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Windows Live – moving in the right direction

June 19th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Due to migration to a new server, this post was lost 😮 but thanks to the supreme god that is Jabez, managed to recover it for me 🙂 Sorry it’s late, but here’s the entry:

Just wanted to give you all a bit of a recap on what’s going on in the world of Windows Live. Things are steadily hotting up bit by bit – each program is moving forwards and onwards and steadily we are and will be seeing some finished and generally bloody good programs and web applications. Let’s kick start with…

Live.com
Earlier on in the week, we saw the latest rollout of Live.com with the final polished off user interface design. Other people reported this on the web such as Liveside.net (good friends of ours here – lovely lot indeed :)), still there have been mainly user interface improvements as well as AJAX performance tweaks. There are much less bugs, it runs better generally, the interface is more streamlined with the other products (Messenger, Mail Desktop etc.) and of course it’s working with Windows Live ID now.

Windows Live Accounts/ID
Now seeing as the .NET Passport is soon to be gone, the Windows Live ID is already in play – whichever site you login to, whether it be a Microsoft, MSN or Windows Live site now, you are using a Live ID and not a Passport. They’ll still be supported, and .NET Passports are pretty much instantly turned into a Live ID so there’s no worry about needing a new account, however coming the 20th June 2006, arrives two new alias’ of which will either a) only be given to new Windows Live ID accounts or b) added to existing accounts of hotmail.com or msn.com, and given the option to switch. Nevertheless, the new email alias’ available will be live.com and windowslive.com. The live.com alias will be localised so that you can have live.co.uk for the UK, live.co.cn for China, live.co.nz for New Zealand (Patrick S. yaayy!) etc.

Windows Live Mail
There were certainly some troubles with Milestone 7 because of Firefox issues (pffft) but since then, they’ve rolled back to Milestone 6, then back to Milestone 7 because they fixed that as well, and currently we’re standing at Milestone 7.5 (or thereabouts). They’re getting closer and closer to the final product, and so far a good few million people are using Windows Live Mail – around 10 million to date worldwide. However, the user interface is still expected to change because it doesn’t seem to be confluent with the rest of the Windows Live services. Still, functionality is good and it runs a lot faster now that the dead code has been removed and the general web application has been optimised 🙂

Windows Live Mobile
It’s got to be said though – they’ve done hardly no work on the mobile side of things. Live.com on a mobile device looks nice, but is absolutely useless as the only thing it displays is the search function, and that’s useless because it doesn’t even bloody work. The main site that you can check out is http://mobile.live.com which (on a normal computer goes to the Live Ideas site) but on a mobile device goes to the MSN sub-site with links to some web-based stuff like Spaces and Mail).

It’s got to be said though – they’ve done hardly work on the mobile side of things. Live.com on a mobile device looks nice, but is absolutely useless as the only thing it displays is the search function, and that’s useless because it doesn’t even bloody work. The main site that you can check out is which (on a normal computer goes to the Live Ideas site) but on a mobile device goes to the MSN sub-site with links to some web-based stuff like Spaces and Mail).

Windows Live Favourites As Harrison over at Liveside.net reported this the other day, Windows Live Favourites has been bumped to version 1 and officially out of beta. Best off just reading his post to be honest, explains it a lot better than I probably could – but it’s surely a good product to use, wherever you are in the world – you’ll always be able to get access to your favourites 🙂

Update: It took me a while to get it going, but I asked and asked, and those living in England who are used to spelling “favourites” instead of the American spelling “favorites”, well whichever branch of English you speak now, both http://favourites.live.com works as well as http://favorites.live.com 🙂

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