Microsoft is finally starting to tout the first of their upcoming "Wave 3" Windows Live products and services:

You depend on Windows Live Hotmail to keep up with the people you care about most. Well, we've listened to your feedback and have some new features coming that'll make it even easier and more fun to stay in touch.

Faster than ever. It'll be up to 70 percent faster to sign in and see your e-mail.1 Of course, along with more speed, you'll get powerful technology that deflects spam and helps protect you against viruses and scams.

Simpler, cleaner design. We're combining the classic and full versions of Hotmail, so you get access to everything Hotmail has to offer. The reading pane will let you check out your e-mail without having to open it up.

Put more you in your e-mail. New themes and colors will let you design the look of your inbox, so your personality can really shine through.

Closer to your contacts. Just start typing in the "To" line and you'll get a choice of e-mail contacts that most closely match what you've typed. Plus, it'll be even easier to e-mail groups of people.

Cool stuff coming soon. We've got even more great updates to Hotmail for you to look forward to, like ever-increasing storage2, the ability to IM right from Hotmail, and new calendar features that make it easier to share your calendar with family and friends.

Hotmail is improving, but will be the same in ways you love

Sure, the updated Hotmail will be faster and better. But, we've listened to your feedback, so you'll get the best of both worlds. That's because we're keeping the features you've come to know, love, and use every day. Here are a few of the things that won't change:

  • Your login
  • Your e-mail address
  • Your contact and distribution lists
  • Ability to get your e-mail anywhere you're on the Internet

As always, LiveSide.net is on the scene with more information.

Thanks Alex Q.