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back to article Microsoft's Hotmail hybrid struggles to life

The long-awaited merger of Microsoft "classic" and "full" Hotmail services has got off to spotty and painful start. Hotmail users are complaining of confusing layouts and cumbersome features, and calling for a return to the exiting version of Microsoft's email service. That's users who can get the new Hotmail, of course, as many …

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Real usage?

You mean people actually use hotmail for REAL purposes instead of a spam-box address for bogus forum and newsletter sign-ups?

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Jon
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Loving it

Never used hotmail as a main email just a secondary one between isp's etc. Loving the new interface it is loads faster than the old and seems to work fine. True you cant see all folders, that is why there is a scroll bar next to them to scroll down to the rest ! Wondered if the scroll bar wasnt there in other browsers so fired up linux box opened in firefox and wow still there working fine :)

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Gates Horns

Ubuntu?

Come on, seriously, who uses Ubuntu as their operating system and Hotmail as their email provider? That's got to be a crossover group smaller than vegetarian huntsmen.

I have a Hotmail question for anyone else who manages large email lists, though; is everyone else getting out of office replies from hacked Hotmail accounts, advertising 'Business918' or similar? They don't appear to be bot-generated hotmail addresses, as they belong to customers who have recently purchased items; my guess is that they've been hacked by a bot somehow and the auto-response set to spam everyone who emails them.

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Silver badge

Is anyone real still using Hotmail?

I assumed it had long since been lost to the spammers.

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On to the past

At first, I thought el Reg had got the pictures the wrong way around. The should-be-seeing screenshot doesn’t look that much different from how I remember the initial Windows Live Mail Beta, when it first appeared at the end of 2005. That was white, spartan and a sod to use. It slowly improved over time, to what we have today/had yesterday. The new-look Hotmail returns to that old spartan look and you’ve reported some have found it a sod to use. Now, that’s what I call progress.

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Coat

Shurely some mishtake?

In that second screenshot, the unread totals for the inbox and the junk folders have been surely transposed, no?

Or is it a picture of the BOFH's helpdesk account?

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Gates Horns

Many, many years ago...

Hotmail was actually a pretty decent way of sending email.

Then Microsoft got their hands on it and every new version was broken in some way, I.E. it only seemed to be designed to work properly with Internet Explorer.

I was still using an Acorn about the start of the Zeros and my little Acorn browser worked with Hotmail fine, then Hotmail was "Upgraded" and broke when they added lots of their Javascript crap into it (Hey, I like javascript, until it breaks something).

Then every new version I feel like I'm being dragged deeper and deeper into the M$ way, now it features too many adverts and really dumbed down trashy celebrity news.

But so many people have my Hotmail email address, its very important I keep hold of it. Yes I know I could create a email address on another network and forward my hotmail address to it, but I will hang onto until it *really* pisses me off (Not long now...)

A tip for handling spam, I initially set my email up to include *everything* as spam, then added email I knew to a safe list as I fished them out of the spam box, eventually I had built up a large enough safe list so every mail I wanted went into my inbox and anything I didnt ask for went into the spam. When I signed up to something new or gained a new contact I would know to check in the spam when I received stuff off them and add them to my safe list. AFAIK I have never missed an important new message.

Right, here goes, time to await someone to flame me for using Hotmail *Sigh*...

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Jobs Horns

@Justin

I suspect a lot of us, the ones who use MS tools anyway, have to use hotmail. Any time they want to tell me stuff, it goes to hotmail and then gets read about 3 months later. I have several email accounts - work and home and check them regularly. They won't let me use them and keep asking for my "passport" address or something.

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RW
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What on earth is wrong with Microsoft?

Email is perhaps the oldest online app, and the ins and outs of suitable user interfaces were worked out long ago. How on earth can Microsoft manage to get it so wrong? Especially given all the yap about their new improved approach to user interface design.

[I'll forgo adding to that last question "yet once again" but if it's there subliminally, your psi powers are working.]

I can answer my own question: clearly, there are people within Microsoft who have authority over such designs but who are, to be blunt about it, incompetent. Why MS management doesn't do something about this it's hard to tell. Is MS simply so big that it's out of control?

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Jobs Halo

ID:10T error code

Works fine for me. What's the fuss all about? Or is it user error ...again?

Besides, I've been using over 8 years or so and it's the mailbox I get the least spam and junk mail in. Gmail on the other hand is a nightmare with all their spam mail.

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Dead Vulture

I didn't think it was this bad!

"a return to the exiting version of Microsoft's email service."

So. Microsoft WERE going to exit from email service provision, and had produced a final version, then they released this version instead of exiting from the market... Now people are calling for them to go back to the version that was the last version, instead of this "non-last" version???

Or perhaps you meant

"a return to the exciting version of Microsoft's email service."

*sigh*.

Mine's the coat with the straps around the back, and "pedants' corner" written on it.

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"calling for a return to the exiting version"

"calling for a return to the exiting version"

Argh, how Facebook-esque!

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/cue shocked expression

Ok ok maybe not at all shocked that M$ has borked the hotmail update. Pretty much par for the course in microsoft land. As a matter of fact it was more or less the same when they bought the hotmail service. I lasted for all of a month after the buyout before I got feed up with them slowly crapping it up and bailed.

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Heart

The return of Clippy?

"The new service is supposed to usher in a new era (new for Microsoft at least) of writing emails - with a new auto complete"

"It looks like you're writing an email. Would you like me to bugger it up for you?" in a speech bubble coming out of this icon springs to mind...

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Really?

That's news to me!

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Gates Horns

Life imitates art

Looks like parody is turning into reality - it reminds me of this article from last year:

What If Gmail Had Been Designed by Microsoft?

http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-11-20-n35.html

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I though it was "rebranded" Live Mail now

My Hotmail account is purely for junk and non-essential email. And I prefer the fast pre-Y2K version of Hotmail to the bloated slow version of today.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Ian Ferguson

The laptop I'm typing this on runs Ubuntu, I also have a hotmail account. But then, I've not encountered any problems with the two interfacing recently.

As to why I have one, a few years ago I needed a general purpose mail account. There are certain things I'd rather not have sent to work inboxes, and the only real alternative at the time was webmail.

Why hotmail? Well, using hotmail (though admittedly the .co.uk version) I could get my dot-separated initials as my email. No numbers, no underscores, no addition of stupid words that would have been required with the other services I looked at. Three letters, two full stops. Just that was essentially the only reason for my choosing hotmail over any other service. Because really, it's fucking webmail. If I want a service that has bells and whistles and can perform small-scale miracles in the world of information control, I have work accounts for that. All I need webmail to do is receive and send mail, and hotmail does that.

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Re: I've been using over 8 years or so

Microsoft addiction?

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Hotmail

LOL, as if.

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never liked the new style

I can't use the new style in Opera, but that's a good thing. In the new Hotmail the banner ad is always at the top of the screen no matter what size the window is. In the old one at least you can scroll down. But I hardly use Hotmail now because the best way to use it used to be Outlook or Outlook Express. Now I have a Mac and love Mail.app lots and lots, but I can't be bothered paying for POP access to my hotmail. I tried out Yahoo mail and while the UI has serious issues with taking over keystrokes and the insanity of its virtual tabs interface, .e.g. you can close the inbox tab, but you can't close the home tab - why do I want the home tab, it's yahoo _mail_, not yahoo celeb news - it does have one advantage over hotmail. The banner ad is down the side of the screen thus taking up less of your precious widescreen's vertical space.

GMail also has serious UI problems (actions are performed by buttons and links and a drop-go?) but if I have to use webmail, GMail's is the least worst UI for me.

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Auto Complete

There's not much I hate more than Auto Complete. I know what i'm trying to type. If I make a typo then it's a good job that Firefox has a spellchecker isn't it?

My iPod Touch has Auto Complete (And I can't seem to turn it off). It makes me want to throw Steve Jobs out of the window.

On to the topic of Hotmail. It's something that I still use (Although I use Gmail on the occasion). Here's hoping you an turn Auto Complete off...

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Silver badge

I'm a vegetarian huntsman, then...

for I'm in that subset of people who use hotmail and Ubuntu - well, Kubuntu. And the reason is that stated by Simon - "But so many people have my Hotmail email address, its very important I keep hold of it."

I don't have a huge correspondence, but I have it with a lot of people, and I operate on several different computers and operating systems, and from random locations all around the world. It's not my only email, but I've had it since before Hotmail was eaten by Microsoft and I'm loathe to lose it.

Now if only it worked properly - i.e. no text formatting, no spam, no pictures all over the damn thing...

Neil

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Getlive/gotmail

So long as it works with either of the above, who cares?

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Gates Halo

Use Outlook instead

Much nicer to cut all the trash out of Hotmail and just use the Outlook Connector tool to import your Hotmail account into Microsoft Outlook instead..

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA102218231033.aspx

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Coat

But

I love hotmail! I can sign up for all sorts of stuff, using a random hotmail email address, and then never log in again. It's fantastic! <new interwebface? Whut? Huh?>

Mine's the one with the tin of virus-riddled spam in it...

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Anonymous Coward

more of the same

And the fixed width is crap, and the new icons suck.

Oops, bugger, ..... wrong thread....

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Outlook

Looks almost identical to Outlook imo.

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@Shurely some mishtake?

Up until recently, I had over 3000 in one email inbox, and I have well over 1500 in my current hotmail box, I use it for msn, which is a rare occurance.

Anything important comes to my work mail.

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Gates Horns

You mean, people still use HotMail?

Surely not anyone who knows anything about IT. I've had HotMail, AOhell and Yahoo autofiltered out since 1996...

Meanwhile, I use a webmail provider that hardly anyone's heard of, so neatly avoids most corporate firewalls :)

Let's just say it's advertised as fast, it's a mail service, and it uses Micronesia's domain...

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