back to article Microsoft sneak peeks Hotmail makeover

Microsoft has realized there's more to maintaining its lead over Gmail than shoveling buckets of storage at Hotmail users. Today, the company unveiled changes to its Hotmail web email service, wiring the service to its Bing search engine, its Silverlight media player, and its SkyDrive online store service. Due mid summer, the …


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  1. Deadly_NZ

    My God

    I just want to send an E-Mail saying hi

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Oh FFS...

    Is there nothing that can be left alone? I've been using Hotmail since it was originally launched, and was annoyed enough when MS ate it - but even then enough people knew my hotmail address that I kept it; it's my primary non-work contact.

    But I want to send mail. That's it. Just mail. Simple ordinary ASCII (UTF-8 in a pinch) HTML-free mail, with, if required, an attachment.

    Oh well, as long as the IMAP and the POP interfaces keep working, I can continue with Evolution and just use it as a post box.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I'm in the same boat as you, having been using it since long before MS bought it. Shoving fucking "Bing" and similar monkeyboyisms in my face might just be the final push I need to start migrating my crap to gmail.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is there IMAP on Hotmail?

      I know there's POP3 and their silly homegrown sync solution that doesn't even work on Outlook without a plug-in but I thought they'd resisted the lure of the - actually useful - IMAP so far.

  3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Lock in?

    Hey, why don't MS try to lock in users to proprietry document formats as well as the long suffering business sector? Ah, yes - that's what this appears to be. Wonder when we'll start seeing anti-trust / anti-competetive actions against MS when it comes to "free hotmail this, free hotmail that" all over a new system?

    Largely a return to the ghastly MSN mess which attempted to replace a browser and all other junk into one end-user "friendly" application.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    embedded bing results?

    sounds like a great way to trick marks into following bogus links as they'll immediately trust the embedded "search results" and happily click through to a payload of malware.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I like the smell of vulnerabilities in the morning

    ...enough said. These are all the classics signs of MS "all integrated" approach that later on pay off greatly for spammers and all other kinds of bad guts.

    I'm thinking of starting a betting site on how long the first vulnerabilities will appear.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Tell me when Hotfail switch their servers back to Apache. As for the rest of it, I couldn't give two monkey farts in the LHC.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Bad news about Skydrive

    I use it pretty extensively as I'm a training instructor who travels around a lot, and I store copies of my course notes up there so I can access them in the event of laptop failure, memory stick loss etc. If they're making it so content over 30 days old is deleted (why am I thinking of "Logan's Run"?) I'll have to find something else to use instead.

    1. Wize

      And google will keep your emails...

      ...for as long as you want them. No forced deletion.

      1. Atonnis

        Also... privacy either.

        1. OffBeatMammal

          No Privacy

          ha ha! and Google are <sarcasm>so much better</sarcasm>

          I'm moving all my email to Facebook this instance because they're <sarcasm>so much better as well</sarcasm>

          go read some privacy policies and decide which is worse...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      keeps everything synced between pc's and is available thru a browser.

  8. irrelevant

    30 days?

    "Microsoft will delete content older than 30 days" that's a hell of a drawback!! If I receive a document or photo via email, I expect it to stay there for as long as I keep the email.

    I used to have a hotmail account. Well, I might still have it - they seem loath to actually let us delete the account - but I got mighty peeved when they deleted all my stored mail because I'd not logged in on the web interface, only via pop, for some time! That was the point I moved totally to my Google Apps hosted mail.

    1. Argh


      Interesting, I've got a hotmail account which I rarely use (I prefer gmail) and haven't logged in to the webmail interface for years. It's still going.

      I've been using the outlook connector though, rather than POP. Maybe that behaves differently.

  9. Thomas 18
    Thumb Down


    "We know there are a whole lot of other things we really need to REMOVE that are ANNOYING to customers and causing them to pick other providers instead of us."


  10. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Test Man

      Windows Live Mail - wrong

      Windows Live Mail is the application (which replaced Outlook Express) - nothing to do with Hotmail or anything else.

      1. Havin_it

        No, he's right.

        It did drop the Hotmail name altogether and become Live Mail ... for all of 5 minutes, before they realised the brand was too strong to just chuck away (and perhaps acknowledging that it caused a degree of confusion between this and the desktop app, as nicely alluded to by your post).

        @James re Gmail: Except in the UK where it's been Googlemail for the last few years, no? Still, at least that's sorted now.

  11. lglethal Silver badge

    So let me get this straight...

    In future, when i send an email with an attachment, i wont be sending an attachment at all, it will be uploaded to a server for my recipient to download through their mail. Then it will be deleted after 30 days. Same goes for receiving emails.

    Well excuse me but i like to hold on to a lot of my attachments, i dont have a 30 day limit where i stop using something.

    So my hotmail account will soon be deleted if this comes in; my gmail account has been deleted since Buzz; i wouldnt touch Yahoomail with a 10 foot pole; so can anyone recommend an online email service which i can just use as a bloody email service without having to worry about a) my personal data being hocked to the highest bidder, b) being spammed constantly by the service im supposed to be using or c) the service deleting my emails and attachments without my knowledge? Anyone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Surprisingly enough...

      MobileMe from Apple fits the bill perfectly (but isn't worth the money if you are only using it for e-mail)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yahoo Mail

      Any reason? Or just don't like Bartz?

    3. OffBeatMammal

      lots of options, but not free

      There's a bunch of good options out there - eg hosted exchange from places like ... but you pay based on storage becaue there's no advertising under-writing the costs..

    4. Phil Rigby

      Alternative to Hotmail/Gmail

      Try GMX - no spam, no ads, will collect from multiple imap and pop accounts, and is accessible from imap and pop too.

      Drawback - it's German based. They bombed our chippy in the war.

  12. Richard Austin 1


    And i bet this will simply fly along at faster than normal speeds making everyone be thankful for the new and improved system? :p

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Size matters only so much"

    Too true; so do junk, vulnerabilities, layout and ease of use. Since Hotmail fails on every count, I don't know why they're wasting so much wonga on a huge (and far too smug) billboard ad campaign obscuring the far more entertaining graffiti at the capitals railway stations.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Stop chaning it's name

    FFS, just call it Microsoft Hotmail or Windows Hotmail and be done with it. Improve the spam filtering, reduce the ad banners to GMail levels and add ActiveSync support for contacts, email and calendar. That's all it needs.

    1. SilverWave

      heh The ad banners pushed a mate to using firefox :-)

      It the lack of spam that make the difference on Gmail.

      Email is actually a pleasure to use again.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      spam filtering

      I've find the spam filtering quite good. I get 0-3 spam a day into the junk box and 1-2 every 2-3 months in the main inbox

  15. SilverWave

    Is this actually a loss leader for MS?

    I mean that a lot of storage space and a lot of users...

    Recipe to lose money?

    Unless they are a LOT more efficient than Google... Heh!

    And make more from the adds than Google... Heh!

    OK so I wonder just how much they are losing per year on this thing?


  16. Bryan Anderson

    Updates actually wanted?

    About the only thing I need from Hotmail that they seem to have NO plans to do, is to provide proper IMAP support. I know that their own Mail application sort of does IMAP and Outlook Connector SORT of does IMAP, but neither is perfect.

    Bog standard IMAP support would be a darn site more useful that the updates I just read about.

  17. Tom Chiverton 1 Silver badge


    "Microsoft will delete content older than 30 days"

    Oh dear. What's the point then ?

  18. David 30

    Wait, what?

    "Hotmail won't work non-Microsoft documents, such as PDF"

    Does this really mean what it appears (albeit somewhat illiterately) to be saying? Hotmail won't be able to send non-MS attachments? Not even as a regular attachment not stored on Skydrive?

  19. pan2008

    30 days?

    Unusual quality journalism from the register. Who will stay with hotmail if they only allow 30 days for documents and then gets deleted, what's the point of 25G then? or do people consume 25G in 30 days? I doubt that.

    I use hotmail but I must say I do prefer the old days of non Ajax cr*p, always seems to have something wrong with it. I swap my yahoo to old style too. Although I mostly access my hotmail and yahoo from my mobile so doesn't make much difference, so yes great service and hotmail is so bloody fast with syncing. I love hotmail and yahoo for their email service.

  20. Jeremy 8


    There are people who still use Hotmail?

  21. Ravi Shanghavi


    Quite frankly until they fix their spam filters... I don't see very many gmail users going back to Hotmail. -Ravi Shanghavi, Ottawa,Canada

  22. Spudders


    Theres nothing on Sky Drive regarding 30days and your documents get wiped, i have files in there since Feb 2010 and there still there - so suggest journalist does a bit more investigation...

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