It's been almost two weeks since Windows Live Mail "broke". I'm not sure exactly what is broken (they don't say) but every time I open the Live Mail page in Internet Explorer I see this same maddeningly uninformative message:
And, just so Firefox users don't feel left out of the party, there's a special version waiting for you (my emphasis added):
You may have noticed that some of the new features in Windows Live Mail Beta have gone missing!
Well, you’re right. We hit a couple of bumps with our most recent release, but we’re working hard to bring back the great new features.
In the meantime, we’ve restored the service to the prior release so that you can keep using Windows Live Mail Beta.
For all you Firefox users out there, this means that you’re getting our Classic Hotmail experience again. Don’t worry – we’ll get your new Windows Live experience working as soon as we can!
This is all new stuff we’re doing so we appreciate your patience while we work the kinks out.
So what's up? Making any progress? How hard can it be to update this message to give us clueless users an idea about where you stand in the apparently lengthy process of "working the kinks out"?
Note to the Windows Live Mail team: Online services that are critical to someone's ability to communicate need to be reliable and inspire confidence. HotMail has been around a long time but this latest incarnation has been uninspired to say the least from an end user perspective. The drag and drop experience is profoundly broken. The UI is so cluttered with ads that even on my wide screen Tablet PC I can't see the message I'm reading well with all the blinking and flashing going on around it. The service is completely disconnected from the rest of my life since I can't bring HotMail, er... Windows Live Mail into Outlook 2007 without buying a premium subscription (no way given how this thing is performing right now).
It's a beta -- right, I got that. But this particular offering has been so "one step forward, two steps back" that it makes my teeth hurt. If Microsoft wants to be taken seriously as a purveyor or SaaS, Web you-know-dot-oh, or whatever buzzword you prefer this week, they're going to have to do a lot better than this.