Well Windows Live Essentials Beta 2 was released yesterday, at last. They’ve done a hell of a lot of work and so far it seems to have paid off.
Windows Live Messenger
They’ve changed the interface quite a lot. It’s a bit more user friendly now, and a few new visual effects make life easier. The pop-up alerts (eg for someone signing in) are now somewhat transparrent and look that little bit more classy. They’ve also made warnings such as “[contact] is Busy and may not reply” removable and the warnings only appear for a few seconds. That’s good thinking. On top of that it is generally a lot faster and it isn’t stamped with Beta everywhere anymore.
Windows Live Mail
Very much the same – upgraded, cleaner interface which is much easier to use. Few bug fixes and other niggly bits. They have replace ‘Send and Receive’ with ‘Sync’.
The rest of the software suite has changed slightly. Overall, its cleaner and quicker making it much more user friendly and usable.
If you’re using Beta 1 at the moment you should have already been alerted that beta 2 is out, but if not, grab it here: http://download.live.com/
Give it a go and post what you think in the now online comments section below.