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November 30, 2005

Microsoft To Update 'Windows Live' Web Mail Beta

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Microsoft plans to release this week a new version of its Windows Live web mail that's currently in beta, the company said Wednesday.

The latest release, called "Milestone 4," includes better security against phishing and spam, as well as new features such as spell checking while a person types an email.

Code-named "Kahuna," Windows Live Mail stems from the Redmond, Wash., company's initiative, announced this year, to offer its software over the web as a service. Live Mail has a user interface similar to the Microsoft Outlook email client.

The improved security features include an automatic listing of incoming mail as "known sender," "unknown sender" or "unsafe." The user has the option to change the safety level of the sender.

Suspected email scams sent by phishers are accompanied by a warning that's highlighted in red, making it less likely a person would click on links in the message, Imran Qureshi, Windows Live program manager, said in a company blog.

The spell-check feature runs in the background and highlights spelling errors while a person types. Right-clicking the word gets a list of suggested replacements.

Other improvements in the latest beta include a new engine that searches message bodies, as well as subjects and addresses; and the ability to see as many as 50 messages at a time.

The new version also supports Firefox, Netscape and Opera browsers, as well as Microsoft's Internet Explorer version 6.0.

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