Microsoft has reimagined and rebranded its existing Hotmail/Windows Live webmail service as Outlook.com, and the result -- a Metro-inspired, stripped-back client that's much more like the Outlook desktop client -- is impressive. We've long thought Hotmail was a solid email service, and certainly the best alternative to Gmail, but Microsoft steps its game up to a whole new level with Outlook.com.
Tagged With windows live
Microsoft tipped at the BUILD developer's conference last week that Windows Live and SkyDrive will have a big role in Windows 8. Windows Live users will be able to tie their personal computers and phones to Windows Live, log in to all of them with their Live ID, and let Windows Live manage their profile and application settings in the cloud.
We've talked about the importance of shooting photos in uncompressed RAW format before, but Windows never had any official support for RAW, making it mildly annoying to use the format. Microsoft just released a new Camera Codec Pack, however, that supports not just viewing, but editing RAW-formatted images in Windows Live Photo Gallery.
Microsoft has some cool products hiding behind ridiculously confusing names. Users of the very nifty Live Mesh file and desktop syncing beta, for example, were told their service shuts down in March 2011. Where should they migrate? Windows Live Mesh, of course.
Microsoft has released a new version of its Outlook Connector software for synching Windows Live email, contacts and calendars with its Outlook desktop mail client (2003 and 2007 versions are both supported). The main changes in this release are fixes to stop meetings getting their times shifted (yikes!), eliminate not handling calendars with more than 250 appointments properly, and not messing up MAPI connections used by other programs.
Windows only: Image publishing plugin LiveUpload to Facebook uploads pictures from your Windows Live Photo Gallery albums directly to Facebook through a simple menu option—so you can upload photos without wasting time. Once installed, uploading pictures from Windows Live Photo Gallery is easy—just open up the Publish menu and choose More Services -> LiveUpload to Facebook, which will launch a quick wizard that easily uploads your photos, picks the Facebook album and privacy settings, and can even match your Photo Gallery tags with Facebook tags—an impressive time-saving feature. LiveUpload to Facebook is free and open source, available for Windows only.
Windows only: Windows Live Writer, Microsoft's multi-platform blogging tool, was one of many Live Essentials apps that recently received a few upgrades, and they're really helpful for anyone writing on the web. Most helpful in this release candidate, for anyone writing a blog on Live.com, Blogger, WordPress, MovableType, or any other supported platform, is the ability to search through local drafts and published posts for text in any post, letting you get at older posts for editing and unfinished ideas quickly. WordPress.com and self-installed WordPress users get the same kind of auto-completing tags as on their site editors, and new plug-ins for Writer have been released that let you upload and link pictures from Flickr, auto-tweet your posts on Twitter, and do more. New to Live Writer? Head over to blogger Jared Goralnick's tips and tweaks for Windows Live Writer. The release candidate of Windows Live Writer 2009 is a free download for Windows systems only.