Coffeehouse Thread

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Your thoughts on Hotmail?

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  • User profile image
    nic

    Hey Niners

     

    How many of you use Hotmail?

     

    Like it: what do you like? Don't like it: what elements need work?

     

    Given last nights blog post outlining details on some of the new WL Hotmail features coming in "Wave 4" (...like 10GB per email for attachments... HOLY CRAP!??) I thought I'd check in to see what you all thought of the new features and whether or not you had any questions for the Hotmail team.

     

    Context: http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_live/b/windowslive/archive/2010/05/17/re-inventing-windows-live-hotmail-the-next-generation-of-personal-email.aspx

     

    Let me know here in the Coffeehouse and I'll include them in a piece I'm shooting later this week.

     

    Cheers -Nic

  • User profile image
    Minh

    I don't like Hotmail

     

    #1 It's so 1995

     

    #2 The spam filter sucks. I currently have 14 e-mails in the Junk folder & 3197 in my Inbox. Seriously? I don't even remember the last time I saw one in my Gmail Inbox that I considered spam.

     

    #3 The calendar sucks. Once I set up a recurring event, I can't change it's category. G Calendar does. I use it to set up a reminder to pay bills. Unpaid bills are colored red. Once they are paid, they turn green But Hotmail Calendar won't let yo do this.

     

    #4 Too little too late. Is Hotmail 10x better than Gmail. Clearly not. Hotmail lost me a long time ago. I'm not going to switch.

     

    #5 When Hotmail switched to the Ajax pages, it was noticeably slower than Gmail. It actually seems decent now. But then again, not 10x better than Gmail.

     

    #6 Flash ads

  • User profile image
    elmer

    I only sort of use it... via Outlook Connector.

  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    This one is not specifically a Hotmail issue as much as a Windows Live issue... But anyways, it would be nice to eliminate the postback parade when authenticating with a Live login and transferring between Microsoft online sites.

     

    EDIT:

    Oh yeah, and IMAP support, search integration with the Windows7 search menu.

     

    -Josh

  • User profile image
    Charles

    Thanks for asking, Nic!

     

    A couple of things:  

     

    Ajax - too much?

     

    Explain how Hotmail will leverage HTML5 - it's the future of the web, right?

     

    C

  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    Charles said:

    Thanks for asking, Nic!

     

    A couple of things:  

     

    Ajax - too much?

     

    Explain how Hotmail will leverage HTML5 - it's the future of the web, right?

     

    C

    I see nothing wrong with sites implementing AJAX to ensure that features are presented in a way that is expected. What I do have issue with is encountering a synchronous operation, when I expect that operation to be asynchronous. For me that is much worse than dealing with postback lag and the following page redraw. Sometimes you see as a crutch, a spinning circle of AJAX death, to fill the awkward gap between when something should happen and when it does. If your users/clients are seeing that, something is broken.

     

    -Josh

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    I agree with Minh. Well on two points. The spam filter sucks. Really really sucks. And the ads are too intrusive, but then that's the same in all live platforms, messenger included.

  • User profile image
    Charles

    JoshRoss said:
    Charles said:
    *snip*

    I see nothing wrong with sites implementing AJAX to ensure that features are presented in a way that is expected. What I do have issue with is encountering a synchronous operation, when I expect that operation to be asynchronous. For me that is much worse than dealing with postback lag and the following page redraw. Sometimes you see as a crutch, a spinning circle of AJAX death, to fill the awkward gap between when something should happen and when it does. If your users/clients are seeing that, something is broken.

     

    -Josh

    Network latency is a physics problem.

     

    If you make an asynchronous request and the response lags due to any number of uncontrollable side effects, then user efficiency (experience) also lags, which in effect makes the experience sequential (as in blocked waiting) when it should be asynchronous. There is nothing wrong with asynchronous operations themselves. The problem is in how you orchestrate concurrency for optimum user experience. The Hotmail team should use Rx Smiley

     

    C

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Charles said:
    JoshRoss said:
    *snip*

    Network latency is a physics problem.

     

    If you make an asynchronous request and the response lags due to any number of uncontrollable side effects, then user efficiency (experience) also lags, which in effect makes the experience sequential (as in blocked waiting) when it should be asynchronous. There is nothing wrong with asynchronous operations themselves. The problem is in how you orchestrate concurrency for optimum user experience. The Hotmail team should use Rx Smiley

     

    C

    Muhahaha, Bart is going take over the world. Except I have a picture of him with a flag in his hand you use to cross the road ...

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    Stil using Hotmail, but, I don't like the annoying Windows Live crap. the @live is just pure stupid IMO. It is freaking hard to pronounce it, often people may heard, ive, lie, or whatever. The name is just plain stupid.

     

    Don't know too much ahout the web interface since I am using the WL Mail desktop. Like I said, the safe sender list is limited in feature. I can say, @microsoft.com to allow all microsoft.com emails. But, it still reject @support.microsoft.com sub-domains.

     

    I kind of hope to have sub-folders. And WL Mail calandar system tray notifications.

     

    And the converstaion view (but it is in wave4 now). And flags (i think it is in Wave 4 now.).

     

    And it just feel like there isn't much innovation to hotmail. Just an old service that is trying to catch up VERY slowely. Don't know about spams because my new account doesn't have spams since I didn't expose it to the public too much. But, it is harder to use old account because of spams though.

     

    Can I actually create another email (but no account) and use that instead? I don't want to kill my magicalclick account, but, it is getting harder to manage as well.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    elmer

    Charles said:
    JoshRoss said:
    *snip*

    Network latency is a physics problem.

     

    If you make an asynchronous request and the response lags due to any number of uncontrollable side effects, then user efficiency (experience) also lags, which in effect makes the experience sequential (as in blocked waiting) when it should be asynchronous. There is nothing wrong with asynchronous operations themselves. The problem is in how you orchestrate concurrency for optimum user experience. The Hotmail team should use Rx Smiley

     

    C

    It's more than how you orchestrate it.

     

    Why and what you use it for, are more important issues than how you implement it.

     

    e.g. AJAX for paging on C9... this is not really a candidate for asynch updates (what else are you going to do?) and most of the page content is being updated anyway.

  • User profile image
    tfraser

    Hotmail's two biggest flaws:

    1. No IMAP
    2. Text ads appended to every email
    I would use Hotmail through a desktop client if it didn't have these, especially since I've reserved my preferred account name. Sadly though, after skimming through that post I cannot see any mention of fixes.
     
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  • User profile image
    turrican

    • Too much "AJAX".
    • It's especially icky using it in other browsers than IE, like Opera. Just realize people use different browsers, live with it.
    • That right banner is HUUUUGEEEE... and it changes on each freaking click!!! Whos' bright idéa was that?
    • Animated and/or Flash banners, sheesh. Get rid of those yesterday.
    • Hotmail is trying to do Outlook kind'a look but it fails hardly. Hotmail is webmail, that design isn't usable enough for the web.
    • Outlook wannabe? Atleast add subfolders.
    • SPAM in bottom of each mail, zomfkhz, it's not the 90s.
    • Where is IMAP? Connection to Outlook?
    • The "Log out" is almost INVISIBLE. It even fails for me from time to time, wtf?
    • I'm a Microsoft fanboy but let's face it, Gmail's SPAM filter is just amazing.
    • Make it simpler but nicer, I like the theme change in it. Maybe a step back to its original simplicity.
    • I want to be able to connect a domain to it, just like Google Apps.
    • ...and maybe tad off topic but what is the deal with all the @live? Who came up with "BING"?
    • Hotmail and Live.com is messy, when you visit it, it's a bunch of text. Put some boxes around each service to make it distinct from each other or something. It looks like I'm reading a document.

    It's OK to take a small fee for some of the features above, I wouldn't mind... but don't forget, it's still just email.. the fee must be... small.

     

    All the above said, Hotmail lost me years ago because it was very simple, usable, stable and gave me a seriouse and confident feeling connecting my domain to Google Apps instead. Use Google Apps a while atleast for Email and you will know what I mean.

     

    The bridges are not burnt though, fix things and I'll be back... with all of my customers and their domains.

     

    Thank you for listening. Smiley

     

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    ( *lol* had to do it too )

  • User profile image
    daSmirnov

    I don't use it.  But yesterday I moved my parents off Google Apps and onto Hotmail with a custom domain.  They won't be using the web interface which has the following flaws which would be a deal breaker:

     

    1) Huge graphic ad on inbox page.  Gmail is a heck of a lot less annoying.

    2) Sticks an ad on the bottom of every e-mail.  Urgh.

     

    Luckily using Windows Live Mail neither of these are true.  The main reason I moved them over was due to poor IMAP performance, especially with my mum who created loads of folders which has always been a bit glitchy with Gmail.  I don't think my parents can handle a web interface yet, so performance with a client was pretty important.  Live Mail would be munching Gmail for about 10 seconds or so after checking for e-mails, and then it would be pretty laggy afterwards.  Using Hotmail is way way faster.  Intergration with the rest of their Windows Live stuff also helps as they both use Messenger.

     

    What I would like to see:

     

    1) IMAP support, just to make it viable alternative for techies.

    2) Lose some of the ads or at least have text ads, applies for the whole Live thing.

    3) Lose the signature ad when sending from the web interface, it is so 90s.

    4) Up the attachment size to at least 20MB to compete with Gmail/Yahoo.

     

    Hotmail needs to make itself appeal more to the techies, many of whom decide what their family end up using.  If it wasn't for performance issues with how Live Mail handles IMAP, I would never have switched them from Gmail to Hotmail.  When the case for using a service comes down to how poorly Live Mail (and Outlook let's face it) use IMAP that's a pretty weak position to be in.

     

    Looking forward to the wave 4 stuff.  Especially Activesync, as I'm sure one of them will be getting a smartphone in the next couple of years.  Hopefully the Hotmail team can rev things up a bit.

  • User profile image
    andokai

    tfraser said:

    Hotmail's two biggest flaws:

    1. No IMAP
    2. Text ads appended to every email
    I would use Hotmail through a desktop client if it didn't have these, especially since I've reserved my preferred account name. Sadly though, after skimming through that post I cannot see any mention of fixes.
     
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    If you use it through a desktop client then you won't have the text ads.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    The new features look great, and the interface is a lot less cluttered. I would like to see the banner ads done away with. Text ads would be much better.

  • User profile image
    andokai

    I like the look of the new features. To be honest I'm not a big user of the web client (mainly because of the ads) but am generally quite happy with the service.

     

    I look forward to ActiveSync so I can connect with my iPhone.

     

    I have an issue with the Outlook Connector though, it does not allow you to send mails on behalf of other accounts even those this can be achieved via the web client or Windows Live Mail Desktop.

     

    It would also be good if there was a DeltaSync connector or some other way to sync with other mail clients such as Apple Mail as POP is really insufficient in the modern era.

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    I use, as a secondary service, only because my Hotmail account is just as well known as my GMail account. I refuse to use the web interface, though. It's not really usable. Trying to look and act like a desktop application inside the browser is always a fail. GMail does good here, especially with the extremely simple keyboard navigation. Take some hints from there.

     

    The biggest feature missing, though, is search folders. Physical folders are nearly unusable for me. I need search folders in any e-mail application I use.

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