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I signed up to try the Beta test of the next generation of Hotmail, dubbed as Kahuna and officially called Windows Live Mail. I had heard good things about it. This release is the first major upgrade to Hotmail is years and is in direct response to the release of Gmail by Google (although it is nearly two years behind). Yahoo also recently starting beta testing their new mail client which is supposed to be absolutely awesome. I look forward to checking that service out as soon as I’m invited.
So I log on to the new version and I immediately notice the white background. Most of the page is white. I don’t like that much. Also I notice that it defaults to this “today” page straight away which was present in the previous version of Hotmail, and is just a jump page before you get to see your mail and a place Hotmail have used for big adverts in the past. I would have thought that in a redesign the first thing to drop would be the today page. But apparently not (luckily it is removable through a user script). Next thing I see is it’s telling me I’m using the wrong browser. Internet Explorer is need to experience all the features. Ok, it is only in beta I’ll try it in IE…
(…to be continued but I can give you the bottom line now: I’m not going to lose the art of conversation just because Hotmail’s got a new white background.)
Read the full story, and see Part 2 now.