Wow!  Microsoft has been BUSY!!!  New betas for everyone to play with…

First up, and probably least important…  Windows Live Messenger 8.5.  Nothing I’ve seen so far ‘jumps out’ as gotta have features.  Nice upgrade, more Vista visuals, but nothing that is ‘can’t live without’.

Second, and this one is more important to me than the third, but for everyone else is probably least important, is Windows Live Writer.  This one gets a WOW! OMG! upgrade.  MUCH cleaner.  Better organized.  They fixed the annoying bugs in the editing window.  This is one serious piece of software for writing blog entries.  The fact that it’s free makes it even better.  Works with LOTS of different blog engines, not just the Microsoft ones.  Spelling is now inline, just like Word.  You will see me writing more entries just because this is that much more useable.

Finally, and this is a big one, Windows Live Mail.  This is something that EVERYONE who has Windows should download.  I’ve got to get this to my customers who have been BEGGING for a spam filter in Outlook Express.  This is a MAJOR upgrade to Outlook Express / Windows Mail.  Now, not only are newsgroups supported, but a feed reader has been built in.  It supports all types of email services, and best of all, NO GRAPHICAL ADS!  There are text ads if you use the Internet search feature, but one can turn these off by changing the view to disable Active Search.

One little side note about Windows Live Mail.  There is no direct way to import an OPML / XML feed list inside of the program.  There is an INDIRECT way to get it imported, though!  If one has IE 7, all one has to do is import the feed list into IE 7.  The feeds will then automatically show up in WLM… Nice!

Have fun with the new toys!

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