webDotWiz talks Windows Live

A daily list of links to interesting sites

Monthly Archives: May 2007

Windows Live Messenger, Mail and Writer trial versions – soon

Liveside are indicating that new trial versions of Windows Live Messenger (version 8.5), Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Writer aren’t far away.

You’ll find a screenshot of Windows Live Writer here and a screenshot of Windows Live Mail here.

This is a screenshot of the contact list in the Spanish pre-release version of Live Messenger 8.5 which the Messenger Adictos people obtained (note that the version released for public trial could change):

You can get a glimpse of the redesigned chat window here and the sign-in window here (via Mess.be).


More new imagery on Live Maps/Virtual Earth

Another 11 terabytes of new imagery iss being added to Live Maps, as of May 23.

You can browse through the complete list of countries and cities on the Virtual Earth Developer Blog but here is a selection:

Hi-res: Toronto Canada, Queens NY, Saint Paul/Minneapolis MN, Cardiff, Briston, Swindon

Hi-res ortho of a number of U.S. cities, including Kansas City MO, Chicago IL, Pittsburg PA

Bird’s eye: some regions in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Finland, Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium

Higher-res satellite of many areas, including Canberra AU.

Live Earth – Concerts for a Climate in Crisis – free Madonna song download


On 07/07/07, seven concerts around the world will take place to bring the climate crisis to the forefront of people’s attention. Info about the concerts can be found at liveearth.msn.com and at liveearth.org.

Australia (Sydney) is one of the seven locations for the Live Earth concerts and you can get links to ticket sales, the performers and other info on the Australian Concert for a Climate in Crisis page. Australia will host the first of the seven concerts as the sun rises on July 7.

Performers at the Sydney concert include Crowded House, Paul Kelly, John Butler Trio and Toni Collete.

There’s lots of info on the Live Earth site, including a Community section from where you can download a desktop wallpaper for the Australian event (or, choose wallpapers for other countries as well).

Madonna has written a song exclusively for Live Earth, Hey You, and it’s a free download from the this page (note, it’s only available for limited time).

Othe official blog site for Live Earth is http://liveearth.spaces.live.com so subscribe to its feed and keep up to date. The site has got lots of simple, handy tips for saving energy and bringing more green-ness to the Earth’s climate. For example, see the short section titled Clean your (monitor’s) screen.

Microsoft Popfly ready

Popfly, at www.popfly.ms, will be the place to go to create gadgets for your Live Space, blog or web site. Or you can create a complete web site without having to worry about writing any HTML code or know about CSS styles. In other words, you don’t need to know anything, or have ever heard, about HTML, CSS styles, Javascript or Visual Basic code. You’re a non-developer who wants to add more to your Live Space, for example, but until now haven’t been able to find the right tool.

We’ll be able to do all this creative work interactively online by just connecting blocks that contain all the bits for us to bring in the data and logic we need, such as combining photos from Flickr onto a Live Map. If you want to make a game, then Popfly can do that for you too.

The Popfly Creator is the part to use to make all this sort of thing.

If you want to make some web pages for your own site, then the Popfly Web Page Creator is the tool to use. We’ll have 25Mb of space available for web pages. For those who love to deal with HTML and CSS styles by hand, that’ll be possible – even Visual Studio Express code will be handled.

Another part of Popfly is that all gadgets made in Popfly will be shareable between users (similar to how we can add gadgets to our Live Spaces) so it’s just a click to add someone’s Popfly gadget to your own Live Space.

At the moment Popfly is in trial mode and restricted to just 2,000 users. You can register your interest on the Overview page and take a place in the waiting list for an invite to try it.

Here are some pages to look at:

Popfly is going to be a real boon for all webDotWizards, especially the webDotWizard webmasters, since until now the art of creating extras for our Live Spaces and web sites has involved knowing how to use HTML and CSS code, topics that takes a long time to learn.

Whether you’re eight or eighty years old, you’ll be able to use Popfly and have a lot of fun doing so.

Customise your Space to your heart’s content – some things to do

The Live Spaces team have put together a good list of changes that can be made on our Spaces with a few simple steps.

It’s best if your read through The Space Craft entry where they cover how to change:

  • Themes
  • Add your own background image (and adjust the transparency of the modules on your Space so it shows through)
  • Moving your modules around on the page to your own liking
  • Removing the titles from modules and/or renaming your modules (except Friends) by clicking the little down-arrow at the top right of each module and then choosing Preferences.
  • Customising colours of text, headings, modules, and more. A word of caution, though – some colour combinations might result in un-readable text so take your time and make one change at a time to see its effect (when you make a change, you’ll see it immediately take effect behind the Customization panel).

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Flight Simulator X Service Pack 1 available

You can now download service pack 1 for Flight Sim X at FSInsider.com. This page has a brief summary of the fixes in the service pack.

While at FSInsider.com, check out plans for the expansion pack which will include multi-player air racing.

There are a myriad of sites for the FlightSim community – see a list here and one well-known that’s been around for a long time is AVSim.com.

Here are a couple of blogs from the Microsoft FS team that are worth keeping an eye on:

  • P-12C Pilot (has an interesting post about adjusting manifold pressure in the racing planes that will be in the expansion pack)
  • PTaylor’s WebLog

Windows Live Folders – nearly ready

Another Windows Live service is about to launch, according to posts from Liveside.

Live Folders will give us online storage for our files (up to 500Mb of space in the trial version Livside is guessing) for no charge.

Files and folders can be classed as private, shared or public so you can backup important files which nobody else can access. Or you may want to let friends (e.g., co-workers) download files from your Live Folder. The third option enables anybody to view and download selected files.

For some screenshots of the service and more info about the options for storing and sharing your files, see the Liveside post.

Keep an eye on your feed from webDotWiz to know when you begin using the Live Folders service.

The Live Folders site (folders.live.com) was up for a while but at this time, it’s down again.

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Via Bink.

There’s not much more info about Microsoft SharedView than on Bink’s post and the Microsoft download page. The link to the Windows Live Betas homepage doesn’t yet provide any further info either.

Anyway, here’s a snippet from the Microsoft ShareView download page:

Microsoft SharedView is a fast and easy way to share documents and screen views with small groups of friends or coworkers; anytime, anywhere. Use SharedView to put your heads together and collaborate.


More effective meetings and phone calls
Connect with up to 15 people in different locations and get your point across by showing them what’s on your screen.
Work together in real time
Share, review, and update documents with multiple people in real time.
Use anytime, anywhere
SharedView is easy to use, from anywhere, at a moment’s notice.

SharedView will be of great benefit for those working together on documents and helping others.

More info from webDotWiz as soon as he comes across it.

Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Mail are the official names

We already know that Windows Live Hotmail is the name that’s been decided on for the newly-released web-based email service that we used to know as MSN Hotmail (since 1996 or so). There were a couple of other name changes tried during the testing period but they’re behind us now and we can get back to simply talking about our Hotmail.

On the desktop, though, we’ll have to get used to a new name for the next generation email client to replace Outlook Express and Windows Mail on Vista – watch for Windows Live Mail to be available later in May.

Windows Live Mail will take in many features from Windows Live Mail desktop (WLMd). webDotWiz has been using WLMd for a few months, not so much for email (remember, email is for the oldies) but for the in-built feed reader (RSS) so the information comes to him rather than him having to try to visit  zillions of sites everyday (which is impossible, anyway) to keep up with what’s happening.

For a bit of fun, see the new features in Windows Live Hotmail on http://www.newlivehotmail.com/.

On the more serious side of things, see the It’s Here and the Fun Has Only Just Begun post on the Windows Live Hotmail team space.

Here’s a breakdown of what we can expect in the new Windows Live Mail (available in a few weeks as a trial version so keep an eye on http://get.live.com/betas):

Windows Live Mail will include all the great features that were available to you in WLMd (Windows Live Mail desktop), plus:

  • New and improved UI:  Cleaner design, and now with Aero support!

  • Setup and account migration improvements:  Smoother experience overall – you will now have fewer steps in order to get started with the client.

  • More parity with OE and Windows Mail:  S/MIME and LDAP support are just two of the features that we’ve been working on for WLM which will bring us more parity with our other free Mail clients.

  • Performance and stability:  The new product will be faster and more robust than WLMd.

  • No Ads:  Yes, it’s true – there will be no graphical ads in the WLM beta build.

There’s more info on the Windows Live Mail team space and Liveside has more info too.

webDotWiz will be one of the first to install Windows Live Mail as soon as it’s available (later this month?) so keep an eye on your webDotWiz RSS feed on your own Space and check http://wlmailclient.spaces.live.com from time to time.

Emoticons list for Live Messenger

Via Inside Windows Live Messenger.

Here’s a handy list of emoticons and the shortcut keystrokes for Live Messenger.

Right-click the pic above and use "Save As…" to save it then print it for handy reference. The size is about 390 x 940 pixels. If you don’t get a nice, clear pic from the one above, try the original at Inside Windows Live Messenger.