One of the really great things about Media Center is its extensibility model for adding new applications. One of the most requested has been an email reader/client and this update does not disappoint. Just as reading email on your cell phone is appealing to a number of us, there are times when you want to quickly catch up w/ your email. For me, it’s the times when my wife asks me to pause a movie or show for her to take a call. I’d like to quickly check my mail without having to
After receiving approval from the team developing the add-in, here’s a sneak peek at the upcoming release of the Hotmail add-in for Media Center. Currently under development, a preview release will be made available next week:
As you can see, the login screen is clean and readable. Email name is cached on login, however the user must enter the password on next login for. I expect this is because Media Center is often used in a shared environment. An on-screen keyboard displays making it easier to tap in with a remote, but I really recommend a keyboard at this point.
The inbox again is clean, and well styled for MCE, MSN and supporting 10′. I was concerned they might try to overload with features but as you can see, it’s easy to use. Sorry for the blurries- but privacy comes first for those who send me mail 🙂
As mentioned before, this first preview release will be a Hotmail Reader. That means you can catch up on your mail, but you’re not going to be able to delete/edit/reply via 10′. Personally, if I get an important mail, I’ll go back to my 2′ desktop and respond there.I understand expanded features will work their way into a later release. I’m encouraged to see the team releasing this earlier to get feedback rather than delivering monolithically and making minor updates over time.
Another thing I noticed is how fast this add-in runs. It’s snappy on my systems and should work fine on Media Center Extenders as well (such as the upcoming Xbox 360) ;).
Availability: I’ve been told the add-in will work its way into the new Media Center on Windows Marketplace catalog for free download next week. It’s clear last week’s releases were just the beginning of a new wave of goodness. Nice.