Microsoft: No more Windows Live Mail crashes with IE8 Beta 2

But preview browser is still hinky with Hotmail, Netflix, Skype and other programs

Microsoft Friday said that it made a mistake when it tagged one of its own programs as incompatible with Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2, the browser preview it unveiled Wednesday.

In the release notes that accompanied IE8 Beta 2, Microsoft initially listed Windows Live Mail as problematic on PCs running the new browser. "If you install Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2, Windows Live Mail will crash when you create or reply to an e-mail message," Microsoft warned in the release notes.

Windows Live Mail, formerly Windows Live Desktop, is the desktop mail client meant to replace Outlook Express and Windows Mail. It is different from the similarly-named Windows Live Hotmail, which is the nameplate for Microsoft's Web-based e-mail service.

"This was actually an inaccuracy on our end that has since been fixed," said a Microsoft spokeswoman today via e-mail. "Live Mail will work just fine for IE8 Beta 2 users."

The release notes have since been modified to read: "Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 is compatible with Windows Live Mail."

Computerworld confirmed that Windows Live Mail did not crash when run on a Windows XP system equipped with IE8 Beta 2.

The other incompatibility warnings in the release notes are, however, correct, said the spokeswoman. Among the problems:

Hotmail: Microsoft's online e-mail service. Apparently, IE8 Beta 2 will not always completely log off Hotmail after the user clicks the "Sign out" button, leaving the account active and making it possible for others using that computer to view the account's messages and use it to send mail. "To make sure that Internet Explorer logs off Hotmail, click the Hotmail Sign-In link after you log off Hotmail," Microsoft recommended in the release notes.

Netflix: the by-mail DVD subscription service. Users with IE8 Beta 2 cannot view Netflix's "On Demand" movies.

Skype: the popular voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) application. "IE8 Beta 2 displays a compatibility warning when certain versions of the Skype add-in are installed," said Microsoft. "When you disable this add-in, the main functionality of the Skype product is unaffected." Version 2.2.0.193 and later of the Skype add-in are compatible.

Microsoft has also warned potential IE8 Beta 2 users running Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) that they won't be able to uninstall either the service pack or IE8 under some circumstances.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)

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