One of the most exciting parts (aside from looking much nicer than its predecessor) is that it integrates social networking feeds (including Windows Live!) right into the page. You can see what’s going on with your Messenger friends on the Windows Live tab, as well as look at your latest mail from Hotmail, see your Facebook newsfeed, and follow what your friends (or the prince of spam) are saying on Twitter.
Some casual testing also reveals it to load about twice as fast as the current version. I still think more options for customization would be good (I certainly don’t need so much Entertainment news), but the addition of local content and a local edition are cool.
All in all, a nice new look for one of the most visited sites on the Internet.