Microsoft has announced the availability of 3 Windows Live products today, all of which are beta.
Windows Live Mail is the free consumer client Microsoft will invest in moving forward. It is a superset of existing free clients and will replace Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail desktop beta. While it used to be a paid feature, Hotmail customers can now access their account for free in Outlook 2003 and Windows Live Mail.
Windows Live Writer is a blogging tool that has been available in the US since August of last year. The tool was very well received by US bloggers at launch since it provides increased product functionality for Windows Live Spaces users and it also allows publishing to many of the largest blogging products in the world.
Windows Live Messenger 8.5 will also go out with a largely back-end update, but includes feature updates such as new look and feel in sign-in and conversation window, new emoticons, and integration with Windows Live OneCare Family Safety.
Download: Windows Live Writer Beta 2
Download Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta 1:
US (En) | US (Es) | GB (En) | India (En) | French | German | Spain | Chinese (Simplified) | JapaneseDownload Windows Live Mail Beta:
US (En) | US (Es) | GB (En) | India (En) | French | German | Spain | Chinese (Simplified) | JapaneseScreenshots: Messenger 8.5 Beta 1 Gallery | Writer Beta Gallery
View: Messenger Blog posting | Mail Blog Posting
Additional information about Windows Live Mail:
This client service is similar to Outlook Express and Windows Mail software but is optimized to work with Windows Live Hotmail and other Windows Live services. Windows Live Mail beta is designed to work with Windows Live Hotmail, providing a similar UI and familiar interaction model. The client will offer additive features to Windows Live Hotmail, made possible by bringing together client software with services including things like offline mail and account aggregation.
- Offline mail
- Windows Live Hotmail account aggregation
- Additional account aggregation for POP and IMAP mail accounts
- RSS feed aggregation
- More advanced photo-sharing capabilities
- More advanced search via integration with Desktop Search
- Additional safety (AV scanning, anti-phishing, anti-spam protection across aggregated accounts for customers who do not have an AV product)
- Additional integration with Windows Live services including Spaces