Wave 3: Windows Live Toolbar beta

By Chris | In News | Posted September 18, 2008 7 comments

So I drew the short-straw and ended up with the Toolbar beta review. In fact that was a sacrifice I was willing to make, as we’d heard about some cool stuff coming in Wave 3. Alas, none of it made this build, so I was left with a regular browser toolbar.

The WL Toolbar beta is a quick install, weighing in at only 8mb, so it won’t take you too long to try it out. Nor will it take you long to uninstall it either.

toolbar

If you’re running Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2, you cannot miss the duplication of functionality that now exists. Toolbar has Windows Live Translate, Map, Blog and Email integration. So does IE8 in the form of activities accelerators. Toolbar has a search box (that you still can’t hide) – so does IE8. In fact both search boxes now display search suggestions and previous search history.

toolbar searchHowever credit is due to Toolbar for extending search into other locations, thanks to a new program that is installed called Search Enhancements. This allows you to search your PC from your browser, however you’ll have to accept the various security prompts (both IE and Windows Vista) that try to prevent this from taking place. These can be disabled if you require, but I probably wouldn’t recommend doing that in case malicious apps start seeing this as a way to spam your desktop. So unfortunately, that makes this somewhat of a useless feature.

Other than the above, you can install custom buttons on to Toolbar beta from the Windows Live Gallery – http://gallery.live.com.

One interesting thing we did notice was that the Toolbar beta now asks users if they’d like to opt in to a search data collection program. With web search being such a competitive arena and Microsoft making every possible effort to catch up to Google and Yahoo, its no surprise to see MS do everything it can to improve knowledge around how searches are performed.

We’re hoping there is still more to come from the Toolbar guys in the M3 release, especially with regards to improving cross-service integration (lets face it, buttons are kinda lame). Anybody else notice the Toolbar installer requires you to close down Windows Live Sync? ;) Until then, best to give this application a miss.

Remember, all the Windows Live Wave 3 betas are available from http://download.live.com

Read more on Windows Live Wave 3 betas:

Wave 3: Windows Live Photo Gallery – New Features

Wave 3: Windows Live Messenger 9 Beta – What’s New? A Comparison With 8.5

Wave 3: Windows Live Mail – Calendar, Calendar, Calendar (And More)

Wave 3: Windows Live Movie Maker Beta

Wave 3: Windows Live Writer – A First Look

Posted September 18th, 2008 at 11:03 pm
Category: News
Tags: Beta, Toolbar, Wave 3
  • http://www.liveside.net/members/BV2312/default.aspx BV2312

    it also has a bug, when you open another tab in IE 7 it loses focus and goes somewhere else while typing in the address bar

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/Chris/default.aspx Chris

    It has many bugs :) For example in IE8 you cannot move the toolbar, it sticks fixed on the first row in the browser.

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/BV2312/default.aspx BV2312

    @Chris, You would think they would get rid of the search bar if the user is using IE7 or 8. Whats the point of having two seach bars?

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/surilamin/default.aspx surilamin

    I do not know too many people that use toolbars, I think of them as a thing of the past…does anybody here still use a toolbar?

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/foaf/default.aspx foaf

    I use the toolbar to sync my favorites. But its a lot of browser real estate just for this feature. As W3 doesn’t bring anything new perhaps its time to uninstall.

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/billybob/default.aspx billybob

    No mention of Onfolio?

    It appears that product (a big part of the toolbar previously) has been completely dropped.

    My previous installation still works, althoughall the prog’s images are broken.

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/cynthia/default.aspx cynthia

    It seems they are going to stop support for Onfolio. I am really disappointed about this because I have been using this product since before it was bought by Microsoft.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/956489