Hotmail adds notifications for IE9 in Windows 7

hotmail taskbar icon

Microsoft is working hard to make cloud services more like desktop applications. One way they are doing that is by making Hotmail a little more accessible by creating an icon you can pin to your taskbar showing how many unread messages you've accumulated since they last time you obsessively checked your email inbox. 

The new icon requires that you have Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 9 installed. Along with showing your unread mail count Microsoft has added a few other features to the icon as well: 

Most of you know that you can now launch Hotmail just like you launch other Windows applications by pinning Hotmail to your Windows taskbar. To do this, sign in to Hotmail in IE9 and go to your Inbox. Now, drag the Hotmail tab from the address bar in IE down to the taskbar, and drop it there. Once you’ve pinned Hotmail, you can check your email just by clicking the icon – no need to open IE and navigate to a bookmark. Hotmail also uses IE 9’s new jump list feature to let you compose a new email or go straight to your Calendar or Contacts just by right-clicking on the Hotmail icon in the taskbar.

Users who have IE9 and have already pinned the Hotmail icon to their taskbar should noticed the changes automatically. In the Windows Team Blog post talking about the new features added to the icon they stated that they are trying to make the Windows experience more like the Windows Phone experience. This new icon for Windows users functions similarly to the one found on Windows Phone 7. 

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37 Comments

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interesting, mine will pin but it shows the IE only icon not the hotmail icon plus I only see pinned options for private browsing, unpin, close

Oh well seemed like a cool idea....

Interesting.

However I wonder if it has the Windows Live Messenger BUG:

Whenever I read mail in Outlook (2007 or 2010) my Inbox (Unread) counter doesn't change in the Messenger window. I have to sign in and out for it to update properly. It happens *only* in Messenger. Outlook and Hotmail on the web have the proper amount of "unread" emails. Doesn't matter what version of Outlook Connector either.

Christopher Kiszka said,
You have to leave a hotmail window minimized in the background for the notifications to work.

Exactly, I wish you didn't have to leave it open..

I found a bug, I think.

On my pinned Hotmail icon I used the jump list to go to my inbox. I composed a new email. In the body I have NO spell correction. If I open a window from the IE9 pinned icon and compose an email I do have spell correction....?

Now if only we can get something like this for Windows Live Mail. I want to see the notification on the taskbar, not in the system tray! There shouldn't be any reason it's in the system tray on Windows 7 in the first place.

Sweet so you'll get notifications from messenger, IE9 and live mail; in the wise words of Chandler Bing: Could it be more annoying?

Meconio said,
Sweet so you'll get notifications from messenger, IE9 and live mail; in the wise words of Chandler Bing: Could it be more annoying?

lol right! at least the IE9 pin won't make a sound, yet. The implementations are so scattered too. Messenger does it the best because it shows a preview like "From: (website name) you have a new message from so and so" but in mail it just says the website. and annoyingly if you have both applications running, Mail takes over so you get the less desirable alert.

wow! It's actually quite nice! Go IE Team! Too bad I use Outlook 2010 for my email needs, though...but I could see this as being useful in many ways!

obiwankenobi said,
wow! It's actually quite nice! Go IE Team! Too bad I use Outlook 2010 for my email needs, though...but I could see this as being useful in many ways!

i thought you were using the force! also, you can't even use outlook, you disappeared when died, no?

From the screenshot it looks like it doesn't even have to be open for the notifications to work. Is that actually the case? I know with Facebook pinned it only shows notifications when it's open.

The other thing they need to implement is having Inbox clicked in WLMessenger should open the pinned site if it exists.

osm0sis said,
From the screenshot it looks like it doesn't even have to be open for the notifications to work. Is that actually the case? I know with Facebook pinned it only shows notifications when it's open.

The other thing they need to implement is having Inbox clicked in WLMessenger should open the pinned site if it exists.

All you have to do is pin it to the task bar. You dont need to have it opened.

spenumatsa said,

All you have to do is pin it to the task bar. You dont need to have it opened.

Mine only updates when it opens..

spenser.d said,
That's pretty cool. I'd actually use it if I didn't use the WLM desktop client.

+1

It would be nice to see that addition made to the WL Mail icon.

...yet they still don't have time to update the site itself and remove the X-UA-Compat forcing IE9 into IE7 document mode.

He means the back and forward buttons in IE. It's the same idea as the highlight colour on the Windows 7 taskbar where it's based on the dominant colour of the icon. So, in this case, the back and forward buttons are orange.