It looks like Microsoft has reinvented their Hotmail/Livemail again. This time going with Outlook.com
My initial impression, I am very impressed. It is a very clean setup. My initial complaint, it doesn’t work with Opera, but hey, that isn’t Microsoft’s fault. It works with the other browsers I tried (IE, FF, and Chrome).
To say the UI is clean is an under statement, it is very minimal. Being a minimalist myself when it comes to UI design I love it. There are some things to get use to though.
For example, switching around to things other than email. Currently in Live you can see things right there. In the new look you have to click on a little drop down arrow next to the word Outlook on the upper left. This will show a bar with tiles you can click: Mail, People, Calendar, and Skydive.
Chat is easy to get to as well. In the upper right is a smiley chat looking face. Click that little guy and the chat interface comes up. The cool thing about that, it hides the ads.
There are some other things that I do hope Microsoft will improve. While moving around to the other areas my chat remained for Mail and People. Sure there was a color change; mail is blue and people is red. Going to Calendar is basically the normal calendar, no chat. Sky Drive is basically normal using the old style chat.
For me when I went to Sky Drive my chat was empty. I had been having a conversation with my wife. When I went back to Mail and People it remained empty. Now, initially going between Mail and People it kept it, so perhaps going to Calendar cleared things out.
In summary, so far so good. Some room for improvement but I like the direction.