Windows Live Mail goes into beta

After a long wait since the last build of Windows Live Mail desktop beta, the new free email client from Microsoft Windows Live Mail has launched into beta. Designed to succeed Outlook Express on Windows XP and Windows Mail on Windows Vista, it replaces Windows Live Mail desktop as Microsoft’s in-development free email client.

So what are the main changes?

  • Updated UI –  Windows Live Mail adopts the new Windows Live “Wave 2” UI with Aero support if you are running Windows Vista. If you are not using Aero or are using Windows XP, you get the non-glass UI. Weirdly though, of the two UIs it is the non-glass one that more closely matches the Messenger 8.5 beta glass UI (no product name or orb in the glass UI and the standard Windows border cannot be hidden).
  • No forced signin – Users can choose to add a Windows Live ID to the application for sign-in however this is optional. Some advanced features such as Photo Email and Windows Live Contacts cannot be used unless you are signed in to the application. (Tools – Options – Connection to enable/disable this feature)
  • No advertising – ActiveSearch contextual ads continue to be tested for US users but can be disabled
  • Improved performance and stability – always nice :)

Screenshots (Click to enlarge) 

Overall its a nice update from the last Windows Live Mail desktop beta build, performance is much better and there are less freezes when you use the application. However if you are thinking about trying the RSS reader again and have anymore than a handful of feeds, let me save you the trouble.

Windows Live Mail beta homepage
Windows Live Mail download

Previous Posts:
More info on Windows Live Mail (the desktop client)
Windows Live Mail: details about the new beta announced