After months of waiting (after several attempts registering my hotmail id for beta, including once in PDC ’05) I got a invite in my Hotmail InBox for Windows Live! Mail. I will leave the details out for you to try, but I found the experience to be much superior to anything you have used before – including Gmail/Yahoo/Outlook Web Access.

Windows Live Mail (Beta)
Copyright 2006, Microsoft Corporation

Last week, Microsoft relaunched beta of Windows Live Search. Though I like Google and Yahoo’s simple search result interface and find it extremely usable during searches, I guess at times you need something more than “Google’s One Size Fits All” vanilla white UI. I feel this to be the precise spot that Microsoft is targetting with its new Live Search service.

Windows Live Search
Copyright 2006, Microsoft Corporation

What I liked in the new service is its intelligent use of scroll bars in your search results page – no more you need to keep moving between previous and next pages; instead you can keep scrolling and the results keep adding at the bottom. Also useful is the new zoom in and zoom out capabilities which works for both search results and for images.

These new features of Windows Live search are by no means perfect, but they clearly show that there is enough scope for Search vendors to innovate. If I were to be Google, I will concentrate on doing just this and not spread myself too thin going after Microsoft in every space!

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