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Hotmail Beta

Friday, October 6th, 2006 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help
 
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Q:
I had a link in my Hotmail account yesterday about a new mail beta. What’s that all about?

A:
I’m glad you asked, because I noticed the same thing in my account the other day. I didn’t have time to check it out then, but since you brought it up, I decided to research it. E-mail clients are always looking for ways to improve their programs and Hotmail is no exception. With this being in the beta form, it means they’re giving it a “test run” before they make it final.

With this beta offer, Hotmail wants you (their e-mail customers) to try it out first for them. They then want you to let them know what you think about it. After you’ve worked with it for a little while, you can give your feedback to Hotmail so they will know what they can change to make it better. Or, if you like it the way it is, let them know and they’ll take your comments into consideration. There’s nothing like getting involved, is there?!

This new feature is called Windows Live Mail Beta, so even though it doesn’t have Hotmail in the name, don’t be confused. The whole thing is being done by Hotmail. If you want to try it out, you can be one of the firsts to take advantage of the new features and all it has to offer. Below is a list of some of the new things that will be available.

  • There will be a reading pane, which will give you a preview of every e-mail you receive. You can also go back and forth between your e-mails without having to open a new window for every single e-mail. With just one click, you can see the entire e-mail and be done with it!

  • The next new item is an info bar. This is designed to help you with spam e-mails and possible phishing attacks. With the info bar, you can “zap” (as they say) those e-mails off the face of the Earth!

  • Do you use your address book every time you go to write a new e-mail? Well, with the new address autocomplete feature, it will be even easier. You can start typing in an e-mail address and it will automatically pop up. It will show you all of the addresses you have with the few letters that you typed, but just click on the one you want and the rest will disappear. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

  • The last feature they’re offering is an extended storage area. If you decide to use this new e-mail program, you will be given 2 GB of space for your e-mails. Now, that’s a lot of space! With that, you can hold an umpteen amount of pictures and messages.

Now, if this sounds good to you, getting started is easy. Just log in to your original Hotmail account and look for the green link in the top left hand corner. It will say “Sign up for the mail beta.” Click on that and you will be taken to a page that explains everything to you (pretty much what I already went over with you). Scroll to the bottom of that page and you will see the agreement policy. You can read the privacy and service agreements if you want as well. Just click on their links to check it out.

When you’re done with that, you can either click on the “Join Mail Beta” link or if you’re still not sure you want to try it, click on the “No Thanks” button. When you click to join, you’re automatically agreeing to accept all their terms, which shouldn’t be a problem! You will then go through a little introduction and a profile setup. After that, you’ll be taken to your e-mail inbox. All of the new features are ready for you to use, so take advantage and then give your feedback. Go for it!

~ Erin

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