Yup, I barely noticed either. The new Windows Live Hotmail is officially out of beta today (18 months later). I switched over to check it out and, yes, there are a few new features worthy of note.

1. The mailbox has been doubled in size to 2 GB.

2. It's prettier, a more elegant interface, that you can customize a little. I say a little, and mean it. It's a drop down menu with a dozen or so color choices. I picked orange as an homage to my beloved University of Texas. For that reason, I would have appreciated a darker sienna burnt orange, rather than that lighter other-UT shade of orange.

3. It now includes an option to include a view of what's actually in the email without opening it. Some people hate that feature, because they're afraid someone will read over their shoulder before they have a chance to click off. You don't have to use the feature. I happen to like it, because I work from home and like having a peek at the contents before I commit to opening it up.

4. If your hotmail account is a secondary account that you rarely check, no worries. Old Hotmail deactivated automatically after two months. The new Hotmail does not.

5. Uh, hmmm.. I think that's about it.

It's a nice upgrade for hotmail. But it doesn't exactly live up to the Live part, which is supposed to be the new web 2.0 version of hotmail.

I could also do without the American Idol and Nokia ads that take up 25% of the workspace.