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Thursday, 4 November 2010

Windows Live Essentials 2011. Windows Live Mail.

I have used Windows Live Mail as my only method of writing and sending out emails since its first appeared many years ago, and I consider it unequalled in its ease of setting up your email accounts, requiring no knowledge whatsoever by the user of any settings.  Windows Live Mail copes with just about everything that you need to read or access on your computer and does so in an easy to use format and now that it has received the ribbon interface, its even easier to use because all the most important features that the average user is likely to need  are presented in readily available icons across the top ribbon needing just one simple click to access.

Reading and Writing your emails.

Once you have set up your email accounts in Live Mail, they are all available separately in the left hand sidebar. I prefer this method to having all of your emails from all of your accounts lumped together in one place I feel its far easier to  access and read them when they are kept separate. You can even give each email account a different colour to distinguish them even further. As you can see from the screen grab, Windows Live Mail works with all the major email providers such as Hotmail, my ISP, Gmail and also, and it needs no input at all from the user in order to set up each account apart from your email address and password. There is absolutely no need to remember complicated settings with Windows Live Mail! Nor do you need another program in order to access your Hotmail account in the way that Outlook does.

My Email Accounts and the handy ribbon

All of the features or items that you are likely to need when reading or writing an email are easy to access from the Home ribbon icons. and include Email Message, Photo Email and Items in the New area of the ribbon, Junk and Delete, Reply, Reply All and Forward in the Respond area, Add to Calendar, Unread/Read, Move to, Flag, Watch Encoding, Copy to, Copy and find and included in the Actions area, the Tools area contains Send/Receive and also Work Offline and finally your Windows Live Account complete with your current Avatar.


You can read each email from the Home page of course or you can double click on an email from the list which then enlarges the email viewing window and allows you to read through your emails without having the sidebars present. Simply read the first email, reply, delete, etc, and then using the large blue arrow keys on the ribbon, move either back or forward through your other email messages. All of the relevant items that you might need to use are again readily available from the ribbon interface above the reading area.

Conversation View

New to the 2011 version of Windows Live Mail comes Conversation view, where you can collapse all your messages with the same subject into one expandable line as with the new online Hotmail. So no more cluttered looking inboxes!  And don’t forget that by using Windows Live Mail, you can access all of your email whether you are online or offline.

WLM showing conversation view

Photo Emails.

Want to send some photos to your family or friends? Even if you have lot’s of photos you need to send,  from a holiday for example or a family event, there are no problems doing so in Windows Live Mail! Simply choose Photo Email from the ribbon, select all the photos that you wish to send, and they will be added to that email message in a  very attractively displayed Photo Album inside the email.  Not only that, but they are sent in a compressed form so that you can include as many photos as you like even in  high resolution, and your recipients inbox will not be overloaded. They can then view them as a slideshow once they are received.

Photo Album

RSS Feeds.

I often have said about Windows Live Mail that it let’s you access everything but the kitchen sink on your desktop and nothing is more truer than its use of RSS feeds. Why bother trawling the internet to read a news article or one of your friends blogs or webpage when you can let Windows Live Mail bring them all down to you?. This really does make life so much easier and is one of the first things I do when logging onto my computer is to  read both my emails and my RSS feeds. My favourite RSS feature is Windows Live Mails ability to allow you to view all of your RSS feeds as a full webpage so that you view it as it appears online.

Reading a blog RSS feed in Windows Live Mail

And don’t forget that most webpages and blogs use RSS feeds.

Slim Cal.

One of my favourite features in the new version of Windows Live Mail is the Slim Cal feature. You can have this set to show on the right hand side of your emails as a constant reminder of this weeks events so that you don’t forget them. You can also quickly insert a new task for today or event at the bottom of the Slim Cal. This new feature could almost be tailor made for absent minded me! Now I have no excuse whatsoever to forget someone’s birthday or an appointment as they are all there to see whenever I read my emails!

Showing Slim Calendar

For me personally, Windows Live Mail makes my life so much easier. Its the first program I open after booting up my computer and I rely on it to both keep in touch with family and friends and also any news, webpages or blogs that I want to read. It’s so easy to set up and use for any type of user, from the novice to the expert. I love it and in my view it just keeps getting better and better each time its updated.



  1. You know, TG, I think our old friend, Curtis wrote about this a few months before he died. I need to go back and look at that. I do remember he said that he'd never noticed at the top of WLS the drop down that had all these features to set up by just a click. He had gone on to say that if he'd known about that before, he never would have used anything else. Sounds like what you're talking about here. I've been on my old email system (NOT outlook which I hated)for so many years that I've not gotten off my duff to try something new. You're making me think. I swear, I just love all the info you post. Wish you could clone that mind of yours and pass a little piece of it over to me, lol. It's golden :D

  2. I'm afraid I may have to wipe my hard drive and do a clean install. I had problems with this laptop when it was only a couple of months old and Dell tech support did a reinstall of their image of my system. Ever since I've had trouble installing a lot of Microsoft's upgrades (IE8, IE9, all of the Live 2011 products). I really don't want to do it but I just may have to. naturally, this thing is out of the extended warranty now so this will be painful.

  3. Thanks Jenny but I don't think you would want it (my mind I mean.) Rocket Man, which operating system is it? Windows 7 or Vista? I often do a clean install as your computer can get so bogged down with files etc. Bit drastic I know, but nothing like a good spring clean now and again! Good luck with it anyway.

  4. I just love the new calendar sidebar. I now right away what coming up even though I have reminders sent to me.

  5. Yes so do I Carrie! Its such a wonderful way of getting the next weeks reminders always 'prodding' you as I am so forgetful. And don't forget that you can quickly add a new 'quick reminder' at the bottom.

  6. Thanks for Sharing this information with Us...unique and very informative content it has....keep Writing!!!

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