When I first received notice of the existence of Windows Live Mail (as it interrupted my normal Hotmail session to tell me) I was somewhat excited. The way the idea was presented, it was going to be a step up. Forget lousy Hotmail, this is Windows Live Mail. It looked shiny. It sounded cool.
I hate it.
To put it more kindly, I’m disappointed. The pretty little notice lied to me. I was expecting something that, although it might require slight adjustment, I could step in to and love immediately. I’ve been trying it for a week or so now, and nothing has really “wow’ed” me.
First of all, the whole “choose your theme” idea doesn’t deliver. Excuse me if changing the color of a handful of category headers throughout the site doesn’t whip me into a frenzy of joy, but that’s just pointless. The preview pane is a nice choice to have, but really just gets in the way. I’m going through the daily box-checking of removing dozens of junk e-mails, and if I click any cell instead of the checkbox, I lose everything I checked! It brings up the message and checks this new email. Now that I’ve written it all out it does sound somewhat petty, but when I’m attacking junk mail I’m usually not in the best state of mind anyway :).
Like I said, it’s a nice idea – Microsoft could probably still pull it off. It would be great to see my email provider of years develop a system that works as smoothly and beautifully as some web sites out there, but this current build makes me wonder if they’re capable.
Back to Hotmail for me.