Today my application to be a beta tester for Microsoft Windows Live WiFi has been accepted, and I have eagerly installed the software on my Windows XP laptop.
Here is a screenshot showing the Windows Live WiFi Center.
Spanning the area across the top, you would see a dashboard-like display indicating the wireless network name ("Home" in this example), duration of the connection, a padlock icon to indicate if the connection is secure, a heart to indicate if the network is tagged as a favorite, and the signal strength.
The Managed Network tab is showing all of the wireless networks I connected to. It can show me which networks I last connected to and I can tag certain networks as a Favorite.
Here on the Available Networks tab, you could see the status of the available networks including the one im currently connected to. Details such as the signal quality, security type (im on WPA2-AES, so dont think of going near my place to freeload on my wireless internet ), and other details.
In the Find Hotspots tab, you could perform a search for wireles hotspots.
Surprisingly, it could search hotspots in the philippines – including AirborneAccess, Globe Wiz and free access! Clicking on the hotspot details, you would be presented with a dialog box which would show more information about that individual hotspot like if the location has food, bevarages, restrooms, smoking and power outlets. Wow! Bad thing is, the data is not updated :(. It also has a feature that can show driving directions through using a Map powered by Windows Live Earth. But its useless because there’s no road detail for the Philippines yet.
This looks to be a promising and essential software for most of our road warriors running on Windows. But I belive that it is very important for them to update the wireless hotspot database for it to be really useful. Another important feature I havn’t tried is its capability to secure connections on unsecured hotspots like in coffee shops, restaurants and airports using VPN technology. I hope to try it soon once i find myslef in the nearest Starbuck’s or, my new favorite, Coffee Bean & Tea leaf.