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.

Rugby World Cup 2011 Android App

This is an excellent app I have been using to follow what is going on (early in the morning for me) at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

The RWC 2011 Android Application is available for free in the Android Market (here's the link). The Homescreen to the application is simple enough: six buttons which take you to the main sections.
Match Centre

My favourite and most used sections are the News one and the Match Centre one. Here you can follow matches live (as I have on my way to work a few times), read the latest news and keep up to date with events in the southern hemisphere at the RWC.

In the video section you can also watch highlights (or depressing video evidence of defeat) from matches (beware, it can be very data intensive). The Team section lets you interact with other fans, find out more about the stadia used and New Zealand as well as purchase match tickets.

Well, I had better get back to the second quarter final of the day. France are beating England at half time.

Jeff Jarvis' Public Parts Now Available

It's a book we've been teased with many an episode on This Week in Google... Public Parts by Jeff Jarvis is now available to order from, to download as a Kindle Edition, and to download as an audiobook from Audible.

I downloaded the Public Parts audiobook (read by Jeff himself) last night and have been listening to it while walking in the autumnal sun today.

So far I have thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook and will have to make sure I read the paper edition with a bottle of something to play the Chipotle-Habermas-Glee Drinking Game. In the audiobook I have already caught a mention of Chipotle...

I'll post my full impressions once I've read the hardback copy which should arrive in the post on Friday.

As well as listening to Public Parts, this evening I will be watching This Week in Google (with Leo Laporte, Gina Trapani and Jeff Jarvis) live on I think it's a Jarvisian day. Or is it a Jarvite day? Or even a Jarvisite day?

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