Before I get started, let me say this. I’ve tried the “wave 3” Windows Live toolbar, I liked it. But it is still a work in process. I’ll try again once it gets out of beta. Luckily Microsoft has another toolbar up it’s sleeve, that should catch your eye. The MSN\Window Live toolbar is amazing. Built on Silverlight technology, it looks good as well as being a powerful toolbar.
I don’t usually pay that much attention to MSN. But this toolbar made me sit up and go whoa! It’s simple and easy to use, but it is also a powerful thing to have around. MS would do well to make this the default “Windows Live” toolbar. So what is this toolbar? Its a one click portal to everything you might need on the web. On one hand it’s a quick & easy news source. It’s News source is Microsoft’s & Universal’s joint venture MSNBC. Which is a nice balance between far far left CNN…..& far right Fox News (just had to put that in there).
A nice touch, when there is a significant news event. The News tab will glow bright red and pulsate until you click it.
Example, when I woke up this morning. It was glowing red, to tell me that Wachovia Bank was being bought out by CITI group. These updates are instant and dynamic.
It’s a great news toolbar, but flip (literary!!) to its other side and its a portal to Live search from anywhere.
This feature is killer, unlike Google’s toolbar. It allows you to refine you search in any of the above categories.
Of course it wouldn’t be complete with out a link to the online Window’s Live services.
I’ve gotten so used to it, that it is now the only way I click through to spaces\hotmail. The UI is so simple and intuitive that it makes using & getting to Window’s Live a breeze.
Something else I love, The dynamic weather icon you can see in the right hand corner. Press it to bring up your area’s forecast.
As you can see the UI & effects are simply beautiful. You can also view stocks, but who in the right mind would want to do that these days!
So there you have it, an awesome toolbar for IE. This toolbar is free and available from
There is one thing that I would add to this toolbar. Spell Check!! add that and I could delete my Google toolbar for good!