High-speed storage for hi-res photos and videos on the go!
Microsoft Windows Live Hotmail
Windows Live Hotmail looks better, works faster and adds some neat features to Microsoft's web-based email service. Can it compete with Gmail?
- Improved interface, social networking features, Office integration
- Minor confusion with social-networking contacts
How does the revamped Hotmail compare to Gmail? In some ways, it's superior. The new Windows Live Hotmail beats Gmail hands down for social network integration; Gmail also lacks the ability to view embedded media content from sites such as YouTube. For email handling, while Gmail does an excellent job of that, we prefer the new Hotmail - but that's strictly a personal preference. This new version of Hotmail focuses largely on productivity enhancements such as improved mail handling. It's also now easily the most elegant-looking of any web-based mail service. If you've never used Hotmail before, or swore off it in the past, now is the time to take a new look - you'll likely be exceedingly pleased at what you find.
According to Microsoft, Windows Live Hotmail is the world's largest web-based email service, with more than 360 million active accounts worldwide. But when it comes to buzz, Gmail has had it beat for the past several years. Now that may change. A revamped Hotmail was announced on May 18; it will be available sometime in July or August, with the exact date still to be determined.
We were able to work with the new version and found that it has the fast responsiveness and full feature set of a desktop application rather than a web-based one. It also offers some very nifty features that Gmail is lacking, including better mail management and more ways to eliminate email clutter.
Windows Live Hotmail: Better interface
To begin with, the new Hotmail simply looks better - it's more graphical and easier on the eyes. And it feels faster and more responsive. Like the old Hotmail, folders are on the left-hand side of the screen, and the in-box and reading pane on the right. But that basic layout has gotten a makeover, with a number of links added to the left side of the screen and a new set of links across the top of the right side of the screen to make it easier to find mail.
On the left-hand side, underneath a list of your folders, is a section called Quick View, which allows you to quickly view mail based on several preset criteria. These include mail that you've tagged, mail with photos in it, mail with Office documents as attachments and mail sent from shipping services such as FedEx. Click any category, and you'll see only the relevant mail.
Filters, located just above the main mail screen, allow you to view your email based on several other categories, including unread mail, mail from contacts, mail from Windows Live groups and others. Filtering is particularly powerful when combined with Quick Views. You could, for example, choose to see only mail with Office documents attached that were sent by your contacts. Or you could see all unread shipping updates.
Message threading is also improved by the addition of a Conversation View, much like you will find in Outlook 2010. It lets you easily see an entire email conversation at a glance, including all messages sent and received, rather than hunting for them individually in your in-box, out-box and other folders. This seemingly small feature may be the biggest productivity enhancer in the entire Windows Live Hotmail upgrade. It can easily save hours each month.
By default, the feature is turned off. To turn it on, you'll have to select Options --> More Options --> Conversation settings, select "Group messages by conversation" and click Save.
One of the niftier new features is the ability to view embedded media content directly within Hotmail, instead of having to go to an external site to view it. So if you're sent a link to a YouTube video, for example, you'll be able to view the video within Windows Live Hotmail.
Finally, the Sweep feature cleans up clutter by allowing you to delete or move all marked mail in a folder, or mark an entire folder as having been read.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 ASUS TUF FX505 (Ryzen 7) review: Tolerable trade-offs
- 2 Google Pixel 4 XL review (2019): Full Resolution
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 5 Xiro Drone Xplorer V by Rapoo review
Latest News Articles
- Affinity offers Photo, Designer & Publisher for Free for 3 Months
- Parallels 15 lets you turn an iPad into a Surface tablet
- Bitdefender refreshes consumer cybersecurity offering
- Apple Music is now streaming on Alexa in Australia & New Zealand
- Windows Lite: what it is and when it might be released
PCW Evaluation Team
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
- Oppo Reno2 Z review
- HP Spectre x360 13: Full, in-depth review
- Here's how much the Motorola Razr will cost in Australia
- 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