Microsoft reveals more about Windows 8 Metro Mail app

Earlier this week, Microsoft gave us more information on how it created the People Metro app for Windows 8. In the newest entry on the Windows 8 blog, Microsoft gives the same treatment to the Mail Metro app.

In the Consumer Preview version of Windows 8, the Mail app just showed messages and a reading pane. However, based on feedback from users, the Release Preview version design of the Mail app has been altered to now show three panels, with an account panel that is available on the left side.

The blog also goes into detail about how the Mail app handles the message list. revealing that for the Release Preview version, it now shows 14 messages at a resolution of 1366x768, instead of the 8.5 messages that were seen in the Consumer Preview version.

In terms of writing emails with a touch screen devices like a tablet, Microsoft has tried to give Windows 8 users as much space to write on the touch screen keyboard as possible. The blog post states:

The touch keyboard limits the amount of vertical space available, so it didn’t make sense to put the To, Cc, and other information above the body of the email. To create more space for your content, we put the To and Cc lines in one pane, and the subject and body into another. This also groups the info logically: all the information related to addressing the message is in one group, and your content is in another. The formatting commands are hidden by default to give you more space to write your email.

The blog also talks about some of the Mail app's Metro features. For example, while the app is "snapped" to the side of another Windows 8 Metro app, the user can still see a list of messages in the snapped state, along with being able to move between email accounts and folders. The Mail app also supports creating secondary Live tiles for any email folder and account and pinning them to the Windows 8 start screen.

Windows 8 can also download email messages in the background but with a device that might have a limited data plan, that could cause some issues. The blog post states:

One way we prevent out-of-control data usage is to only download the last 2 weeks of email by default. We’ve found that most people only actively engage with the last 2 weeks of email, so we don’t download all of the messages in your multi-gigabyte email account unless you specifically configure it that way for any given account. Also, this provides a much faster first download, so you can start acting on your messages more quickly.

Source: Windows 8 blog | Images via Microsoft

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The CR version made it easier to use multiple accounts from the same provider (e.g. 3 unlinked Hotmail accounts). With the PR version, I haven't found a means to distinguish between those accounts other than the order in which they have been added).

Re-ordering of accounts would be handy too.

spc1972 said,
The CR version made it easier to use multiple accounts from the same provider (e.g. 3 unlinked Hotmail accounts). With the PR version, I haven't found a means to distinguish between those accounts other than the order in which they have been added).

just go to the charms (on the right) and in the settings pane you will be able to rename every account to your needs.... as easy as that...

Re-ordering of accounts would be handy too.

Haters are going to hate. People who don't fully engage the product tend to "post" what is wrong rather than what is "right" with the product. You are still in Preview(Beta) with this item.

My analogy for some of you would be like:

My initial showing of my car: Hey look I just painted my car and but I haven't gone over the final details such as buffing, removing any debris in the paint, clean up the trim, etc. I just wanted to show you that the majority of the body is done but the details will come soon enough.

Your response would be: Well why is there some debris over here, here and here. The door jams are not painted yet, the window trim is not put on yet.

I just told you that I am not done, yet you pick apart the smallest details and forget that overall the car had just been painted and is much better than the old paint.

Just like the comment earlier about IMAP and POP3. or the non-techhead that says Win8 OS will fail. Or Search Queries on server.

You do know there are other email programs out there such as OUTLOOK for EXCHANGE!

How many consumers knows what Exchange/Active Sync is?

The "nice for touch - horrible for desktop" is from what major experience? What you just saw on this Post about the way MS thought about screen real estate and designed something functional from that thought? Desktops won't reach this way on a larger screen or in desktop mode. What do you expect?

I am not Pro MS as I use MAC more often and my PC but I use both proficiently and I am excited to see the end product and can't wait for a WIN8 RT Tablet that will allow me to have a real computer in a hybrid/tablet form that will be under 2 lbs and can last 6-8 hours. I am not carrying it around to watch movies or play music. I have an IPAD 3 for that or can get an in-expensive Android 10.1 tablet for that.

I don't expect the price to be the same as the IPAD because I expect it to deliver more functionality than the IPAD and I paid the $829.99 for my IPAD3. I would pay near $1500 for a good solid hybrid tablet and I have talked to many business consultants and business related people who have said the same thing.

This isn't an application launcher tablet with some icons. We are talking about a full fledged computer in Tablet/Convertible form factors.

Let MS polish it up some more, get the trim on and give it a final polish before some of you tear it apart for being incomplete(IT IS INCOMPLETE AT THIS MOMENT - DUH!)

One thing that I hate in the metro mail app is there is no way to easily check if a link is a phishing link or not. Out of the blue I received an email from steam saying someone tried to do a password reset on my account. I tried to hover over the link, but there was no tooltip. I tried right-clicking the link to copy the shortcut, nope, the bottom bar popped up. I had to open the hotmail website to actually check that the mail was legit and not some phishing scam.

giantpotato said,
One thing that I hate in the metro mail app is there is no way to easily check if a link is a phishing link or not. Out of the blue I received an email from steam saying someone tried to do a password reset on my account. I tried to hover over the link, but there was no tooltip. I tried right-clicking the link to copy the shortcut, nope, the bottom bar popped up. I had to open the hotmail website to actually check that the mail was legit and not some phishing scam.

that was something i didn't like either. it's in the Metro touch language that you can tap and hold to learn more, so shouldn't there at least be tooltips when you hover over links? you get them everywhere else in Metro.

Assuming things keep developing I have a feeling that for most end users they'll spend 90% of their time in Metro. I wouldn't be surprised if by Windows 9 you end up having a Metro version of Microsoft Office 'Home & Student' with the desktop being primarily used for enterprise customers, developers etc. A 'Pro' interface and a simplified one for the masses - and the benefit being you can take the two UI's in different directions and cater for the two different audiences without having to compromise with the only unifying factor being the start screen both use to launch their applications.

sexypepperoni said,
As time goes on, Windows 8 keeps getting uglier and uglier.

And your comments will continue to stay worthless.

sexypepperoni said,

The truth hurts I see.

Your opinion is the truth? Don't you mean your opinion is YOUR truth?

Little things like designing the mail app around the touch keyboard and putting touch instructions first in the help screens show Microsoft's true priorities.

The desktop PC suddenly seems to be a second rate platform on Windows 8, hopefully the backlash will force Microsoft to think about desktop computers a bit more in Windows 9. They aren't going away any time soon, and I say that as someone who loves his tablet (for the appropriate tasks)

lkernan said,
Little things like designing the mail app around the touch keyboard and putting touch instructions first in the help screens show Microsoft's true priorities.

The desktop PC suddenly seems to be a second rate platform on Windows 8, hopefully the backlash will force Microsoft to think about desktop computers a bit more in Windows 9. They aren't going away any time soon, and I say that as someone who loves his tablet (for the appropriate tasks)

They're working on the touch interface because.. it's new. The keyboard will work just like it has in the past. Or are you expecting Microsoft to write new keyboard drivers or something?

I am not a coder/developer etc. I just like playing with new tech and I have been a early adopter of MS products of late ie Win 7-8 beta testing etc. But I am not nowhere as adapt as your self or others that I read on yours and other sites.

Regarding win 8 I have a strong suspicion that this OS release is going to tank for MS, for several reasons. Not all of them are necessary mine (a amateur techhead) but through general observations and comments from friends in the industry. There is no strong reason to upgrade. For 90% of people (to Microsoft's credit) windows 7 works and works well. Niggles? Sure. But are they insurmountable? No.
For a lot of people I suspect Win 8 is hard work at times - Too hard to navigate, too hard to find under the hood stuff ie personalizing etc or computer mgmt. Even more so if you are 70-80% of the population who own a desktop or laptop and not a tablet, the touch features for navigating are not there. It can be painful by mouse and 80% of the pop are not going to learn keyboard shortcuts.
For a lot of people no start menu orb will be an issueDitto for shutting down/restarting the pc. I guess one might argue that these days a pc does not need to be shutdown at all. But here in New Zealand the cost of power? I shut it down each night.
There does not seem to be many noticeable (main key word here) OS changes. File transfer is awesome and I personally like the ribbon. But it still looks and acts like 7. Another plus or minus.

Fixes?
-Installation should detect what the OS is being installed on and if not a tablet disable metro or an option to do so (Maybe it will do so automatically but the 2 editions I have installed no options like that were offered).
-Possibly market in 3 forms (too many possible options Marketing wise I know)
Metro - tablet only (OEM only) - not all desktop features are loaded.
Desktop/laptop Home or premium- option given to allow/disable metro
Enterprise or equivalentOffer both editions at a reduced cost a la apple.

As 8 without Metro seems to be a glorified SP of win 7 (cheeky I know)
$50.00 for Metro
$70.00 for Desktop.
Kevcole -

I don't really understand how it's possible the Metro apps feel so far from being finished. We're at Release Preview after all. They take for ever to load as well.

.Neo said,
I don't really understand how it's possible the Metro apps feel so far from being finished. We're at Release Preview after all. They take for ever to load as well.

Unlike, the rest of the OS, the Metro Apps can all be updated constantly even after Windows hits RTM. I gues they are focusing on the core OS right now and will update the apps later. Moreover, Microsoft likely wants to keep some functionality secret until RTM.

wolftail said,

Unlike, the rest of the OS, the Metro Apps can all be updated constantly even after Windows hits RTM. I gues they are focusing on the core OS right now and will update the apps later. Moreover, Microsoft likely wants to keep some functionality secret until RTM.

that's what they said about windows live essentials and they barrely updated them yearly. MSFT is simple not capable of doing anything right these days.

wolftail said,

Unlike, the rest of the OS, the Metro Apps can all be updated constantly even after Windows hits RTM.

The rest of the OS can't be updated? I guess Windows 8 is a huge step backwards then... And what's so special about being able to update apps?

.Neo said,

The rest of the OS can't be updated? I guess Windows 8 is a huge step backwards then... And what's so special about being able to update apps?

What he means to say is that App bugs fixes and new features can be pushed out on a whim, whereas the OS itself will need to wait for the second Tuesday of a month to get bug fixes, and the first service pack before any possibility of new features

andrewbares said,
Will they allow you to search the server for things past two weeks???

That feature is missing in Windows Phone and it really sucks...

yeah I know. MSFT as usual fails in the last mile. they build this amazing stuff but it all falls appart when you use it because of dumb restrictions like having search but only two weeks worth of it. Or when they have voice nav but you have to tap the screen after each way point.

retarded

andrewbares said,
Will they allow you to search the server for things past two weeks???

That feature is missing in Windows Phone and it really sucks...

I just tried it then, works fine. What are you whinging about?

neonspark said,

yeah I know. MSFT as usual fails in the last mile. they build this amazing stuff but it all falls appart when you use it because of dumb restrictions like having search but only two weeks worth of it.

Search queries like that can be forwarded back to the server if the data ia not local. This is a feature for all platforms, Outlook (desktop client) and devices.
At least... if they build search to query the exchange server. But obviously if you don't have a data connection you can only search the local content.

I'd like it if they'd be kind enough to add POP3 and IMAP support!
Or am I just not looking hard enough and haven't yet found the right place for that?

Jelly2003 said,
I'd like it if they'd be kind enough to add POP3 and IMAP support!
Or am I just not looking hard enough and haven't yet found the right place for that?

Maybe if you read the full blog posting you'll see that those two email protocol support are coming...

Jelly2003 said,
I'd like it if they'd be kind enough to add POP3 and IMAP support!
Or am I just not looking hard enough and haven't yet found the right place for that?

I'd like it if they provided support for Exchange that actually worked !!!

Depicus said,

I'd like it if they provided support for Exchange that actually worked !!!

The three exchange accounts (from 3 providers) I've tried worked fine :-/ What version of exchange are you trying to use? The Metro app connects as if it is a mobile device like an Android phone or iPhone, so if it works there, it should work in the app.

Depicus said,

I'd like it if they provided support for Exchange that actually worked !!!

I use Exchange 2010 and the mail app works just fine. It does have an issue of not updating the tile when I read mails on another device, but most mail apps I've encountered have that kind of problem.

TCLN Ryster said,

I use Exchange 2010 and the mail app works just fine. It does have an issue of not updating the tile when I read mails on another device, but most mail apps I've encountered have that kind of problem.

I have an on premise Exchange 2010 server, we use self signed AD certs and the cert is added on the win8 laptop. The WP Mail app works fine, and autodiscover is setup correctly - the W8 Mail app will not configure the account.

duddit2 said,

I have an on premise Exchange 2010 server, we use self signed AD certs and the cert is added on the win8 laptop. The WP Mail app works fine, and autodiscover is setup correctly - the W8 Mail app will not configure the account.

You need to import the ca certificate, providing you used an active directory ca to issue the certificate, if you joined the pc to the domain, this should automatically be done anyway, working fine over here.