Exclusive: Hotmail Add-in for Media Center Screenshots

October 16, 2005

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:

MCE_Hotmail_V1_Web.jpg

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.

MCE_Hotmail_V2_Web.jpg

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 🙂

MCE_Hotmail_V3_Web.jpg

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.

11 responses to Exclusive: Hotmail Add-in for Media Center Screenshots

  1. 

    Awesome! I will also be looking forward to extended features such as delete, reply etc.

  2. 

    y a t’il moyen d etre beta testeur de ce plunging

  3. 

    Sean is that from a MSN team or a 3rd party?

  4. 

    MCE has actually made me enjoy computer "stuff" again. However, email integration is lacking. I don’t think a Hotmail plugin will do much for me. I would rather see generic POP or Outlook integration.

  5. 

    This application was actually designed and built by Studio UX and Ramp Technology Group. Our teams work together concentrating on solutions for 1-foot UI (Wireless applications), 2-foot UI (Web-based applications), and 10-foot UI (Living Room Media Applications). Another designer and I worked on this solution for Hotmail, as well as another new application from Microsoft and Flickr that users can use to view their photos, their friends photos, and groups photos.

    For more information on the design side, check out the Studio UX website: http://www.studioux.com/. To read about the technology side, go to Ramp Technology Groups site: http://www.rampgroup.com.

  6. 

    I think this application is rocking. It’ll really benefit me. I’m looking forward to it.

  7. 

    Okay Sean, where is it? It’s been 2 weeks now, we’re hungry for it already!

    @Matthew

  8. 

    I just checked and unfortunately it’s been delayed by a few bug fixes and the security process Microsoft uses to release software now. First time these folks have gone through it so it’s a little slower. Hang in there!

  9. 

    This is a fantastic application. I’ve been in the mode of ‘almost’ buying an HP Media Center (available in India), but thought that the price was too much to pay just for a DVR with a few other tools thrown in. The mail add-in is one of the reasons I would take the plunge.

    Will all new hardware come with this application as standard?

  10. 

    Thanks for the info Sean!

    Vinay: It probably won’t be "standard", but it’s quite easy to download it over at windowsmarketplace.com/mediacenter.

    @Matthew