Using Windows Live Mail

Windows Live Mail is the successor to Windows Mail, introduced with Windows Vista. Windows Mail, in turn, replaced Outlook Express, the e-mail client and newsgroup reader that was included with Microsoft Windows XP and other earlier versions of Windows . Windows Live Mail provides numerous improvements over its forebears. Among them

• In addition to Hotmail accounts, Windows Live Mail supports other popular web-based e-mail systems, including Gmail and Yahoo! Mail. And Windows Live Mail brings mail from all these sources, as well as POP3 and IMAP e-mail accounts, into a unified inbox.

• You can send high-resolution photos to e-mail recipients—without overloading the recipients' inboxes or clogging their slow internet connection . Windows Live Mail embeds photo thumbnails—optionally enhanced with caption text, templates, and picture frames—in the message. If you create the message while you're signed in to Windows Live Mail with a Windows Live ID, the photos in the message can be linked to full-size images on a website. Windows Live Mail also includes basic photo-editing tools for touching up photos before mailing.

• Content feeds from sites that support Really Simple Syndication (RSS) go directly to folders in your inbox.

• Windows Live Mail is tightly integrated with other Windows Live programs, including Windows Live Messenger (you can see when your contacts are online, for example), Windows Live Writer (you can start a blog post from an e-mail message), and Windows Live Photo Gallery (you can use it to view photo attachments).

Windows Live also incorporates contact-management and calendar functionality that used to be supplied via separate applications in Windows Vista .

Windows Live Mail and Windows Live ID Accounts

A Windows Live ID isn't required for using Windows Live Mail. However, certain features are available only with a Windows Live ID:

• You must be signed in to Windows Live to send photo e-mail messages—messages that simultaneously send to your recipient thumbnail images and a link to full-size images on a Windows Live server.

• Various instant messaging functions—including voice calls and text messages to mobile phones—are available only when you're signed in to Windows Live.

• You can publish a blog post from Windows Live Mail only when you're signed in to Windows Live.

• You must be signed in to Windows Live to view your online contacts list—the same one that you see if you use a web browser to view your Hotmail account. If you're not signed in to Windows Live, your local contacts list, which is completely independent of the online list, appears.

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