2 different Windows Live Bar headers – one is awesome, one is bad

When I saw the new Windows Live Bar UI, for Windows Live 2.0 and beyond, I was pretty impressed. The bar look appealing, and simple. The bar looked consistent enough. The bar was awesome.

But now that I’ve see the Windows Live Bar UI on several sites, I’ve realized that it’s not always the same. In other words, the bar is not always consistent like it should be.

So here’s a look at Windows Live Bar header 1 :

               

And then there’s Windows Live Bar header 2 :

            

Obviously, #1 is better. Why? Well :

  • The orb actually brings out a lot of functions and links to other Live Services.
  • The "Home" "Hotmail" "Spaces" and "OneCare" buttons on the bar are more button-ish.
  • There’s a search bar right there (albeit with the ugly search button, instead of the spyglass icon)
  • Includes your account sign-in on the right

So it’s essentially Header 2, but with much more capabilities.

So why does Windows Live bother having 2 different headers? When Header 1 does the job so well?

Well, that’s probably somewhere up in the Windows Live teams’ heads. It just makes sense to me to keep Header 1 as the consistent Live Bar UI on all Live sites.

But of course, Windows Live is still kinda new, Microsoft employees will eventually get it, and it will all work out in the end. : )

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