Hotmail is dead! Long "Live" Outlook

So, last week Microsoft launched, a refresh/relaunch of their webmail service. replaces existing Hotmail and Live user interface, beefs up the service and even gives users the opportunity to change their email domain from to
I've been using both through a new email address and with my existing Live account, so here are my impressions almost a week in.

The user interface, once you have either signed up or agreed to have your existing Hotmail/Live use the new UI, is clean. At launch, everyone was referring to the UI as the Metro one.

Metro UI is the design language/style used by Microsoft for their smartphones (running Windows Phone), the Xbox dashboard and on Windows 8. Later in the week, news broke of the fact that Microsoft staff and partners have been explicitly told not to use the term Metro UI, due to threat of legal action from Metro AG, a German retail group. Until Microsoft come up with a replacement name for their UI, I'll call it Metro UI.
My Winodows 8 Start screen. I call it Metro UI.
The clean UI on is a definitely better. The larger, more readable fonts and cleaner screen seem to be snappier than the now clunky Hotmail webmail. Media, such as images and video, can be set to open automatically within the email itself and images can also be viewed as a slideshow too.
An email with an image as an attachment.
A gallery view of the image attachments.
From the webmail page you can also chat with your MSN/Windows Live chat buddies, integrate your Facebook chat and soon you will be able to make and receive Skype voice and video calls. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Skype from compares to Google Talk from Gmail.
I have refrained from transferring my Live account over to the domain because of all the other services tied to my Live email address, mainly Xbox Live and my Windows Phone Nokia Lumia. Apparently switching your address to an one can break those services and accounts. is obviously not finished yet. Clicking on the logo in the top left corner of the page, you get to switch from your webmail to other services such as People (contacts), Calendar and Skydrive. People is using the Metro UI design language, but Calendar and Skydrive are still using the old Hotmail/Live UI. I look forward to seeing how those services behave using the Metro UI.
Metro UI switcher to the other account services.
My email address synchronises perfectly with my Nokia Lumia 710, and it is as good an experience on the Windows Phone platform as Hotmail was. Essentially, nothing is new there. On Android, you can add an email account to the Hotmail application and get your email on the go there. My personal view on the Hotmail for Android app: it's pants, don't bother trying!

This webmail refresh is a good start for Microsoft, I like the shinily simple UI and service. Is it enough to win me over? Currently I'm locked into Google's services and webmail service, GMail, so it will be tough for Microsoft to do so. Check back in a few months time and see if I have changed...

These are the views of an Android fanboy, bear that in mind. As usual, feel free to leave comments and/or questions below.

Farewell Google Wave!

This morning I received a sad email from Google which outlined the closure dates for Google Wave.

Waves will all be switched to read-only on January 31st 2012. Wave services from Google will be switched off on April 30th 2012.

Here's the complete email I received:

Dear Wavers,
More than a year ago, we announced that Google Wave would no longer be developed as a separate product. At the time, we committed to maintaining the site at least through to the end of 2010. Today, we are sharing the specific dates for ending this maintenance period and shutting down Wave. As of January 31, 2012, all waves will be read-only, and the Wave service will be turned off on April 30, 2012. You will be able to continue exporting individual waves using the existing PDF export feature until the Google Wave service is turned off. We encourage you to export any important data before April 30, 2012.
If you would like to continue using Wave, there are a number of open source projects, including Apache Wave. There is also an open source project calledWalkaround that includes an experimental feature that lets you import all your Waves from Google. This feature will also work until the Wave service is turned off on April 30, 2012.
For more details, please see our help center.
Yours sincerely,
The Wave Team
It is sad for me to see the service Wave off into the sunset (pun intended). I'm sure Gina Trapani, author of the now freely available book The Complete Guide To Google Wave, has already come to terms with this.

Farewell Google Wave, best of luck in your new incarnation as Apache Wave.

You can still read Gina Trapani and Adam Pash's The Complete Guide To Google Wave here.

As usual, feel free to leave comments and/or questions below.

Nokia Developer Forum Website Hacked!

I just got an email from Nokia Developer regarding a security breach at

Here's how it reads: 

You may have seen reports or received an email from us regarding a recent security breach on discussion forum.
During our ongoing investigation of the incident we have discovered that a database table containing developer forum members' email addresses has been accessed, by exploiting a vulnerability in the bulletin board software that allowed an SQL Injection attack. Initially we believed that only a small number of these forum member records had been accessed, but further investigation has identified that the number is significantly larger.
The database table records includes members’ email addresses and, for fewer than 7% who chose to include them in their public profile, either birth dates, homepage URL or usernames for AIM, ICQ, MSN, Skype or Yahoo. However, they do not contain sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details and so we do not believe the security of forum members’ accounts is at risk. Other Nokia accounts are not affected.
We are not aware of any misuse of the accessed data, but we have identified that your email address was in one of the records accessed, though it contained none of the optional information, so we believe that the only potential impact to you may be unsolicited email. Nokia apologizes for this incident.
Though the initial vulnerability was addressed immediately, we have now taken the developer community website offline as a precautionary measure, while we conduct further investigations and security assessments. We hope to get the site back online as soon as possible and will post developments there in the meantime.
If you have any questions on this, please contact
The Nokia Developer website team.

Nokia Developer site hacked, and I didn't even get a Nokia N950 running MeeGo. Bad JuJu Nokia!

Please rectify the problem and send me a Nokia N9 and/or your first Nokia device running WP7 please! ;-)

Virgin Media Email: Rebadged Gmail

Here's something you may not know: if you have a Virgin Media email address (ending you actually have a rebadged Gmail address.

The user interface looked very Googly...

I found this out because I subscribe to Virgin Media's excellent cable broadband service and recently started using one of the email accounts that come with my subscription. The user interface of the webmail service looked/felt very familiar (Googly...). There was also the tell-tale "Copyright Google 2011" bit at the bottom of the page.

Just to confirm it all, I tried adding my email address to my Gmail client on one of my Android smartphones. It works perfectly and also synchronizes my contacts with the account.

You can add your email account to the Android Gmail client.

So if you are a Virgin Media subscriber and you are getting a new Android device and you don't have a Gmail account, there is no need to set one up. Your @virginmedia email address will be ideal for setting up and using your new Android device.

Feel free to leave comments/questions below!