Profile, Groups, and Devices also get “modern” treatment

By Kip Kniskern | Posted August 15, 2012 61 comments

By now most people should’ve seen their SkyDrive account being upgraded to the new “modern” look (build 16.4.8014.815), adding new features such as instant search, contextual toolbar, thumbnail multi-select, drag and drop, and sorting improvements. A few of our LiveSide readers also noticed that along with the SkyDrive update, other ex-Windows Live properties, including Profile, Groups, Devices, and even Messenger SmartScreen, have also received the “modern” treatment. Check them out below:

Profile

As we’ve reported before, Profile has been drastically simplified, thanks to Microsoft refocusing their efforts towards “Connected Services” such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Skype, rather than attempting to create their own social network. Web activities are no more, and neither are things like status messages, social feeds, favorite things, and a whole bunch of other non-essential profile info. We’ve yet to see Sina Weibo and Skype becoming Connected Services, but we believe these will be turned on soon.

Profile

Groups

Here we mean Windows Live Groups, not the “groups” you see in People (which were once called “categories”) or the “groups” you see on Windows Phone. When you visit http://groups.live.com, it will now take you directly to the Groups page on SkyDrive.com. To get to each of your Group’s homepage, you will have to click on each Group’s name in SkyDrive, then click “View profile” on the contextual toolbar up the top. Here you get to the new “modern”-look Groups homepage:

Groups

Devices

Devices, located at http://devices.live.com, has also received a “modern” makeover. Retained only for the purpose of supporting the now-replaced Windows Live Mesh, the new Devices page is the only way to continue to access your 5GB of “Mesh synced storage”. Note that the devices listed on this page are relevant to what you have synced on Windows Live Mesh only. Those devices that you’ve synced with the new SkyDrive for Windows app will only show up under the “PCs” tab on SkyDrive.com.

Devices

Messenger SmartScreen

When you’re chatting via Messenger, either via the new Messaging sidebar, Windows Live Messenger, or the Messaging app on Windows 8, any external links that you click on are scanned by Microsoft’s SmartScreen technology. Those websites that are deemed “less well-known” will display a gateway warning message, and this page too, has received the “modern” treatment, and you also now have the option to turn it off by checking the “Don’t show this message for sites that aren’t well-known” button.

Messenger SmartScreen

With today’s updates, all ex-Windows Live services, with the exception of Calendar, has been updated with the new “modern” look. According to Ed Bott, the “modern” makeover for Calendar will happen later this month, meaning we’ll see the new Calendar in about 2.5 weeks at the very latest. How do you like the new “modern” look? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted August 15th, 2012 at 6:50 am
  • http://www.andrewtechhelp.com/ Andrew Tech Help

    Oh & Windows Live Admin Center (domains.live.com) still retains it’s Wave 3 look :(

    & apps.live.com also retains the Wave 4 look!

  • http://www.andrewtechhelp.com/ Andrew Tech Help

    Oh & Windows Live Admin Center (domains.live.com) still retains it’s Wave 3 look :(

    & apps.live.com also retains the Wave 4 look!

  • http://www.facebook.com/robinvanveghel Robin van Veghel

    Loving the new look, now they need to update the Windows Essentials, cause some of the names still have Windows ‘Live’ in it, like Windows ‘Live’ Messenger. Also they should make a little redesign for those also > UI update imo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robinvanveghel Robin van Veghel

    Loving the new look, now they need to update the Windows Essentials, cause some of the names still have Windows ‘Live’ in it, like Windows ‘Live’ Messenger. Also they should make a little redesign for those also > UI update imo.

  • Guest

    Family Safety (fss.live.com) also still has the old look here. Will that also get a ”modern” makeover?

  • Guest

    Family Safety (fss.live.com) also still has the old look here. Will that also get a ”modern” makeover?

  • FremyCompany

    Overall I like the new experience. I only have one negative to say for now, and it’s that folders which don’t contains any image have a strange 100% uniform background. They could at least have tried to use a nice default background for those folders. Also, no preview for Office and PDF documents is something that could change. But that’s not a big deal.

    Everything else of this makeover seems positive to me.

    • Johan Pettersson

       You can opt-in for that in the settings page.

  • FremyCompany

    Overall I like the new experience. I only have one negative to say for now, and it’s that folders which don’t contains any image have a strange 100% uniform background. They could at least have tried to use a nice default background for those folders. Also, no preview for Office and PDF documents is something that could change. But that’s not a big deal.

    Everything else of this makeover seems positive to me.

    • Johan Petersson

       You can opt-in for that in the settings page.

  • Susie

    hate it

  • Susie

    hate it

  • Asrialys

    Looks like the mobile sites are also looking “modern”.

  • Asrialys

    Looks like the mobile sites are also looking “modern”.

  • Sunandajit

    Calendar, the last frontier! 

  • http://gregsedwards.wordpress.com Greg Edwards

    I’ve noticed that my wave 3-era groups still support discussions in all their crippled, no-markup glory. The navigation within discussion is still lacking, as you can’t easily navigate back up to the group’s profile page. Not surprising that this feature didn’t receive much more than a new coat of paint, considering that discussions were officially deprecated for new groups some time ago.

    With this update, you can tell they’ve really shifted the focus of groups to be a supporting component of SkyDrive. You have to dig just to find the group’s profile (home) page buried several clicks down.

    I’ve noticed there’s a fair amount of confusion surrounding the nomenclature of “groups,” which is a term now also used to describe collections of people in your Outlook.com address book, as well as your Windows Phone device. I’d really like to see more integration between all of these collaborative groups. So if I create a contact group called “Family,” ideally I’d want it to propagate over to my phone as a group (which should be a no-brainer), but it’d be really slick to have SkyDrive generate a group, populate the membership, and configure access permissions automatically. Hey, a boy can dream, right?

  • Sunandajit

    Calendar, the last frontier! 

  • http://gregsedwards.wordpress.com/ Greg Edwards

    I’ve noticed that my wave 3-era groups still support discussions in all their crippled, no-markup glory. The navigation within discussion is still lacking, as you can’t easily navigate back up to the group’s profile page. Not surprising that this feature didn’t receive much more than a new coat of paint, considering that discussions were officially deprecated for new groups some time ago.

    With this update, you can tell they’ve really shifted the focus of groups to be a supporting component of SkyDrive. You have to dig just to find the group’s profile (home) page buried several clicks down.

    I’ve noticed there’s a fair amount of confusion surrounding the nomenclature of “groups,” which is a term now also used to describe collections of people in your Outlook.com address book, as well as your Windows Phone device. I’d really like to see more integration between all of these collaborative groups. So if I create a contact group called “Family,” ideally I’d want it to propagate over to my phone as a group (which should be a no-brainer), but it’d be really slick to have SkyDrive generate a group, populate the membership, and configure access permissions automatically. Hey, a boy can dream, right?

  • allanwith

    So what’s going to happen with Live? Still very inconsistent with the naming and everything. Do groups really belong under “Skydrive” aren’t they a separate thing as well as something that relates to Skydrive?

    http://www.live.com now redirects directly to outlook.com. No more social feeds…

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      Groups had been falling under the “SkyDrive” umbrella for a while now, since Wave 4. But it is this update where they have removed it from any direct navigation, and the only way to access it is via SkyDrive (unless you have the direct link to your Group’s homepage).

      And yes, Windows Live Home is no more, as that was part of Hotmail. If you’ve switched to Outlook.com, you won’t get Windows Live Home anymore.

  • allanwith

    So what’s going to happen with Live? Still very inconsistent with the naming and everything. Do groups really belong under “Skydrive” aren’t they a separate thing as well as something that relates to Skydrive?

    http://www.live.com now redirects directly to outlook.com. No more social feeds…

    • damaster

      Groups had been falling under the “SkyDrive” umbrella for a while now, since Wave 4. But it is this update where they have removed it from any direct navigation, and the only way to access it is via SkyDrive (unless you have the direct link to your Group’s homepage).

      And yes, Windows Live Home is no more, as that was part of Hotmail. If you’ve switched to Outlook.com, you won’t get Windows Live Home anymore.

  • http://twitter.com/efjay01 Ef Jay

    Without knowing the direct link is there any other way to get to the devices page?

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      Unfortunately, not that we can see. There’s probably a link in Windows Live Mesh that takes you there.

      • http://twitter.com/efjay01 Ef Jay

        You’re right, and since its from a desktop app it uses desktop IE.

    • http://www.facebook.com/LEE.KC Lee Ka Chun

      I want to know too….

  • efjay

    Without knowing the direct link is there any other way to get to the devices page?

    • damaster

      Unfortunately, not that we can see. There’s probably a link in Windows Live Mesh that takes you there.

      • efjay

        You’re right, and since its from a desktop app it uses desktop IE.

    • http://www.facebook.com/LEE.KC Lee Ka Chun

      I want to know too….

  • n1cks

    So, what happens now when I share a link to “Windows Live” from my Windows Phone – where does it go….?I like the new simplified look and the ditching of unnecessary services.

    I’m tempted to change to the new @outloook email address.   I currently have one of the @windowslive addresses.  However given the ‘Windows’ brand isn’t going anywhere (hopefully) I may as well stick with what I have. 

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      I believe they’ll still show up on Windows Live Messenger 2012, the People hub on Windows Phone, or the People app in Windows 8. But I believe they’ll be slowly phasing that out too…

      You can have both, just create an alias with the @outlook email address. Remember you can upgrade to the new-look Outlook.com with any address (including your @windowslive address).

      • n1cks

        Yes, I’m curious to see what the People Hub on Windows Phone 8 will look like & whether it will still have the  option to post to “Windows Live”.   There really isn’t any point posting to Windows Live.. unless you’ve friends on Messenger who aren’t on your FB.

        Re:  Outlook.  Yes, I’ve created an Outlook address (rather than an alias).  However there is a way to switch my primary email to the new Outlook email address (Microsoft Answers  http://bit.ly/RN5Dz2 ).  But I think I may stick with @windowslive as my primary address because it looks okay, it’s unique & I doubt the ‘Windows’ brand will be retired like so many other Microsoft names (then again, never say never). 

  • n1cks

    So, what happens now when I share a link to “Windows Live” from my Windows Phone – where does it go….?I like the new simplified look and the ditching of unnecessary services.

    I’m tempted to change to the new @outloook email address.   I currently have one of the @windowslive addresses.  However given the ‘Windows’ brand isn’t going anywhere (hopefully) I may as well stick with what I have. 

    • damaster

      I believe they’ll still show up on Windows Live Messenger 2012, the People hub on Windows Phone, or the People app in Windows 8. But I believe they’ll be slowly phasing that out too…

      You can have both, just create an alias with the @outlook email address. Remember you can upgrade to the new-look Outlook.com with any address (including your @windowslive address).

      • n1cks

        Yes, I’m curious to see what the People Hub on Windows Phone 8 will look like & whether it will still have the  option to post to “Windows Live”.   There really isn’t any point posting to Windows Live.. unless you’ve friends on Messenger who aren’t on your FB.

        Re:  Outlook.  Yes, I’ve created an Outlook address (rather than an alias).  However there is a way to switch my primary email to the new Outlook email address (Microsoft Answers  http://bit.ly/RN5Dz2 ).  But I think I may stick with @windowslive as my primary address because it looks okay, it’s unique & I doubt the ‘Windows’ brand will be retired like so many other Microsoft names (then again, never say never). 

  • http://www.facebook.com/khris Khristopher Ranger

    LOVE IT! Finally Microsoft is getting design right! Simple is always better. As long as their is more advanced settings for power users that is ;)

  • Khristopher Ranger

    LOVE IT! Finally Microsoft is getting design right! Simple is always better. As long as their is more advanced settings for power users that is ;)

  • JSYOUNG571

    below

  • JSYOUNG571

    below

  • JSYOUNG571

    @damaster:disqus  For years I have been wanting to ask this question about the Contacts in Hotmail which is now Outlook.com. In order for our Contacts to not sit with a blank photo or avatar, they have to join Microsoft or Facebook to have a picture in our Contacts list. I have tried to sit back and wait on Microsoft to allow us to have the ability to upload pictures of our contacts if they do not have a Facebook account or join Microsoft. Through all the upgrade of waves for years, they still have not come out with a way for us to do that. Google (Gmail) has been had this feature for years. If you have a contact with no picture in their avatar, you can upload a picture of them from your computer or your online photo albums. That picture that you upload of them also syncs to your contacts on the phone as well. With Microsoft Outlook.com (Hotmail) it continues to be an empty gray head photo if your contact has not joined Facebook or Microsoft. You the abilty to do this on Windows Phone 7, why not through the new Outlook.com?

  • JSYOUNG571

    @damaster:disqus  For years I have been wanting to ask this question about the Contacts in Hotmail which is now Outlook.com. In order for our Contacts to not sit with a blank photo or avatar, they have to join Microsoft or Facebook to have a picture in our Contacts list. I have tried to sit back and wait on Microsoft to allow us to have the ability to upload pictures of our contacts if they do not have a Facebook account or join Microsoft. Through all the upgrade of waves for years, they still have not come out with a way for us to do that. Google (Gmail) has been had this feature for years. If you have a contact with no picture in their avatar, you can upload a picture of them from your computer or your online photo albums. That picture that you upload of them also syncs to your contacts on the phone as well. With Microsoft Outlook.com (Hotmail) it continues to be an empty gray head photo if your contact has not joined Facebook or Microsoft. You the abilty to do this on Windows Phone 7, why not through the new Outlook.com?

  • jdelarosa

    So, with all this rebranding, are we loosing the Windows Live home page? Is there a way to see our friend’s social feeds from Facebook in Outlook.com?

    • http://gregsedwards.wordpress.com Greg Edwards

      Yeah, the Windows Live Home page is gone.

      As to whether you can see social feeds in Outlook.com, well yes and no. So, if you select an email from someone with whom you’re friends on FB or follow on Twitter, and those services are connected to your Microsoft account, and you’ve enabled the option in Outlook.com to pull in social activities from other networks, then yes, you’ll see relevant updates from that person in the sidebar.

      What you won’t find any longer on Outlook.com or any of the related properties (except the Messenger client) is an aggregated view of all your friends activities on Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else. Face it, most people never bothered to set up or use Web Activities or consistently update Messenger anyway, so it ended up becoming little more than a watered-down Facebook clone for most of us. I guess the idea is if you’re gonna read Facebook, best do it over on Facebook.

  • jdelarosa

    So, with all this rebranding, are we loosing the Windows Live home page? Is there a way to see our friend’s social feeds from Facebook in Outlook.com?

    • http://gregsedwards.wordpress.com/ Greg Edwards

      Yeah, the Windows Live Home page is gone.

      As to whether you can see social feeds in Outlook.com, well yes and no. So, if you select an email from someone with whom you’re friends on FB or follow on Twitter, and those services are connected to your Microsoft account, and you’ve enabled the option in Outlook.com to pull in social activities from other networks, then yes, you’ll see relevant updates from that person in the sidebar.

      What you won’t find any longer on Outlook.com or any of the related properties (except the Messenger client) is an aggregated view of all your friends activities on Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else. Face it, most people never bothered to set up or use Web Activities or consistently update Messenger anyway, so it ended up becoming little more than a watered-down Facebook clone for most of us. I guess the idea is if you’re gonna read Facebook, best do it over on Facebook.

  • http://gregsedwards.wordpress.com Greg Edwards

    One annoying thing I’ve noticed is that with the redesign of the Profile page, there’s no way to delete a *previous* Messenger status update anymore. You can’t do it from the Messenger client, as the gear icon just throws you over to your Profile on the web, which no longer includes a Messenger social feed. Sure you can clear you current status, and I guess for most that’s ok. Messenger history eventually rolls off. But folks you see your Messenger updates on Windows Phone or the Messenger client will still see that history until it does, and now there’s nothing you can do to alter it. -1

  • http://gregsedwards.wordpress.com/ Greg Edwards

    One annoying thing I’ve noticed is that with the redesign of the Profile page, there’s no way to delete a *previous* Messenger status update anymore. You can’t do it from the Messenger client, as the gear icon just throws you over to your Profile on the web, which no longer includes a Messenger social feed. Sure you can clear you current status, and I guess for most that’s ok. Messenger history eventually rolls off. But folks you see your Messenger updates on Windows Phone or the Messenger client will still see that history until it does, and now there’s nothing you can do to alter it. -1

  • Yuquanchen

    I don’t like the new look. I’ve got sentimental social updates that I can no longer see anywhere. I don’t think they have to take away the old profile interface in order to add the new features. Buidling a private network can be fun and useful for an individual, they should keep this as well. Sigh…I’ve lost everything

  • Yuquanchen

    I don’t like the new look. I’ve got sentimental social updates that I can no longer see anywhere. I don’t think they have to take away the old profile interface in order to add the new features. Buidling a private network can be fun and useful for an individual, they should keep this as well. Sigh…I’ve lost everything