Specifically Windows Live mail..
It has sort options for use with newsgroups that do not work the same way as they used to work. For somebody like me who is trying to help multiple people with problems, I used to have ‘conversations’ set (it used to be a separate setting), sort by newest date, and messages I had flagged at the top of the list.
In Wave 4, if I decide to sort by SENT, the posts are shown in date order and in ‘conversations’. Posts on the same subject as the OP will be kept as sub entries. If I try to sort by FLAGGED or WATCHED, conversations appear to go to the wall, and what I then see is a mix of posts from all different questions. If you then try to get all flagged messages at the top, date order and conversations.
For reasons only known to the developers, SENT and CONVERSATIONS settings have been inextricably linked. Now, if somebody answers an old post from a year ago, it will show at the top of today’s lists until a later post, regardless of thread, deposes it. Sorting by any other means than SENT(conversations) leaves the rest of the message listing like a loose pack of cards which has been thrown into the air.
Windows Live Messenger
The Wave 4 version opens up across most of the screen, a third of which is the friends list, the rest being space for social networking/sharing. Fortunately, there is a button on the same ‘level’ as the ID which reduces the size to compact view. In my opinion, the compact view should be the default. It saves the ‘OMG, what have they done?’’ feeling after it is initially started up.
The rest of the package
It’s OK. The ribbon has made it to Live Mail, Live Writer, Live everything except Messenger. I like the ribbon, and I can live with the rest of the Live package.
It is not possible to mix and match Live essentials versions. I wasn’t able to install the earlier and way more acceptable Windows Live Mail while still taking advantage of the good features in other elements of Windows Live. Sadly, MS do not have the best record for fixing issues to do with their free email clients. As a result, I have uninstalled Wave 4 until such time as I can find a newsreader replacement which works for me..