Windows Live Hotmail Wave 4: New screenshots emerge

Last week we told you about some of the upcoming new features and changes to Windows Live Hotmail Wave 4. Only a week later, Picturepan2 from LiveSino.net was able to get hold of some screenshots of the new Hotmail, which seems to confirm all the new features we just told you about:

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The above screenshot seems to confirm that the new Hotmail will utilise the new Wave 4 header with Web Messenger built-in. From here we can see that the navigation pane on the left has been slightly rearranged, with Inbox separated from the other folders, which are now all grouped under a collapsible “Folders” heading. The new Quick views pane will allow you to quickly view Flagged e-mails, photos, as well as social updates. Oh and look under the “Related places” heading, the link to the Hotmail “Today” page is no more and has been replaced by a link to Windows Live Home (more about that later), which leads us to this screenshot:

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Perhaps the most prominent change is the support for Conversation view. Clicking on “Arrange by” will display the following menu, which allows you to select whether or not to display your e-mails in Conversation view (convenient for some who prefers to view emails the old way):

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Take notice that in all the screenshots we’ve seen so far, the concept of “Windows Live People” and “Networks” no longer exists. Instead, Microsoft are simply calling them “contacts”, clearing up the confusion in Wave 3 about networks, peoples, friends and contacts. Definitely a great step forward and we’ll have to continue to wait and see how things turn out with the new Windows Live Wave 4. Stay tuned!

Reminder: All screenshots and new features discussed in this article are based on internal pre-release versions, the actual product (beta or final) may or may not look like it at all.