Evolving Hotmail with IE9 desktop notifications

Evolving Hotmail with IE9 desktop notifications

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One way we are evolving Hotmail is to help you do more with your email right from the inbox. Another way is to bring the features you expect from traditional desktop mail experiences into Hotmail. With Internet Explorer 9, we can now tailor Hotmail and deliver application-like experiences on Windows 7.

Most of you know that you can now launch Hotmail just like you launch other Windows applications by pinning Hotmail to your Windows taskbar. To do this, sign in to Hotmail in IE9 and go to your Inbox. Now, drag the Hotmail tab from the address bar in IE down to the taskbar, and drop it there. Once you’ve pinned Hotmail, you can check your email just by clicking the icon – no need to open IE and navigate to a bookmark. Hotmail also uses IE 9’s new jump list feature to let you compose a new email or go straight to your Calendar or Contacts just by right-clicking on the Hotmail icon in the taskbar.


This week, we’ve been working on taking the next step and supporting notifications. Some of you may have seen this in the past few days, and we’re finishing the release of this feature today. This means when you’re signed into Hotmail and you’ve pinned it, we’ll show you a notification of how many new messages have arrived since you last checked your inbox.


This works like the mail tile in Windows Phone: the icon updates to show the count of messages that have been delivered since you last did something in Hotmail, and it clears when you do something in Hotmail like visit your inbox or read a message. So, now I can leave Hotmail open in the background while I do other work, and I can tell at a glance whether I have new mail.

If you’re running Windows 7 and using Hotmail, download Internet Explorer 9 today and try pinning Hotmail to your taskbar – we think you’ll like what you see.

Dick Craddock
Group Program Manager, Hotmail

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  • Picsoe
    7 Posts

    Wouldn't it be better to address some words to all the users who :

    - have problems with Live Essential Programs

    - have problems with the Live servers

    - Have made suggestions on the Live Solution Center

    - Have asked for additional or modified features in the Live Essential Programs

    instead of all this marketing blablabla ?

  • Dyadka
    1 Posts

    Notifications don't for me either. I've unpinned Hotmail and pinned again, but didn't get the desired number.

    If you don't see jump list inside the pinned icon, then you've probably enabled IE7 compatibility mode at login.live.com site. Logout from Hotmail, go to login.live.com and check compatibility icon in the address line. If it will be enabled (blue torn "paper"), then disable it, login after page update and pin Hotmail again - jump list will appear. This happens because when compatibility mode is enabled, Hotmail sees IE7 and outputs IE7 HTML code which of course doesn't have jump lists.

  • @arrow22 Same thing for me.  In Seattle, IE9, Windows 7, @live.com address.  Oh well, I use the Windows Live Mail thick client anyways.

  • arrow22
    50 Posts

    Well this is not working. I don't even get a proper jump list, and my icon is in a white box like pinning any other website.

    In Canada, Windows 7, IE 9 RTM, @live.ca address

  • @ phistuck

    Thanks for the reply....I agree with you. It's certainly not worth recreating a user profile.

  • phistuck
    16 Posts

    @Bill Johnson -

    I had this issue as well.

    Unfortunately, I found the solution - you have to delete your Windows user profile and re-create it (that means, losing all of your customization, user specific "My Documents" and the rest).

    I say - pinned tabs are not worth a Windows user profile deletion.

  • 7flavor
    352 Posts

    Nah Live Messenger is still a far better way for Hotmail notifications.

  • PWK
    7 Posts

    How about calendar notification and sound notfication for incoming mail/calendar events invites.

  • I just noticed this today and didn't know it was a feature until I saw this. haha. Nice work!

  • @Steve Kafka I did it and the pinning number shows up now! Took a bit once I had opened Hotmail before the number of emails appeared but it works. Guessing we have to keep Hotmail open, as someone said here int he comments. I also see the number of emails on the tab's title too.

    Awesome work!

  • bigjim01
    27 Posts

    Cool feature, but I would rather use a real application to view my email and calendar entries, like Outlook 2010.

  • langware
    154 Posts

    The following message has been displayed in the Windows Live Solution Center for over 24 hours:

    "Windows Live Skydrive is currently experiencing issues with adding, editing, or removing files. You may also receive errors while publishing content with Windows Live Photo Gallery in an online album."

    How can you expect customers to depend upon Skydrive (or any other Microsoft cloud service) if issues with adding, editing, and removing files last more than 24 hours???

    And this thread has been posted for over two weeks with no solution and no response from any moderator:


    What ever happened to the goal of responding to customers within 24 hours of their post?

    New features are nice, but we customers also need you to support existing products/features, and to fix existing bugs in a timely manner.

  • captainjy
    14 Posts

    Very cool idea.  Will probably force me to use IE9 more now!  Nice work!

  • @Lorenzo - If you had it pinned before this update, you'll need to unpin and re-pin to get the new feature.  But it does indeed show in the browser heading as well, so you can see it as you look at your tabs.

  • I'm seeing a lot of negativity. Just wanted to say I like this idea! I have mine pinned and hadn't seen it yet, probably because I clear out my inbox so quickly.

    Now I'm wondering if the browser heading with the title also shows the number of emails unread, like yahoo does, so when I'm flipping through tabs I can see something new is there.

    Keep up the innovation!

  • Helmer
    4 Posts

    Will these options also become available in Outlook WebApp (http://outlook.com) ?

  • Do we have added notifications to the Messenger embeded into Hotmail?

  • Is this only for US accounts? Also, would I always have to leave the windows open in the background for the notifications to refresh?

  • Brien
    9 Posts

    I leave Windows Live Messenger running minimized mainly to notify me when personal Live Hotmail arrives. Seems that the pinning functon will replace that when notifications are working for my account.

    Have you considered adding sounds to the notification, if possible, like the sounds used in Win Live Messenger (especially Life in Redmond - it's great)?

  • w1ngnut
    25 Posts

    This is a great feature! Hope MS expands this type of notification to other apps too. Ex. Number of unread messages in WL Messenger, Outlook, etc. Number/progress of downloads, etc.

    Great addition guys!

  • I started getting notifications yesterday, although, it doesn't seem to be consistent. I do not see any of the Tasks when right clicking the pinned icon in the task bar, i.e., Home, Inbox, Calendar, Contacts, or Send email. The first thing I have is Start InPrivate Browsing. Below that, I have Hotmail - my address - Windows Live, Unpin this program from taskbar, and close window. I posted a question in the forums about this, but there hasn't been any replys.

  • @James Manes, its not too high, its set high because the notifications show in the bottom corner...

  • what about Windows Live Mail? This feature should be avaible too.

  • I've pinned it to my taskbar but not getting any notifications. :(

  • The pinned hotmail icon is like 3 px higher than it should be. I'm just picky about my UI lol. Maybe I will find a way to mod it on the local disk.

  • What about if you have multiple Hotmail accounts?  Can you pin and receive notifications for each?