Thursday, 17 June 2010

The New Hotmail

Since the release of Gmail, Hotmail has felt dated and sluggish; with this new update we can say this no more. I won't go into the fine details of the update, but here are the best new features:

  1. Sweep: This allows you to delete all messages from 1 sender and to continue doing this in the future.
  2. 10 GB Attachments: Wowzers!! These are tied into your Skydrive account and for any photos, they appear as a slideshow within the account. 
  3. Content Within Emails: YouTube links appear as videos that can be played within the email and flickr links as slideshows.
  4. Tracking Numbers: Hotmail will automatically recognize a tracking ID and give you all of the information within the email.
  5. Office Integration: Simply put, it does an awesome job at working with Microsoft Office documents. 
The new update also makes Hotmail feel snappier. For a comparison of Gmail with Hotmail, head on over to Lifehacker

Photos in the new Hotmail

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Windows Live Documents Is Live!!

This past Monday, Windows Live documents was finally opened up to public use, and after spending about 1 hr using it, I'm thinking the big M should have spent some more time developing it. It's not that its a bad suite web app, its just looks and feels ancient, like its from 2008!

Signing up was easy and can be done with any email address which is great since I really dislike hotmail (even the name bothers me). The opening documents home screen is rather plain (see slideshow below) and documents can't be sorted but they can be shared and there is the option to edit them in the browser or desktop program. Also, your given a hefty 25 GB of space.

The first web app that I opened was Word which had basic editing features, but did not have features found in Google Docs or Zoho such as Find and Replace, Thesaurus, Equations, and so on. Also only images stored on the hard drive could be inserted and drawings could not be produced. Next on the list was the Excel Web App which again had basic features such as sorting and number formatting, but graphs can't be produced which is surprising since this is one of the basic needs of a spreadsheet user. Finally, I gave the PowerPoint web app a quick whirl. It had a decent selection of themes, again the formatting was limited and there was no option to created embedding code. Like the Word web app, only images stored on the computer could be inserted and there was no drawings feature although there is a Smartart feature that wasn't working. Windows Live documents also has a OneNote app, it seemed OK. 

The Windows Live documents suite is definitely meant for light editing, anything more serious requires a desktop program or another web office suite such as Zoho or Google Docs. The big M has a lot of catching up to do

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Demo Of Google Docs

Not everyone out there knows what "the cloud" or "Web 2.0" is and even with videos/images, people may still not know what the heck these terms are. Google tries to solve this problem for people curious about Google Docs by offering users the ability to use Google Docs without having a Google account. Curious users just have to visit to give it a whirl. This is not a game changing feature but will probably help increase the number of docs users. 

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Search Those Zoho Apps

Zoho added an "actionable" search feature to their productivity suite today. This allows a user to search across an organizations entire suite of Zoho products such as Zoho Mail, Docs, Writer, Show, Discussions, etc. It works the same as any search engine whereby users can search by keyword and results can be grouped (i.e. based on application). What's really great about this feature is that users can edit documetns, reply to emails, and update contact information within search. Zoho continues to push the envelope for web based office tools.