New Windows Live products released

Posted on June 4, 2007. Filed under: Main, Microsoft, Uncategorized |

I just got back last weekend from a three-week trip to China, so I’m a bit behind on getting caught up on the latest tech news.  As I went through my blogroll, I found that two beta programs I’ve been using have gotten a bit less beta, which is pretty exciting.

Windows Live Mail

First up, Windows Live Mail, the successor to Outlook Express and Vista’s Mail program.  I started using it simply because it lets me access my Windows Live e-mail account without having to go through the site.  Before this, the only way to get my mail was to go through the web site (which, admittedly, is a bit slow at times) or pay for the Office Live upgrade which would allow me to connect to the mail server from Outlook, which is what I use at school (Office 2007 rocks!).  Since I’m always looking for the least expensive/most valuable option, being able to get my mail offline was great.  On top of that, you can also connect to a ton of other providers and Windows Live Mail is pre-configured for the majority of big-name email services.  I’m using it now to access my Gmail and Live e-mail accounts, and there’s also the option of connecting to an Exchange Server, so you can use it at work and home!

I’d like to be able to tell you I’ve been using Outlook as my RSS aggregator, but I’ve been disappointed with the workings and “integration” of IE7 and Outlook.  I’ve tried a few, but ended up sticking with RSS Bandit, which has worked well, although I was frustrated with the amount of memory it ate up and it’s slow startups.  Other than that, I liked it.  Tired of using three separate programs to read mail and newsgroups, and RSS feeds, I decided to give the RSS reader in WLM a shot, and was pleasantly surprised.  Adding feeds is relatively straightforward (although I wish there was feed discovery like RSS Bandit), and importing the OPML was easy, too.  There’s better integration with IE7 than Outlook provides, but somewhere in the process I’ve seemed to have lost the ability to subscribe to feeds from within Internet Explorer.  Not sure if that’s the fault of the software, or some other changes in the past.  I’ll keep using both programs for RSS until I can get a good feel for how WLW handles some things, but it’s looking good so far!

Windows Live Writer

Hands down, one of the best products Microsoft has come up with (second only to OneNote), and it’s free!.  I still haven’t played with all the features yet, but the ones I’ve worked with have gone great.  As always, setting up your blog is painless, and the new version of WLW includes SharePoint blog support.  Also, you can now get one-click access to areas of your blog such as comments, stats, and your dashboard.  For those who upgrade from a previous version, all your plug-ins still appear to work, but those that don’t are being quickly updated, so don’t worry too much.

As I work more with this, I’ll let you know.  Until then, download a copy for yourself and start writing!

Windows Live Writer screen shot Windows Live Mail screenshot
Windows Live Writer Windows Live Mail

Related Posts

Windows Live Writer Beta 2 Now Available

Windows Live Writer Beta 2 – Updated Finally

Windows Live Mail goes into beta

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