webDotWiz talks Windows Live

A daily list of links to interesting sites

Monthly Archives: March 2006

Windows Live Mail Desktop trial begins

The Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta have announced that the trial has started. There are only 100 testers invited at this stage but more will be added in the near future. Bink has some more details:

This week, Microsoft served up the first test version of Windows Live Mail Desktop, a free Windows program that will let users manage multiple e-mail accounts. The software is designed to work with Windows Live Mail, the successor to Hotmail that is also in beta testing.

The move is a shift for the Hotmail business, which in the past, has charged users who wanted to read their mail using desktop software rather than a Web browser. Microsoft charged $20 and more for its paid service. It’s part of the company’s broader Windows Live effort and could eventually serve as a hub, not just for Windows Live Mail, but for other Microsoft Web-based services as well.

In addition to working with multiple Windows Live Mail or Hotmail accounts, the new desktop software can be used to manage POP3 or IMAP accounts, potentially even Google’s Gmail, said Brooke Richardson, a lead product manager for the Windows Live Mail group.

Windows Live services summary

CNet has a summary list of all the Windows Live services.

A bit of fun with MSN search spoof

Go over to www.mymsnsearch.com and have a bit of fun getting search results for yourself or a friend. If you want you can tweak the results page then you can email the page address to others for their enjoyment. See what webDotWiz comes out as by clicking this link.

Windows Vista in Jan 2007 – Official announcement

Microsoft has officially announced that Windows Vista for consumers will be available in Jan 2007. Business availability will be Nov 2006. The news was released to ActiveWin.com and the official Microsoft press release, Microsoft Updates Windows Vista Road Map, explains in more detail.

Messenger do’s and don’ts

Nicole over on Inside Windows Live Messenger has a handy list of what to do and what not to do when using Messenger. Her post is too long to quote here so you’ll have to go over and read it – click here.

What happens in Australia on March 23?

Something special is due to happen tomorrow, Thu March 23, in Australia. A large number of people are very excited. We probably won’t be able to get in touch with them for days and days as they play their new toy.

Talking about Permissions & Friends

This post from Mike Torres (one of the members of the MSN Spaces team) along with a post from Dare (another MSN Spaces team member) titled Instant Messaging Networks vs. Public Social Networks explains why our MSN Space now becomes the basic central means for keeping in touch with family and friends. webDotWiz for the past couple of years has been promoting MSN Messenger as the basic tool for keeping in touch but with new features such as the Friend’s List (and more to come, e.g. Live Expo and Live ID) added to MSN Spaces that’s now changed.


Permissions & Friends

You may have noticed that in the Permissions drop-down for your space and profile/contact information, you now see options for "Friends" and "Friends of my Friends". 
As I referred to in a previous post, the Friends list is only available in Australia at this time.  But selecting these options won’t hurt you if your spaces isn’t in Australia.  Since you technically have no Friends in this case (sorry!) giving them permission to something doesn’t actually do anything. 
So why are these options even there?  Well, if your space has been setup in Australia the options are actually functional today.  But also because those options will soon do something for non-Australian spaces as well.  You’ll have the ability to have a "semi-private" space, only allowing people to view your content who are friends or friends of your friends.  You’ll also be able to do the same thing for your general or social profile information and your contact information.  Privacy and control are good things.

Setting up the RSS feed and Live Favorites list

You can see that webDotWiz has added an RSS feed from his sister site webDotTrainSim. Yes, ok, he could have chosen something else but why not promote himself?
To add an RSS feed, click Customize, choose Modules and click RSS Feed to add it to your Spaces page. While here, you might as well add the Windows Live Favorites module too – this enables you to share your favourite sites with your friends and visitors to your Space.
Remember to click Save before leaving the Customize page.
When you’re back at your home page, move the modules so visitors can see your blog entries and photo album.
webDotWiz suggests the webDotWizards try out the RSS feed module by adding a feed from this Space. The URL for the webDotWiz Space is http://spaces.msn.com/webdotwiz/feed.rss
When you start adding entries to your Windows Live favourites you’ll be taken to http://favorites.live.com. If you’re on your home computer you can import all your favourites from Internet Explorer. Otherwise you can add favourite sites on the Live favourites page. Note that you can right-click on each entry in your list and choose whether to share that site in your Windows Live Favorites list on your Space. You’ll find the list of sites in your favourites is a great way to share sites that relate to your interests and hobbies with your friends and other Spacers who have similar interests to yours.

How to setup your Friends List

Before we start, you need to note that friends are invited to your list and they must agree to the invite before they’ll appear on your list. It’s their right to accept or decline your invitation. Another thing – if you’re not sure how all this is going to work, restrict your invitations to just a few of the people on your Messenger contact list. Once you see how it works, you have the option of adding more friends later on.
  1. Click Customize to so you can add the Friends List module.
  2. Click Modules and look through the list for Friends List (beta). "Beta" simply means this new feature is being trialled. At the moment, the Friends List is only available for Spaces created by Australians in Australia.
  3. Click Friends List (Beta) to add the module to your Spaces page.
  4. The Friends List module will probably be placed at the top left of your page. You’ll want to move it. As a suggestion, move it so visitors can see your blog entries and photo albums when they open your Space. Put it under your Photo Albums, for example.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Now it’s time to add friends to the list. Click Edit list to bring up a new page and look for Add friends.
  7. The new page that opens gives you the choice of how you can add friends. The simplest way to start is to choose to pick your friends from the MSN Messenger list of contacts so take that option.
  8. Another new window opens to show the list of your MSN Messenger contacts. They’re all selected at this stage so untick the box at the left in the top heading.
  9. Now scroll down your list of contacts and tick the ones you want to add – just keep to six or seven at this stage.
  10. When you click Finish each selected friend will receive an email to invite them to join your list. When they accept they’ll actually be added.
  11. On returning to your Spaces home page you’ll see those you’ve invited. If they’ve put a photo or graphic with their profile, that’ll be displayed. Also note they all have an "Invited" status.
  12. Also notice the little "charms" at the top right of each display picture – one is the MSN Messenger icon we all know so well, the other is the "gleamer" to let us know when our friends have updated their own Spaces.
  13. Your friends list on your Space now becomes the base from which you make contact and keep in touch with your friends.

Windows Live Toolbar

webDotWiz is eagerly awaiting the availability of Windows Live Toolbar – it’s out there somewhere.