Windows Live: When User Safety Gets Annoying

Around a year back I had done a post titled 5 Things Hotmail Needs To Fix, unfortunately there has been no radical change in Hotmail so far except the new login page. I’ve been using Windows Live Mail since its release and never really bothered with the security settings in there, I’m no security freak to be honest, if I were I wouldn’t connect to the Internet. I use the Hotmail web interface whenever I don’t have my PC with me and there have been several occasions when I’ve been presented with an error saying that I cannot add the sender to the Safe Senders list. Here’s a screen shot of the error:


So I have a limit of only 500 users that I can add to my “Safe Senders list”.

a) Why?

b) I never really added 500 people to my Safe List so how did I hit the limit?

c) There’s a ‘c’ too but I’ll come to that a bit later.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer to the first question, but to the second one, I do. As I said I use Windows Live Mail, I was poking around the Wave 4 build I went into the Security options and voila! I noticed a check box that said:

Automatically add people I email to the Safe Senders list

*facepalm* moment? And I don’t know what happens when I’ve sent emails to more than 500 unique people from Live Mail.

Now this is where my problem is – I’m using two Microsoft products and well they’re essentially tag teaming to make my life difficult! I really don’t see the point of having a 500 entries limit to the Safe Senders list and I certainly don’t want that check box if there’s a limit!

Now to the ‘c’:

If you notice there’s another message in the above screen shot – about images/attachments. I keep getting a similar message on Windows Live Mail as well. Here’s when it really gets annoying, each time I receive an email from twitter about a new follower, it won’t show any images! I need to go the profile page to see whether the girl is hot or not! To be honest, it’s all the more annoying when it’s a bot. Anyway the point the being, the message of not showing images and having a limit and having to add a legit user to a Safe Senders list so that you can view the images is frustrating. Wave 4 is around the corner and for some reason I’m not too optimistic about this being taken care of, not that they can’t.

Talking about absurd and unnecessary safety messages, Internet Explorer is another software that keeps showing arbitrary “this is to protect you” messages. Case in point – a friend who uses MobileMe told me that he can’t download email attachments, when I looked at the issue it was an Internet Explorer warning that wanted him to add an exception which would reload the page and then he could download the attachment. IE has quite a few of these warnings. Of course they can be turned off but for that I need to configure IE while the other main stream browsers don’t have this particular annoyance (they have their own).

Windows Vista’s UAC comes to mind and I am a strong advocate of UAC but at the same time I want the software I use to be smart enough not to annoy me and increase the number of clicks or the time to configure it, in Windows 7 UAC achieves that.