By releasing Windows Live Mail email client, Microsoft has somewhat confused Vista users especially those that have been employing Windows Mail software to send and receive emails.
Windows Mail is the default and free email client on the Vista operating system. It replaced the very popular Outlook Express software. In fact, it would not be wrong in considering Windows Mail as just a better version of Outlook Express – Outlook Express 7? The interface of the two programs is similar with a couple of new and helpful features included in Windows Mail – The automated filtering of Junk email and search utility.
Windows Live Mail (this one is the latest … yes, I know, why can’t they just come up with better names), is available for free download from the live.com web site. It also has some really cool features including Photo email, RSS (in your inbox), multiple account support (including Hotmail, Gmail), blogging etc. These are in addition to the automated junk e-mail filtering and an easy to use and extremely quick search utility.
Though the quickest answer would be Windows Live Mail because it’s the latest free email client from Microsoft, let us take a step back and look at both the programs from a distance. Vista Windows Mail is quite like Outlook Express – similar layout and interface, hence, easy for the not-so-tech-savvy to start using if they are shifting from Outlook Express.
The features included in Windows Live Mail, on the other hand, are overwhelming. It’s like a one stop solution to several things I would like accomplish through an email client. My only peeve with the program is the childlike interface. Yes, I know I can change the layout (another feature in Windows Live Mail), but the best I have managed is still not that “business-like” – or maybe it’s just me!
Microsoft, in a mad attempt to get back some of the lost user base, has included multiple email account configuration in Windows Live Mail. For the layman, it means you can add and set up multiple email accounts in the email client including those from Gmail, Yahoo!Mail (premium account required), Hotmail etc. The support for Hotmail was discontinued on Outlook Express and Windows Mail Vista but has been made available in the latest program. So if your Hotmail account is important to you, I would definitely suggest using Windows Live Mail.
Photo-email is another great feature in Windows Live Mail. It allows you to send high resolution (read, file size heavy) digital camera photographs without cluttering up the inbox of the recipients. The recipients get a small version, a thumbnail, of the photograph in the email message (and you control the size and layout of this thumbnail). The large high resolution photographs are put at a private web location. Only when the recipient clicks on the thumbnail, thus, expressing a desire to look at the “bigger picture”, is the larger version displayed.
RSS in inbox: Email and RSS come together in Windows Live Mail. You can subscribe to RSS feeds from your favourite web sites and blogs and have them delivered right in your inbox.
Brilliant search feature: Searching for that lost email is not only intuitive but very quick. You can now save previous time with this great utility.
The email system invented by Ray Tomlinson at ARPA wasn't considered important. It was not a directive of the defence organization and Tomlinson was very hushed-up about it. He told a colleague "Don't tell anyone! This isn't what we're supposed to be working on." [more...]