Saturday, March 01, 2008

Windows Live Mail

Microsoft has a suite of "Windows Live" products. I've been playing with two of them: Mail and Writer. (Look at those links! for Writer. What gives?)

Mail replaces Outlook Express and Vista's Windows Mail. Wait, that's the same name. Well, almost. The new product is Windows Live Mail. There, that clears that up.

Mail has that Vista look. But look closely at that screen capture. I used Alt+PrtSc to capture that so I would just get the application in focus. Then why do you see my desktop behind it? Mail cheats. To get that Vista look, they apparently make the top menu transparent. If you look closely, it goes all the way around the window as well.

This little "beauty" trick is not benign. You can't put the application window up against the top of the screen. It'll jump back down a little due to the hidden area. And the menu items that you need are hidden and have to be unhidden to do routine activities, e.g. manage accounts.

The most aggravating part of Mail is the little nuances that just don't work "right." Things like Ctrl+C. This doesn't always copy the selected text. Seems simple enough to get right.

Another is that it doesn't scroll with the center button on my ThinkPads. It does work with a regular mouse's roller wheel.

The Options setting for "Send and receive messages at startup" works some of the time. C'mon Microsoft! See if this thread frustrates you as much as me.

And the toolbar reserves a significant part of real estate for the Windows Live Account id even if you aren't using one.

On the positive side, it integrates seamlessly with Hotmail or Live Mail (wait, this application is called Live Mail)'s mail.

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