Windows Live Mail is the latest free email client from Microsoft Corporation and is meant to replace older programs such as Outlook Express and Windows Mail Vista. To know more about this program, read what is Windows Live Mail. Its installer file is available for download from the live.com web site.
Downloading and installing this program is a simple affair – you can always read the step by step instructions on other pages on this web site. I have been using this program for quite some time now and thought it would be a good idea to review it for everyone.
Outlook Express was the very popular email client from Microsoft. It came preinstalled with the Windows 98 and XP operating systems. New versions of the software were usually bundled with Internet Explorer; so if you installed the web browser, you got the latest version of the email program too. Outlook Express had a huge and loyal following because it was very easy to use with a clean simple interface – even beginners could set up email accounts and start sending and receiving emails in minutes.
Though, Windows Live Mail has been built on the foundations of Outlook Express, the interface and many added features put it in a different league. And let us not forget Windows Mail, the default free email client on Vista. If I had my say, Windows Mail should be considered the last version of Outlook Express (Outlook Express 7) because it was at least similar in interface and functionality to the latter.
The complete list Windows Live Mail features can be found in another article; here I shall detail only the ones I think make this program far superior to its predecessors – Outlook Express and Windows Mail.
The thing that strikes you when you open the program for the first time is the interface which is quite different from those of Outlook Express and Windows Mail Vista. Furthermore, you can change the layout and the colors as per requirements and “moods”. You can move the columns and modify the look of the icons.
Setting up email accounts in Window Live Mail is simpler (less windows to go through) and you can not only add POP and IMAP accounts from your web site and ISP but also configure Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo!Mail accounts. You can, thus, collect all your emails at one place. Each email account setup on Windows Live Mail gets five default folders – the Inbox, Drafts, Sent items, Junk e-mail and Deleted items.
Though, the default Junk email folder was added in Windows Mail Vista it has been much improved for Windows Live Mai guessing by the sheer amount of options available for fine tuning. The junk email filter works by scanning each incoming email to detect spam and phishing markers. If it finds a potential spam or a phishing email, it shoves it into the junk email folder. However, the filter is far from perfect – it’s an algorithm after all. I have legitimate emails being thrown into the junk folder. But with time and and playing around with the various options, I have been able to make it work quite nicely for me.
If you want to send photos from your digital camera to your friends and family, Windows Live Mail make it not only simple but so much fun. The Photo e-mail feature of the program allows you to send high resolution pictures without choking the inbox of the recipients. It works on a simple principle which I like to think as a marriage between online image hosting and email. When you send a photo e-mail, the images are converted to thumbnails (smaller versions in both file size and dimensions). You can not only control the layout and size of the thumbnails but also add nice frames, borders and text to each individual image. Furthermore, basic image editing features are available if you want to touch up your photographs. The large file size versions of your pictures are sent along and stored at a private web location. The recipients get only the thumbnails and when they click on one the “bigger picture”, so to say, is downloaded onto their computer.
One of my pet peeves with the Outlook express email client was the really slow email search. However, things have now changed with Windows Live Mail. The email search utility is located conveniently near the top and is very fast. Email searches that used to take tens of seconds are now complete in a few moments.
The good news doesn’t end with email management. Windows Live Mai is also a new client, a RSS reader and a blogging tool.
In Windows Live Mail, you can add your favourite RSS feeds and store them along with your emails. To shift between emails, newsgroups and RSS feeds, you simply click on the conveniently located icons at the bottom left.
You can blog to your Windows Live Space location directly from this program and, as any blogger would tell you, this would only mean that you can quickly and easily update your blog.
My verdict: Windows Live Mail is far superior to both Outlook Express and Windows Mail Vista. It lets you do a lot more than simple email management. If you are looking for a good and stable email client, download Windows Live Mail and start using it.
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