Pin Hotmail to Windows 7 taskbar- Hotmail gets IE9 jumplist

One of the coolest feature of IE9 is the pinned sites. That is, you can launch your favorite web pages from your task bar with a single click, so the web sites are like any other app with jumplist  on your taskbar. Now web sites are taking advantage of this feature and designing their sites to provide links and even player controls.

When IE9 beta was released ,they had demoed Hotmail as example for pinning to taskbar. But at that time Hotmail jumplist  was not available to users. Now it has been updated and Hotmail also has jumplist. As you can see it includes Inbox, Calendars, Contacts, Send email.

HM pinning to IE9-2z

To pin the Hotmail to your taskbar, Sign-in to  Hotmail, click the Hotmail favicon (icon to the left of the web address in the address bar) and drag it to the taskbar.  Do this while in Inbox, sometimes if you are in Hotmail Home Page, it may not work correctly. Once the icon is dragged to taskbar, Right click on it to get the jumplist. Remember if you have saved the password and when you click the icon later, the Hotmail will open . So its upto you to make Hotmail ‘Remember password ‘ or not.

The same thing when I tried with Gmail, got this – 

GM pinning to IE9z

Gmail not yet taking advantage of this cool feature. May be in future it may also provide it.

Also note that once you pin any site/Hotmail to the taskbar and when you open it, the website icon appears at the top of the browser, so you have easy access to the website home page. The Back and forward buttons also gets the color to match the color of the icon. Very cool !

HM pinning to IE9-1z


GM pinning to IE9-1z

If you haven’t yet installed Internet Explorer 9 Beta yet , get it from Internet Explorer 9 Home

The Hotmail updates have been rolled out to all now, so you can try out this and many other cool features.

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Can not sign-in to Twitter Notify plug-in in Windows Live Writer

If you use Windows Live Writer, most probably you also have twitter Notify plug-in installed. Don’t get surprised, as twitter notify plugin starts requesting for sign-in credentials from today and it doesn’t work even if you provide with username and password. That’s because twitter today has changed the way you sign-in to twitter. And it doesn’t notify that you needed to update.

Twitter Notify has been updated to work with Twitter’s latest authentication changes by Live Writer team today . You have to just install it from Windows Live Gallery and it’ll start working again. You can get it from here.



Thanks to the tweets from Windows Live Writer and ABomb88 for letting us know.

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Improvements in Windows Live Essentials 2011 beta refresh

Microsoft released an update to  Windows Live Essentials 2011 beta .  Its being called as Windows Live Essentials 2011 beta refresh, some are also calling it as Beta2. Acting on the beta feedback and usage of millions of users, the Live team has come up with many improvements across Messenger, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Writer, Mail, and Family Safety.

Let us check some of the many improvements –

Messenger –

A quicker Messenger – The time it takes to sign in, and to refresh contacts and social feeds, as well as animation speed, are all faster than in previous versions of Messenger.

More efficient video chat – Messenger video chat uses 30% fewer CPU resources by offloading work to the GPU.

Facebook chat in Messenger – Messenger now connects Messenger’s ~300 million customers (who are already connected to Yahoo! Messenger and Office Communicator) to Facebook’s ~500 million customers with Facebook chat . With the new Facebook chat integration, one can chat with all the Facebook friends.








Also check step by step article on enabling Facebook Chat feature– “How to chat with your Facebook friends from Windows Live Messenger


Movie Maker-

Flickr video publishing – You can now publish videos directly from Movie Maker or Photo Gallery to Flickr too. Also notice the new logo for the SkyDrive.



Larger movie uploads – Movie Maker will upload higher resolution movies to SkyDrive (480×640 vs. the previous 320×480).


Higher bit-rate movies – Movie Maker now supports higher quality (bit-rate) content.


Snapshot – With the new Snapshot feature in Movie Maker, you can select a single frame from a video as it appears in the preview window and add it to your movie. This allows you to quickly grab an image that you want to keep or perhaps use for your movie’s intro or closing.




Mail –

Better handling of Gmail – Mail now automatically handles Gmail’s spam and trash folders properly.

Photo Album improvements- Faster Photo albums uploads. Better indication as to where you can add additional photos to your album.  Live Mail also has some UI to set of a Photo Album expires after 90 days or not.






Family Safety –

Faster web filtering – Family Safety web filtering is 35% faster than in the previous version.


Photo Gallery

Better facial recognition – Photo Gallery facial recognition is improved significantly and works more quickly.

Quick previews and improved tree view – Added preview capabilities to the “Find” tab in the ribbon. So before you apply a filter (date, rating, people tags), you can hover over one of those filters and see the results instantly.









Writer –

Better spell-checking

Writer has significantly improved the quality of its spell-checking.

Better integration with Office

Writer is much better at retaining all formatting when you copy and paste from Word and other Microsoft Office programs. With Office there is a lot of CSS on the clipboard that will not be needed in the blog post.  If it was pasted it would really bloat the post.  Now Writer has a good compromise of pasting what you need to keep the formatting.  Bullets/numbering, heading styles, etc. all should paste better when copying from Office into Writer.

Jumplists –

Now Live Writer has jumplists on Windows 7.  Right click on the application icon in the task bar and you will see jump list entries for recent drafts and recent posts.



Open Drafts and Open recent Posts on the application menu



Post draft to blog button on the ribbon

As many of the Writer users requested this feature, the Writer provides it. As the users said they post a draft to their blog and then directly go to the web to actually publish the post from there. So now they can do this easily.



Much better theme detection

As WordPress has changed over the years Writer has not kept up with the theme changes.  Live Writer is back on par and can accurately detect all current themes from WordPress including their new WP 3.0 theme Twenty Ten.  The theme detection changes are not exclusively for WordPress.  Writer will now work a lot better with the new custom Blogger themes also and should work better for really any blog server you use.  WYSIWYG is much better in Blogger now.Though Writer still cannot detect themes for blogs marked as private on servers such as WordPress.

Also has theme related options on ribbon.



Updated spelling dictionaries

It now have the same ones that are included with Office 2010.  Live Writer will have updates for all languages that it is released in.  It also has an updated autocorrect list that matches the English list in Office 2010.

Photo Album improvements- Faster uploads of Photo Albums.

More keyboard shortcuts

There are more keyboard shortcuts which should soon appear as help topic on the web.


So, overall there’s an improvement in the quality of the software and over 75% of reported bugs have been fixed. As I have started using it, I can feel the improvements. One of them being the Face detection in Photo Gallery which has improved a lot, all of the products load faster, nice splash screen animation etc. And the improvements are an ongoing process and Essentials keeps improving, looking into users feedback.

And apart from English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese, you can also now get the beta in Russian or German. So get the Windows Live Essentials 2011 beta refresh today and give it a try. Windows Live Essentials beta refresh requires Windows 7 or Windows Vista.


(Source: Inside Windows Live, Aaron’s Live Writer Blog )

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Forward messages in the New Hotmail to any mail account now available to all – Restrictions removed

As many of you have noticed, the recently upgraded Windows Live Hotmail allows you to forward your Inbox message to any other mail account and this is available to all including free regular accounts. Earlier there were restrictions where one could forward the message only to an email address that ends with, , or is part of Windows Live Custom Domain. And this was available only for paid accounts of Hotmail Plus.

This is what we used to see in the earlier version of regular Hotmail account –


(Click to view larger image)


Now with the New Hotmail this restriction is removed. And you get this –



To get to this option, sign-in to  your Windows Live Hotmail, Click on options > More options…  NewHMFwd1

and click on ‘Forward mail to another e-mail account’ to get the ‘Forwarding’ Window and type the mail ID to which it has to be forwarded.


So this is great news for all Hotmail users as this option is made available for all.

Windows Live Tags: clubhouse, Hotmail, forwarding, wave4, Free


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Bing homepage Visual Search Gallery

Couple of days back I came across a tweet from Michael Schechter, Senior Program Manager of Bing. That was very interesting, he had provided a link for Bing Homepage images searched via Bing’s Visual Search as Bing introduces its Bing homepage Visual Search gallery

Click on the above link to get Results. Else go to  and enter ‘bing homepage images’ in Search box , click on Search. And then Click on ‘Visual Search’ tab.

Bing Community has also Blogged about it.

As you know Visual Search from Bing is still in beta, it provides the search results arranged beautifully in the form of images. Already many categories of Visual Search are available. And this, Bing Home page images provides all the Bing Home Page images displayed daily on Bing.  At present it only includes images of the year 2010.



The best thing is the kind of filters it provides. You can get to see the images filtered according to  –

Countries ,  Regional groups , Categories, Sub categories, Colors, Seasons

You can sort them by date (Oldest to newest or vice versa, or by name

Editor’s Picks and many many more.  Try it to experience it.

And you can double click on any image to get more info and also you can get Zoom in option to get a bigger image, though not the size of image we get to see daily.




So if you have missed any image (you get to see a weeks collection on the Home Page) just do a Visual Search . Now you can go back through previous homepage images to see what you’ve missed or revisit old favorites

If you are not getting the results, please change the location to US from the top of the Bing Home page.


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7 Wonders of Windows 7 website

Check out this new interactive Windows 7 website- 7 Wonders of Windows 7 – very nice way to learn about Windows 7 .



(Hat Tip- TheWindowsClub )


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