Microsoft enables Internet Explorer 9 desktop notifications for Hotmail

By Tom Warren, on 31st Mar 11 8:41 pm with 26 Comments

Internet Explorer 9 Hotmail notifications

Microsoft said on Thursday that it has completed its Internet Explorer 9 Hotmail notifications feature.

The new functionality allows Internet Explorer 9 users to pin Hotmail and receive mail notifications. The icon updates to show the count of messages that have been delivered since you last accessed Hotmail, it then clears when you access your Hotmail Inbox. “We’ve been working on taking the next step and supporting notifications,” says Hotmail group program manager Dick Craddock. “We’re finishing the release of this feature today…when you’re signed into Hotmail and you’ve pinned it, we’ll show you a notification of how many new messages have arrived since you last checked your inbox.”

The feature is similar to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 tile which dynamically updates based on the number of unread emails. Internet Explorer 9 users can now keep Hotmail open and keep an eye on their IE9 notifications to see when new emails arrive.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 includes an enhanced UI, HTML5 support, hardware accelerated browsing and some great security improvements. Microsoft has included Tracking Protection in Internet Explorer 9. The new privacy feature allows consumers to address their concerns about being tracked on the web. Internet Explorer 9 offers users a new opt-in mechanism to identify and block many forms of undesired tracking such as cookies, web beacons, advertisements and trackers. Tracking protection involves lists that can be published online. Microsoft’s second security enhancement is the ability to block ActiveX controls. Internet Explorer 9 includes an “ActiveX filter” option. The filter allows users to switch off ActiveX elements within their session, furthering Microsoft’s commitment to security within its browser.

The company also plans to bring its improvements to the mobile space. Windows Phone 7 will include a mobile version of IE9 later this year. The company will also ship regular Platform Previews to keep developers ready for the next versions of Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 9 is just the start.

  • http://twitter.com/IanMitchel1 Ian Mitchell

    I’ve always wondered — does IE9 require a window be open in order to update, or does it update when it is closed as well?

    • GP007

      I’m going to say open, I have FB pinned and i haven’t seen it show a notification unless it’s open.

    • Guest

      Thats because they dont do it for facebook it’s only hotmail

    • http://sjbn.co/ Saket Jajodia

      Its not working for Hotmail also..

    • Guest

      Thats because they dont do it for facebook it’s only hotmail

    • Anonymous

      I’m pretty sure the site would have to be opened. Think of pinned sites as separate applications. The application can’t tell you if you have new e-mails (or whatever) if it isn’t running. Obviously, it can be minimized to the task bar, but it does have to be running.

    • http://cid-280a1538334a1cb9.profile.live.com/ Seika

      IE is just doing passive role in the pinned site notification, not pooling the server automatically. At one side, it doesn’t absolutely require server side code.
      It receive signal from scripts in the running web page and overlay notification icon when told to do so. But it can’t do that with site not loaded. Maybe if IE is running a background service for the notifications.

  • Anonymous

    This would be fantastic if Hotmail actually moved to an imap capable system. Until it does, I’m sticking with gmail and outlook.

    • luckydube

      Hotmail is essentially stripped down Enterprise. If setup correctly acts identical to IMAP.

    • Anonymous

      It’s still not good enough, because I can’t setup a gmail imap account in hotmail. The service only allows for a POP3 user name.

    • http://twitter.com/ryanburk ryan burkhardt

      hi remarkingmark, why do you want IMAP? thanks

      ryan burkhardt
      hotmail

    • http://twitter.com/ryanburk ryan burkhardt

      hi remarkingmark, why do you want IMAP? thanks

      ryan burkhardt
      hotmail

    • Anonymous

      Because I don’t like the idea of only pulling data from my account, I want also to be able to push data to my account. For example, let’s say I have outlook hooked up to a POP3 account on both my netbook and my desktop. Now let’s say I use my netbook and download whatever e-mails are on my account. Then later I shift to my desktop and download the same e-mails. If, while on my desktop, I decide to delete an e-mail, the desktop will know, and the account will know, but my netbook will have no way of knowing. Over time, this makes for two very disorganized collections of e-mails.

    • http://thommck.wordpress.com Thom McKiernan

      Outlook and the Hotmail website are 2 different things.
      Outlook does support GMail IMAP accounts.
      Hotmail allows you to send and recieve stuff from a gmail account?
      If you are using another computer you can use the websites.

    • Anonymous

      Of course outlook and hotmail are two different things, but where is the motivation in pinning hotmail to my taskbar instead of just using outlook (or windows live essentials mail, or thunderbird)? The motivation is in the fact that I don’t have to install an additional program and that my interface will be the same regardless of what computer I am on. Well, that motivation only goes so far when pinning hotmail to my taskbar (in order to use it as an e-mail client like outlook) doesn’t accomplish what it needs to accomplish.

      You’re looking for reasons to implement IMAP, but I don’t understand why. It’s a superior protocol versus POP3, and it gives users a broader range of options with how they use the service. So what’s the motivation in NOT implementing IMAP?

    • http://twitter.com/dadgeek ryan burkhardt

      the way I understand it is: the problem you are trying to solve is using outlook on one machine and having your mail actions there (mark as read, deleting, etc) reflected in other experiences you might use (windows live mail, web, other instance of outlook, etc).

      if that is correct, this works today when you use outlook connector. outlook connector doesn’t use pop3 to connect to hotmail, so all of your actions are sync’d to the cloud and will be the same across experiences. it is something else you need to install, but you had to install outlook anyway so hopefully it isn’t too big a step to add it as well.

      I hope that helps. thanks for the feedback.

    • http://twitter.com/ryanburk ryan burkhardt

      the way I understand it is: the problem you are trying to solve is using outlook on one machine and having your mail actions there (mark as read, deleting, etc) reflected in other experiences you might use (windows live mail, web, other instance of outlook, etc).

      if that is correct, this works today when you use outlook connector. outlook connector doesn’t use pop3 to connect to hotmail, so all of your actions are sync’d to the cloud and will be the same across experiences. it is something else you need to install, but you had to install outlook anyway so hopefully it isn’t too big a step to add it as well.

      I hope that helps. thanks for the feedback.

    • http://thommck.wordpress.com Thom McKiernan

      I think this has gone slightly off topic. Most Hotmail users have no idea what gmail is, let alone IMAP.

      I agree IMAP is superior to POP3 and I’ve no idea why the don’t implement it. I guess it is something do with getting Gmail’s label based structure linking properly with hotmail’s folder structure.

  • mike

    I think you would need to treat it like an application. Open the window and minimize it just like you would Outlook.

  • trashoner

    I don’t see this working so far. Here is a picture of my desktop today with an unopened email, 1 mail in inbox, and no numbers on my hotmail icon taskbar. I wonder if this works if I use the taskbar with small icons…

  • trashoner

    hmm, I tried it with small taskbar and nothing….

    • http://www.goldentao.net David

      Overlay icons aren’t visible when using the small taskbar unfortunately.

    • Syrious1ne

      fix it! I can’t stand those huge icons on a 12.1″ laptop screen

    • Cdoss3

      thanks for mentioning this. i was wondering for 2 days why this wasn’t working.

  • veldar

    nice i like it :D

  • http://thommck.wordpress.com Thom McKiernan

    I pinned this to my taskbar the other day and was suprised to see it not working.
    You would think Hotmail would have got this working from IE9′s launch day. It’s not like they didn’t have enough time to test!
    Better (a little) late than never :)