Windows Live Mail beta
This is a first beta, so it shouldn't be a surprise that Windows Live Mail is still rather buggy with many unfinished features. We wouldn't recommend that you download it for the time being, but there's plenty of potential. It remains to be seen whether Live Mail can rise to the top of the email tree, but there's plenty to be excited about.
Whether you love them or loathe them, very few software programs can claim to be used by as many people on a daily basis as Outlook Express and Windows Mail. So the successor to these programs was always going to attract considerable interest. Well, the name of that successor is Windows Live Mail, and we've had a good look at the first beta version.
The software installed cleanly in Windows XP SP2 and Vista. In XP Outlook Express vanished from the Start menu, but the program still existed (clicking Start, Run and typing 'msimn.exe' got it going). Likewise, Windows Mail disappeared from Vista's Start menu but remained accessible as winmail.exe.
You'll be required to set up an email account. Our Hotmail details went through without a hitch, but we experienced more problems when trying to use a Gmail account - we had to fill in the server names and settings ourselves.
For both accounts, Windows Live Mail left the messages on the server instead of deleting, a smart default setting that gives you the option of reading Gmail or Hotmail messages with a browser. But the initial layout for the message list and preview pane wasn't as smart, squashing four vertical columns into the program window (pictured).
Three of the four columns show folders, the message list and a message preview. The fourth is an Active Search option with a search box at the top and results below. Live Mail automatically scours the web for 'keywords' in messages you read. But as it searched for "Outlook Express" after finding the term in the body of the welcome message, we didn't like Active Search and turned it off.
A handy search box sits above the message list, but it doesn't seem to be able to look for content within the message body. The 'Search folders' option is even worse, and struggles to find anything at all. The hidden advanced search option makes up for some of these shortcomings with its thoroughness.
Filter tipsLive Mail's spam filtering needs some tweaking. Under the default 'High' setting for junk email filtering, the program incorrectly identified 25 valid Gmail messages as spam (out of about 80) and moved them into the junk email folder.
The same held for the phishing filter: Live Mail marked two benign messages as potential phishing risks and blocked links contained within them. You can select 'Unblock message' in a red alert bar at the top of the message to re-enable message URLs. Composing new messages is extremely easy. We were especially impressed by Live Mail's photo-message function, which allows you to add pictures to the message body as thumbnails. You can then enter captions, perform minor edits and choose whether to shrink the image before sending.
It doesn't work terribly well at the moment - multiple test photo messages displayed incorrectly, with the thumbnails pushed up over the message header - but this feature will be great when it's finished.
As you'd expect, Live Mail can filter messages based on rules you create, but it's hamstrung by an inability to apply those rules to Imap or HTTP accounts. We were able to create rules for our configured Gmail account, which uses the POP3 protocol. As well as handling email, Live Mail can subscribe to RSS feeds, but currently this feature lags some way behind Netvibes (netvibes.com) or the Sage add-on for Firefox.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Google's new AI aims to end abusive online comments using 'Perspective'
- Village Roadshow aims to block 40 pirate sites
- Analysts peer into Microsoft's rumored Windows 10 Cloud
- Google lets users get social with Maps
- Microsoft unveils a bonanza of security capabilities
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- FTJunior Software Developer - SASACT
- CCSME in Openstack, AWSNSW
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCSQL Server BI DeveloperQLD
- CCDigital Communications ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)QLD
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 requiredSA
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- FTFront-End DevOps Developer/Consultant - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- TPICT Project CoordinatorQLD
- TPDrupal Developer - Immediate startQLD
- CCSQL Database Administrator (DBA)NSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- TPJava DeveloperVIC
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- CCService Desk Analyst - TelcoTAS
- FTSenior Functional Consultant - Data Analytics - TelcoVIC
- TP.Net DeveloperSA
- TPInformation Management SpecialistVIC
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- TPSOE AdministratorQLD