Just after we received a tip that Windows Live Mail was at M9, Ben Poon posted on the Mail Call that indeed the next version of the beta is being deployed.
What’s new with the new build? Well first and foremost, it’s fast. For those of us that have been with the beta since the beginning, Windows Live Mail has gone from being quite the slug to impressively fast.
Next, comes news from Ben that “classic mode” which came about in direct response to feedback, and first appeared in M5, will now be the default transition mode for those that transfer over from Hotmail. Apparently the Windows Live Mail interface with the reading pane takes some getting used to, and “classic” is like Hotmail, but with more features, a cleaner look, and more speed. Ben says that WL Mail classic is faster than Hotmail, and in just playing around with it now it seems very fast indeed.
The migration from M8 to M9 is being phased in, so if you’re using Windows Live Mail and don’t see any difference (the new build is 11.09.0000.0119), then you should be seeing it within a week or so.
When will this beta run out of “M”s and be released to the world, bringing with it @live.com addresses and a transition from Hotmail for the 200 million users worldwide? Truthfully we were expecting it already, but some final tweaking on the Classic mode seemed to be in order to get ready for the big switch. Shouldn’t be long now, and it will be very interesting to see how all those Hotmail users react to the Windows Live brand.