Windows Live Mail, the latest email client from Microsoft Corporation has many added features and utilities absent from its predecessors – Outlook Express and Windows Mail (on Vista). These include Photo email, enhanced security for scanning incoming messages, RSS right in your inbox, Quick views, custom layout of the interface to tune the software to your requirements and, yes, multiple email account configuration including Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo!Mail. (For Yahoo!Mail, you need to hold a premium account at Yahoo!).
Personal experience: I’ve been using Windows Live Mail since the days of Windows Vista. I had downloaded and installed the program on that operating system. The client has served me well over the years and I have never faced a “major” problem ever.
The Photo email feature of Windows Live Mail is a neat way of sending high resolution photographs to friends and family over email. So why is this so cool? Well, ordinarily, you would attach the large file size high resolution photograph to the email. Sending several such photos would result in oversized email messages which your recipients or might not like to download and store in the inbox. Large sized emails may also be returned to you (bounced back) if the recipient’s email account is running short on space or if there is a size limit on the attachments. Photo email sends just the thumbnails (smaller versions) of your photos. The recipients can choose to view the larger version by clicking on the thumbnail – the larger versions are displayed from a private web location. Additionally, you control the layout of the thumbnails in the email message. Photo email also allows for basic photo editing including adding borders.
Read send photos over email for a detailed article on Windows Live Mail Photo email feature.
The popular Outlook Express email client was notoriously insecure and vulnerable to viruses and worms. The security issue was addressed first on Windows Mail by the introduction of an automated junk email filter. The same has also been included on Windows Live Mail.
The filter scans all incoming emails and suspected spam and phishing messages are moved to the “Junk e-mail” folder automatically. You also have control over the level of security you want and you can configure several options such as Safe Senders List etc.
The automated filtering for spam and phishing emails in Windows Live Mail is far from perfect. I had some legitimate messages thrown into the Junk e-mail folder with the default settings, but, I guess, like any other automated tool, this too requires some amount of tweaking and will “learn” over time.
On the whole, I appreciate Microsoft’s inclusion of this feature in their new email client.
Just like the earlier email clients, you can have multiple email accounts in Windows Live Mail including Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo!Mail. And, obviously, you can configure the POP3 email accounts of your web sites on Windows Live Mail.
Access to Yahoo!Mail from Windows Live Mail requires you to have a premium account at Yahoo!
Though Windows Live Mail has a simple interface, you can change it to suit your needs. You can change colors, move columns and modify the layout to get only what you want to see and thus save time.
Quick views show you specific categories from your email and news accounts.
No need for a separate feeds reader. With Windows Live Mail, you can subscribe to RSS feeds from different web sites and blogs and have them delivered to you inbox.
This program is definitely much more than an email and news client. A nondescript icon found at the very end of the row opens a cool blogging tool for Windows Live Spaces. In order to blog from Windows Live Mail, you need to create an account at Windows Live Spaces which takes a couple of minutes.
Final words: I suppose, most Outlook Express and Windows Mail users would be happy with this new email client from Microsoft. It offers a better level of security and many added features and utilities absent from its predecessors.
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