Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

Archive for February 2009

Some observations on Social Desktop from Microsoft Research

with 3 comments

“Another thing to note about Social Desktop is that you sign-in to it using a Windows Live ID. That’s very fitting because if ever there were a technology synonymous with with the words “windows” and “live”, Social Desktop is it!”

If that piques your interest then read more at Social Desktop extends REST to your desktop.


Written by Jamiet

February 23, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

It seems not everyone is enamoured by Hotmail’s new Quick Add feature

with 38 comments

As least not judging by the comments on my blog entry Hotmail Quick Add:

  • I would like to know how to close the "Quick Add" pane
  • how do I get rid of the Quick add pane? please help!!!!
  • I too LOATHE this new feature and desperately want to get rid of it. Help please.
  • I have kept hotmail since its inception over all other emails for the simple fact it "had" a wide viewing / compose area and the main reason I suggested and referred it to all my friends who used other forms of email. This has ceased until we have the option to remove Quick add
  • "Quick Add" is one of the most annoying useless waste of space options I have seen, ever. Can "Quick Add" pane be closed, removed, deleted, never to be seen again?
  • I totally hate its wasted space too and also want to get rid of it.. HOW?!?

I must admit I am rather surprised that there is no option to remove it.


Windows Live Tags: clubhouse, hotmail, story, feedback

Written by Jamiet

February 23, 2009 at 9:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

What can you do with your Windows Live ID – #9 Host near Hi-Def videos

with 2 comments

[In this series of blog entries I am exploring what else you can do with your Windows Live ID other than access Windows Live products and services. See the complete list of posts in the series here.]

Many people know about YouTube as a means for hosting videos, some of you may even know of other sites such as Soapbox or Vimeo. What is less well known is a service that is accessible using a Windows Live ID called Silverlight Streaming at http://silverlight.live.com.

What differentiates Silverlight Streaming from other video hosting services is a combination of the following:

  1. It provides near-HD quality video streaming
  2. It uses Silverlight to play the video rather than Flash
  3. It is managed using your Windows Live ID (hence why I’m writing this blog about it)

By way of example, below is a video that I have uploaded to Silverlight Streaming and am now embedding into this blog post. Its a talk I gave at work fairly recently highlighting some of the forthcoming abilities of Live Mesh.


[If you’re reading this via a blog reader service or product then you may need to head to http://jamiethomson.spaces.live.com to see the video.]

If you are uploading videos that you want to embed into your blogs then don’t forget to give Silverlight Streaming a try, you may be pleasantly surprised.


Written by Jamiet

February 20, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Twitter Fail Whale!

with one comment

The Blu user experience just gets better and better! Even failures are something to look forward to!http://silverlight.services.live.com/invoke/57578/TwitterBlufailwhale/iframe.html

Blu is a desktop Twitter client for Windows Vista and Windows 7 computers. Get it from here: http://www.thirteen23.com/experiences/desktop/blu/

[If you don’t see the video click through to http://jamiethomson.spaces.live.com]


Written by Jamiet

February 18, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

New Today screen makes Hotmail the world’s best social inbox!

with 12 comments

Some changes to Hotmail are hitting our internet browsers today. One of them, Quick Add, is already known about however a nice surprise awaits for anyone that uses Hotmail’s Today page. Essentially what we now see is a cut down version of http://home.live.com comprising our What’s New feed, headlines from MSN and network suggestions.

There are some differences though that are both subtle and engaging:

  • Rather than our entire What’s New feed we see updates only from those people in our Network listed as favourites.
  • There is a link called “Surprise me” which shows what’s new updates from a random selection of your contacts
  • Upcoming birthdays are listed
  • We see suggestions for people that could be added to our network rather than a link to another page to see those suggestions
  • There is a small space for Microsoft to show messages to users so as to educate them as to what other things are available on Windows Live


There is another surprise waiting for us too. Upon sending a mail we see what’s new updates from those people that we have just emailed if they have chosen to share their what’s new feed with us.

Overall I’m quite impressed; I was genuinely pleasantly surprised to log on and see this today. Moreover, I’m excited to see whether or not friends of mine that use Hotmail currently will be more drawn into using other features of Windows Live;  I would expect these new features to be VERY compelling when Facebook updates start appearing on our What’s new feed as well.

N.B. If you don’t see the Today screen when you log onto Hotmail then simply head to http://mail.live.com and click on “Today” in the bottom left hand corner.


Windows Live Tags: clubhouse, story, hotmail

Written by Jamiet

February 17, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

What can you do with your Windows Live ID – #8 View office calendars online

with 4 comments

[In this series of blog entries I’ll be exploring what else you can do with your Windows Live ID other than access Windows Live products and services. See the complete list here.]

If you’re one of the millions of people that uses Microsoft Outlook you may be interested to learn about a little-known feature that allows you to store and view your Outlook calendar online without even having Outlook open. Outlook now allows you to publish your calendar to Office Online.

Its a simple process to set it up. First, in Outlook, click the Calendar tab:

image Hit the Publish My Calendar… link:

image Fill in your publish settings (including how often you want to sync with Office Online) and hit OK:


Upon uploading your calendar for the first time you will be prompted to enter your Windows Live ID. This is the ID that Outlook uses to identify itself to Office Online which is the service that hosts the calendar. Once you calendar has been uploaded you can view it online by heading to http://office.microsoft.com/ and clicking on the “My Office Online” link:


Hit “Outlook Calendar sharing service”:


and finally the link to your calendar (notice that you can upload multiple calendars)


to see your Outlook calendar online in all its glory



All made possible by Windows Live and your Windows Live ID!


Windows Live Tags: clubhouse, how-to, windows live id

Written by Jamiet

February 16, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Microsoft My Phone won’t use Live Mesh

with 5 comments

My Phone doesn’t use Microsoft’s Active Sync (licensed to Apple, Google, Palm, Nokia etc) or Windows Live Mesh. It’s a dedicated consumer-oriented solution – Alex Reeve, Microsoft UK



Written by Jamiet

February 16, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized