So a bunch of my buddies at work updated their blogs with the exciting news that the new http://home.live.com page just launched. and normally, I’m pretty jazzed when we ship new stuff. I like the Windows live products (spaces and search obviously) and since http://www.live.com loads pretty slow, I figured that this should be a pretty decent improvement. And on first glance it looks great.
Then I tried to use it.
Where shall I start? The header is really nice. I get the weather and date. Of course I have moved since setting up my passport long ago, so the wrong city shows. I can change that fine, of course that change doesn’t follow me from machine to machine, so I have to figure out how to make that permanent. The rest of the header matches spaces, so that’s cool. How about the body of the page?
The first section is Hotmail, with a little Ajax control that never loads, then an ad for messenger. Now I would expect this ad to know if I am running messenger at the time, and change what it shows if I am. It doesn’t. Then there is a ad for MSN contacts, which links to an error page.
Below that are two controls that mirror the Spaces Home page, Updated Spaces and My Blog. Those work and are really useful. Right next to it is a blank space that I cannot figure out how to fill.
The third section has more ads. Specifically for Onecare, Skydrive, and then a bunch of smaller crap. None of these seem to detect if I have these services, like the blog controls do.
To top it off, the title bar for each of these sections has little tools on them, and the tools exactly match the modules in each section. That’s right, the top section has the email module, IM module, and Contacts module, and just in case you miss those, there is a little Email, IM and Contacts button directly above them. What fresh hell is this?
I know that a lot of people that I like worked very hard on this, but I hope that this is some kind of public beta or something, because it is a fucking embarrassment. This page adds no value to me as a user. It’s basically a collection of ads and redundant links. the Spaces home page http://home.services.spaces.live.com is similar, but a million times more useful. it has views, friends, blog entries, messages, and the toolbar links aren’t redundant.
Sorry guys. What bends me out of shape is that we all work too hard to be shown up by shoddy work like this. If it isn’t good. Don’t ship it.
Oh, and I’m still watching that Hotmail ajax control spin, sucking up CPU cycles.