Revisiting Windows Live Mail

Almost 20 days ago I wrote about Windows Live, including Windows Live Mail. After twenty days of using Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Mail betas I am back to say a little more – especially about mail.

Windows Live Messenger is actually growing on me. I like it more and more. My favourite new feature is the ability to send offline messages, (although Microsoft is a little slow on offering this feature, ICQ had it in 1996). It’s something that’s really been missing from MSN Messenger. Other than that, no new opinions.

As for Windows Live Mail, the opposite is happening. I am liking it less and less. I am finding it incredibly slow. On March 4 I said it was faster than the old Hotmail but this is no longer the case. Maybe it’s not actually Windows Live Mail though, maybe it’s because I have to switch to IE to see my mail, or maybe it’s because more people are using Windows Live. Either way it has to speed up.
This brings me to my other point. Twenty days later and still no sign of Firefox support! Sometime soon I’d like to not have to have another browser open just to check my E-mail.

The third and final point after Twenty days of use: The advertising space at the top of the page is too big. I know that they have to make money on this product, and that it’s probably the same size as it was in Hotmail, but it seems too big. I think we notice the lack of space because of the addition of the preview pane, (which is great!), and because of the lack of speed. If messages loaded quickly in the preview pane it wouldn’t be a big deal, but when we have to wait forever to scroll it’s another story.
All in all, Windows Live Mail still has great features and shows tons of promise, but the speed needs to pick up and I need to be able to use it in browsers other than Internet Explorer. I’ll continue using Windows Live Mail through the beta period, (now I’m in it’s kind of my duty), and once it’s complete we’ll see what I want to do.

What do you think?

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