much. This version is very nice. new feature of conversation view is really helpful to remove duplicate mails and old mails from same user in seconds. But you have to improve its launching process, its again taking some time to launch, and its goes unstable few seconds after launched. Remaining its new look and features are good.

    Also give one option of sort mails by sender or subject in conversation view. I can't found this option there.

  • Gotta agree with danielgr. I really want conversation view to have messages I sent as well.

  • Stephan, I mangled the last paragraph in my last post, it should have read:

    If there was the bug that using the mouse, the only way of selecting a folder was to click all the folders between the currently selected  folder and the one you wanted to select, this would be fixed, wouldn't it?

  • Stephan, thanks for your reply. However, I'm really disappointed that this won't be fixed in the final release. A lot of work has been done to add some fairly advanced features to Windows Live Mail, and yet a basic bug isn't going to be fixed - I don't know of any tree view in any other microsoft product where you can't select using the first character or characters.

    If there was the bug that using the mouse, the only was of selecting a folder was to click all the folders between that folder and the one you wanted to select, this would be fixed, wouldn't it?

  • danielgr
    73 Posts

    @Stephen Hui

    Thanks for your answer about photo-mail but I think you didn't get the point.

    Maybe I'm too old_fashioned, but I think there are still people out there that like to compose and send e-mails instead of writing blogs or creating web galleries. One reason for it might be because they find it difficult to do (which is what you addressed with the new PM). But you forgot another reason, which is that "e-mails are more personal".

    What I loved of photo-mail is being able to send a letter with a story told in photos. Before photo-mail I would need to send many e-mails to tell a story, mainly because of the limit in attachment sizes. Photo-email gave me the opportunity to get rid of that limitation and I loved it. Now all I can do is send a "fancy" link to a web gallery, which is a nice touch for people that may find it difficult to do it by themselves, but for which I don't really need WLM.

    I noticed that you can resize the "fancy-links", but it's done by html image interpolation (instead of "larger-image generation" on the previous WLM), which means they show larger but are not (resolution gets horrible). Either way, comments are not there, and flexibility is close to zero when compared with the old WLM.

    I also noticed  you can change the album's expiration date, but again that's not the point. For me and e-mail is something you may keep as you keep a letter, it's something that was sent to you personally, and that you may keep for decades, it's part of your life. A web gallery is a different thing, which can disappear at any moment, either because you choose to change the service you provide (it has happened before), or because the person that sent it decided to shut it down. Images on a folder are like an album of photos, but still not a letter. Again, I'm not saying I don't like web galleries (I loved them), just saying that they are not e-mails, not letters, and that it's a pity to have lost the  possibility to send the beautiful ones we could send with the old WLM:

    Anyway, I guess you won't be reconsidering it. Wish you luck with users with different needs from me.

  • Thanks again for all of your comments.  I won't reply to each of you point-by-point, but rest assured that several of us read and consider everything you suggest.

    Guillaume: It sounds like you've figured this out, but just to make sure -- you can minimize the ribbon by clicking the "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" arrow at the top left of the screen, then selecting "Minimize the Ribbon".

    David: We got your request from Piero's post, but unfortunately we won't have that feature in the final release.

    danielgr: You can enlarge the thumbnails while writing a photo mail by grabbing a corner of the album and dragging it to make the album bigger.  Also, if you don't want the SkyDrive album to expire, you can click on the album, click the "Format" tab, and unselect the "Expires after 90 days" button.

    SonicG: We saw your comments on Piero's post -- thanks for your feedback.

    JohnCz: The Outlook Hotmail Connector does not support photo mails.

    Firas R.: Are the Junk Mail problems you described specific to your Gmail account, or do they affect your Rackspace account as well?  The reason I ask is that the Gmail problems stem from Gmail's use of a proprietary extension to the IMAP protocol.  We're working with Google to ensure that we work properly with Gmail's Spam and Trash folders in our final release, but we're not aware of any problems working with Rackspace or other IMAP providers.

  • @jasonrdunn: Thanks for your feedback. I am quite surprised with the IMAP performance issues that I keep seeing which is why I mentioned it, especially with Gmail. I've been using both Gmail and Rackspace IMAP accounts on my MacBook with Apple's Mail application since Tiger and up to Snow Leopard with no issues along with my iPhone. I've resorted to using ThunderBird on my Windows 7 machines because of these issues and both accounts perform smoothly on it. There are a lot of nice features with the latest version of Thunderbird, but I'd much rather use Windows Live Mail due to the streamlined interface.

    Some other comments regarding UI features of WLM:

    - After defining an IMAP folder as a Junk Mail folder, messages from that folder shouldn't show up in the default Unread smart folder (or at least we should have the option of excluding it).

    - There should be an option to empty Junk Mail in those predefined IMAP Junk folders by right clicking the smart folder. Right now I have to resort to selecting all the messages in that folder and deleting them manually.

    I use Outlook 2010 on my work laptop and do love it, but I prefer to use a separate email client for all my personal email accounts and I would really love to use WLM for this with it's minimal and slick user interface. Unfortunately though it seems to designed solely as a Hotmail/Windows Live email account client (yes I know it's called Windows Live Mail but still) with very little attention being paid to IMAP email accounts users.

  • JohnCz
    204 Posts

    As Outlook user w/Outlook Hotmail Connector, will I be able to compose Photo Mail?  If not out of the box, I strongly hope there is an add-on for Outlook to do that.

  • SonicG
    5 Posts

    A good program indeed and improved compared to the previous version, but still lacking some basical functions that will enormously improve usability of this software:

    1) Implement templates for the backgrounds of photo mail, it's so ugly and stupid to have a photo mail only with white background. But give us great backgrounds like the Apple Mail ones, not Bears and Bubbles like in the past.  

    2) Implement simple discovery functions for sensible data in the email, like addressess, names, phone numbers, appointments and so on, to contestually save them in the contacts, calendar and so forth, it's too important to manage workflow with ease and speed

    3) Let users freely rearrange photos inside the specific layout chosen, by simply dragging & dropping them from one place to another, now photo arrangement is still too much rigid

  • danielgr
    73 Posts

    I've been using WLM since the first beta (and got all my family and many friends to use it), but I still think it has some great features and some major drawbacks.

    The great of all time :

    - seamless integration with live accounts and support for other stuff as well

    - photo mail

    The bad point that means I actually barely use it to type messages :

    - no spell-checking in different languages. I've been asking for it since day1, but got tired at some point. It is even more frustrating if you consider you can install any dictionary you want, but not use it. I could understand Microsoft not implementing auto-language detection (because that's an Office/Outlook key feature), but why not adding a simple drop-box on the e-mail writing window with whatever default language you want, but an instant access to change it ... (google does it in gmail on a website, can't you do it on a fully fledged pc-software???).

    I know there is "check spelling in current input language" but that's completely useless, nobody changes their keyboard layout to write in a different language (within Latin-writing ones) !!!  Does Microsoft really care so little for people that constantly write e-mails in 2 or 3 different languages?

    And btw, going through the option menus to change it every time I write an e-mail is not satisfying either.

    In the end, I rely on hotmail/gmail websites simply because I can use browser spelling plugins that allow me to check the spell on the language of my choice.

    About this new release:

    - Incredibly happy to have conversations (best new feature for sure), but deeply disappointed to see that my replies can't be integrated within the threads. I may understand you are concerned about the millions of users that got used to their "inbox/outbox" structure, but at least there should be an option. To me it's hard to imagine a "conversation" in which my own messages are excluded...

    - Love the new photomail skydrive implementation (it's really great), but deeply disappointed with the e-mail themselves. The previous photomail implementation was good enough to justify all by itself having WLM, but the current one simply lost the point for me. What was great about PM was that all your images and comments would remain in the e-mail in small but "good_enough_to_remember" format, while all the high-res photos could be seen on the cloud or downloaded from it. The new photomail gives you some fancy snapshots, but it's more like a "fancy link" than an "electronic letter". Indeed, once the skydrive album prescribes after a few months nothing will be left on the e-mail you sent but a few tiny (and sometimes incomplete, depending on model) thumbnails. Everything else will be gone. So now, more than a "photo mail", it has became a simplified way of uploading and sharing a skydrive photo album. I'm sad to see "photomails " gone, and hope you bring back the possibility of the old style photo-mails with the new skydrive integration.

    - Still so disappointed no to have my "language drop-box" when writing an e-mail ...  Really, it could be done so easily, and making so many people so happy ....

  • In the current version of Windows Live Mail, both in the left hand column of the main window and in the Go To Folder dialog, you can't quickly move to a folder by typing its first chararcter or characters, which should be the case for a tree view. For users who rely on keyboard navigation, for example blind users using a screen reader, this makes selecting a folder extremely tedious.

    I commented on this issue in a previous post by Piero Sierra, "preview of the new Windows Live Essentials" and he said that it would be looked into. I was hoping it might have been fixed in the beta version, but it isn't. Would it be possible to fix this?

  • I use it at work and this new version does not seem to improve many things for me. I liked a lot the streamlined interface of the previous version so I alway hide the ribbon. Also I wish exchange was supported. I could use Outlook, in fact I have a outlook licence ready to use but the thing is just a mess.

    One thing I have noted in this beta is that when minimizing the folder list panel to just show icons on the left. Any customization regarding which folders icons should be displayed will be lost when restarting the software

  • Great work.  I'm loving the improvements to Windows Live Mail.  The only thing missing that I'd like to see is an overlay icon on the Windows Live Mail icon in the taskbar with the number of unread emails, so I can see at a glance how many emails are waiting for me.  If that's too difficult to do in this wave, even just an icon to indicate there are unread mails would do for now.

  • Thanks all for your comments and feedback -- we'll consider all of it seriously.  A couple of quick replies on specific points:

    jasonrdunn: We'll investigate the Picasa issue, but in the meantime you can switch from photo mail back to attachments by clicking the album, clicking the Format tab, then clicking the paper clip icon.

    GoodThings2L: Outlook's in a different building, but since you asked nicely I'll head over there and pass on the message.  :-)

  • HVS
    1 Posts

    I see that Windows Live has advanced quit a bit and the mixture of a not too complicated user interface but  powerful web backing is catching my interest. - The calendar is a key element in this attraction. - On the other hand it is still a major stumbling stone for doing the switch:

    - it is missing the possibility to incorporate calendars from other websites - like from tripit.com i.e.

    - as along as this feature is not added, I probably have to stay with Mozilla Thunderbird and/or google calendar!

    As one of the other blogs to this article points out:

    - it is not very fortunate to have several contact lists! One would be enough - just add a marker to the respective contact is originating: in live mail, live messenger, facebook, ....

    As both live mail and messenger are from the same company the contacts should be merged anyhow and just get a marker when a contact is also a messenger participant...

  • Hey Stephen, will you please do me a huge, personal favor? Go over to the Office Outlook team's area and ask them very nicely to PLEASE follow the Windows Live Mail "Junk Mail" options in that we have the ability add sender to safe list, add domain to safe list, add sender to block list ***AND*** add domain to block list.... ie. 4 options, not just 2-3 of them. If they refuse, please yell at them on my behalf! :) Thank you! :D

    Other than that, I agree with Firas R. While my IMAP performance is *better* it's still SLOW on Send/Receive for the IMAP account I still use. Otherwise, I am greatly enjoying the new Live Mail! My only other request is that you make the dividing lines a bit more distinct between the various columns.

  • Stephen,

    The new Live Mail beta is an impressive product, and you and your team should be congratulated for some great work. A few of the things I'd like to see addressed though in future versions:

    1) Make Safe Sender information cloud-based. I use six different computers regularly, and am on dozens of newsletters, mailing lists, etc. Having to add the same sender for every newsletter/mailing list for every computer is *massively* tedious. Even for an average user with a desktop computer and a laptop or netbook, this would be a hassle.

    2) Contacts are still a bit of a disaster. I now have 100's of duplicate contacts since there's now Facebook integration, and it looks like you guys are keeping the Facebook contacts separate from the regular Live Mail contacts, because the "Clean Up Contacts" doesn't help matters.

    3) When deleting a contact, it pops up the warning that the contact will be deleted in Hotmail, etc. Give me a check-box so I don't have to see that again and the deletion can be a one-click process. Also, don't push me back to the top of the list after I delete a contact - it's extremely irritating to have to scroll back down to where you were to keep cleaning up contacts.

    4) There's a bug in the way Windows Live Mail Beta interacts with Picasa; even when I've de-selected the photo mail option under compose, when I tell Picasa to attach pictures to a new email, Windows Live Mail responds by making it into a photo email. Picasa didn't have this problem with the previous version of Live Mail, so I'm pretty sure it's a Live Mail bug.

    5) Keep working on performance. This new version is even better than IMAP, but there's too much "locking up" happening at the beginning when the program is launched.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    Jason Dunn

    www.digitalhomethoughts.com

  • @ Firas R.: I've been using Windows Live Mail since the first version, and the IMAP speed improvements in the new beta are STUNNING. I used to hit the delete key and wait 3-4 seconds until my messages was deleted. Hugely frustrating, and this is on a dedicated server that's quite high-performance. With the new beta, when I press delete, the message is deleted instantly. I haven't seen the stalling issue you mentioned when creating a new account; might be something specific to your accounts, though I'm surprised Gmail is an issue...I'm sure the Live Mail team tested against it.

  • Sadly though, performance of Windows Live Mail beta is still horrendous when it comes to IMAP accounts (I have both a Gmail and a Rackspace account). It still seems to stall when first creating an IMAP account while attempting to retrieve folders, and takes a really long time to send/receive and check for new emails. I hope that these issues can be resolved before Windows Live Mail is released although I am a little cynical since it's been that way since the previous version.