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May 7, 2007

Introducing Windows Live Mail

Along with the Windows Live Hotmail announcement, plans for Microsoft’s new free email client have also been revealed. In the coming weeks, Microsoft will be releasing a beta of their new upcoming free email client that will become the successor to Outlook Express on Windows XP and Windows Mail on Windows Vista. Called Windows Live Mail – this new free email client will bring in features users have enjoyed most in Outlook Express and Windows Mail (and add them with the features from the Windows Live Mail desktop betas).

Tanja Fournier, Program Manager on the Windows Live Mail Team, has posted on their Team Blog today outlining what to expect with the upcoming Windows Live Mail beta. Here’s the list:

  • New and improved UI with support for Windows Vista’s Aero.
  • Setup and account migration improvements. Tanja says fewer steps will enable the user to quickly get started with the new mail client.
  • More parity with OE and Windows Mail. S/MIME and LDAP support are just two of the features that will be in Windows Live Mail.
  • Performance and stability.
  • No Ads. Tanja says there will be no ads in the beta of Windows Live Mail that is released.

What is really exciting about Windows Live Mail is it goes beyond what most email clients do today. Using Microsoft’s new DeltaSync protocol, you will be able to completely sync your email and contacts from Windows Live Hotmail account to Windows Live Mail. The same contacts that exist in Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail will be in your Address Book in Windows Live Mail. Think about it this way, a user who uses Windows Live Mail in combination with Windows Live Hotmail can get an Exchange-like experience. The same emails (read or unread etc) will appear in Windows Live Mail AND Windows Live Hotmail.

In a few weeks, the first beta of Windows Live Mail will appear on the new Windows Live betas website. Once the beta hits, expect to see some posts diving deep into the application to see what it’s all about. For me, this is one of the most exciting new apps coming out of Windows Live to-date!