Windows Live Hotmail Wave 3: What’s New

By Chris | In Featured, News | Posted August 26, 2008 26 comments

Thanks to some great work by tophtucker and then BV2312, we managed to catch the new Windows Live Hotmail promotion site as soon as it popped up today. What we love about this site is that it has gone public with some of the changes for Windows Live Hotmail that are coming up in the Wave 3 beta. Here’s the summary:

Speed: The coming soon page says that for broadband users, the new Hotmail will be up to 70% faster on sign in (50% for non-broadband users). That’s a pretty big claim, and one which should provide for some interesting testing once the beta is open to the public.

Ever-increasing storage: Microsoft have carefully avoided using the phrase “unlimited storage”, as Yahoo has done, but in a sense this is what is being offered. The figures we last heard for this were the the existing 5GB free accounts would be getting growth of 250MB per month, but this is pre-beta and could have changed and so our usual disclaimer applies. Obviously the PR definitely looks better leaving the figures out, but a free inbox of 8GB by the end of year 1 gives us a warm feeling. (For comparison, Gmail is currently on 7GB and still growing.)

New UI: Along with the new Wave 3 UI, in particular the new header and themes available shown below, the new promotion site suggests that the classic and full versions of Hotmail will be combined together. This potentially means that full functionality could be available across all browsers. Also worth mentioning here are improvements around deadling with spam.

 Windows Live Mail Wave 3 Milestone 2

In terms of Hotmail integrating with other Windows Live services, there’s also some details on that:

WebIM built-in: This feature doesn’t really need much explaining and should be a popular addition. From what we’ve heard it’ll support most of the basic needs such as presence, notifications and chat via the WebMessenger dogfood. Yes its been a while since we’ve spoken about that!

Integrated Calendar: No surprise if you’re on the new Windows Live Calendar beta to hear there will be integration between the two services.

Easier to send group emails: Thanks to the new Windows Live Groups service (go ABCH!) it’ll be easier to email all those contacts in one go

And of course there is stuff not on the PR site that we’ve heard about, including the long-rumoured POP support for other mail clients and using Skydrive for storing photos sent via Photo Mail.

Unfortunately if you’re now excited about giving the new Hotmail a try, we haven’t seen any links to sign up for a public beta. As soon as we do though, we’ll let you know. Keep those tips coming, either in the comments or via email.

Posted August 26th, 2008 at 8:41 am
  • Nick

    Wow, can’t wait to play with this

  • BV2312

    I can’t wait either…. should be cool any word on WL Barcode?

  • BV2312

    Oh yeah… rememeber the days where we had to change bay numbers to get the new WL Hotmail??

  • Nick

    Yes I do, was a nightmare, 1/2 the time it wouldn’t work :P

  • BV2312

    LOL true, but i do remember someone saying they have blocked that now… who knows…

    My calendar still not workin!!!

  • Khristopher

    70% faster sign in. Awesome! (Even though I barely use Hotmail in my brower)

    That’s pretty cool about the dogfood build of Messenger being integrated into it. Pretty sweet! I wonder if it will save chat history too?

  • Chris

    Yes the changing bay numbers trick doesn’t work anymore (otherwise everybody could jump on the dogfood servers!)

    RE: Calendar, that’ll stay broken for a while now until the fix is rolled out. Did you try the outlook connector?

  • BV2312

    yeah it doesn’t work through outlook connector either….

  • surilamin

    Thanks for the info. I’m glad they’re working on fixing hotmail. I still think yahoo mail offers a better web solution, but hotmail is a close #2.

    Off topic: Also thanks for changing the background color, much better than the white. However, not to keep complaining :(, I do not think pink is the best color. Maybe a light sky blue? Long is always good at graphics stuff…

  • Kip Kniskern

    @surilamin, thanks for the feedback, happy to hear it. I’m seeing a nice neutral beige here, maybe it’s time to adjust your monitor? ;). We’ll continue to tweak things a bit, we needed to get moved over to the new server/host, and upgraded to CS 2008. Keep the feedback coming, and we’ll continue to make improvements (we hope) here and there.

  • BV2312

    Question… what ever happened to a silverlight powered LiveSide? Scott did mention something about it b4….

  • tophtucker

    Looks good! But:

    “Closer to your contacts. Just start typing in the “To” line and you’ll get a choice of e-mail contacts that most closely match what you’ve typed.”

    How is this different than current AutoComplete? Hm.

  • calum-r-

    I really do hope they make the full version completely compatible with Firefox 3. COMPLETELY compatiable. Also, I’d love to see a much better favicon, like the Love Search or SkyDrive ones. The current one has this horrible thing around the edge & is very messy & untidy.

    I’m looking forward to the updates! I reckon they will happen either late September or early October! Hopefully early September, but we can only hope! Also, they better release Wave 3 on ALL services at the same time like they said they would! To me, that includes their software services too!

  • DavidK

    Oohh, goodie! I like new toys!

    I shan’t hold my breath for a beta or release date though.

  • Chris

    @tophtucker, yeah some of the stuff isn’t that new, hence why I didn’t just quote the entire page ;)

    @Davidk, the aim is to do one major release every year. The last one was in Nov 2007, so we’re almost due for another :)

  • nnbe

    I’ve been waiting for a long time.

  • nikhil_jain

    Is their any new inovative feature in Hotmail v 3.0 otherthan all these things metion in promo website which make user feels good and sirprise to use …!!

    also any Windows Live 3 0 + facebook= new service.???

  • sp1der

    HI WOW……..I can’t wait…… :-)
    will be possible sync my task and notes?

  • ranpha

    If the UI is really skinnable with custom banner(s) for all my Windows Live Custom Domain users it would be cool.

    From that mock-up above, it seems that there are no ugly advertising banner at the top. I hope it stays that way, or move the banner to the right-hand side of the browser like Yahoo! Mail!

  • yanverm

    looks good, just missing one more thing: subfolders for email…

  • Alber1690

    I hope MSN Premium users get some love this time around. Although I mainly use Outlook to check my email, why the heck do I still need to experience the Hotmail site online? Seriously…we were told one year ago we would experience Windows Live Hotmail!

  • Drazick

    I have they’ll enable saving the conversations log inside the email account both of the integral IM and Windows Live Messenger.

  • nikhil_jain
  • nikhil_jain
  • senthil

    It seems the calendar sync problem got resolved, synchronisation works through outlook connector

  • SteveBallmer

    This stuff is soooo cool! Keep using it people!