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back to article Hotmail users bitch and moan about new interface

Many Hotmail users are up in arms at Microsoft after it decided to shelve the “classic” interface in its free email service. The software giant said it redesigned Hotmail to make it “much, much faster that the old ‘full’ experience”. But users have vehemently complained about the revamp. “This format is terrible! I wonder who …

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it is pretty crap, but..

But, who cares? Still does the job.

Reminds me of the recent facebook changes, people were 'up in arms', creating groups to pressure a return to the old style, saying they'd leave if it didnt change back etc. etc. but at the end of the day, how much can you give a shit?

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Anonymous Coward

Yuck

I'm really not keen on the new look. It should be simple and elegant, but I would class it as more plain, boring and over-sized (what's with this trend?). It really doesn't work well with Opera on the Mac either - just unresponsive - who on earth tested this thing? C- can do better.

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Gates Horns

From a web designer's view

What is much more frustrating than moany users is trying to create nice pretty HTML formatted emails which will show correctly in Hotmail and Outlook 2007, as well as sensible email clients. Both reject basic, common W3C standards that even IE5 could cope with - stuff like CSS in the header, the 'padding' spacing variable, background images... basically we're back to designing pages with tables, and even then having to play around with them constantly to get round Outlook's foibles.

For some reason, Microsoft have decided to use the dunderheaded Word rendering engine rather than IE - this means Outlook 2007 can't even display emails that Outlook 2000 could.

The new Hotmail engine is almost as bad - bizarre really, as you'd think it would rely on the user's browser to do basic rendering. But no, Microsoft see fit to randomly remove useful HTML and CSS :(

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Anonymous Coward

Revise subhead...

"Change not always a good thing"

Judging by the unvarying manner in which the blogosphere reacts to any change on the net, that should read:

"Change always not a good thing"

Whinging brats.

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But its free......

Why complain about something you get for nothing. If you don't like it switch to another, or if email is critical for you, get a proper paid for email service.

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Its Shit

Shit is too good a word to use for such a crappy interface, it doesn't even render correctly. Schools project gone too far.

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Paris Hilton

Why not...

If you're not happy with the service, why not ask for a refund?

Paris: Because she probably would

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Stop

HTML Formatted E-Mails?!

Pretty HTML formatted E-Mails... WTF are you doing?

Rule 1 Never, I repeat NEVER use HTML in an E-Mail and expect it to look the same on the recipients computer as it did on the senders system.

Rule 2 Don't forget blind people will probably be using a 'screen reader', loads of HTML = fail, plain text will work just fine.

Rule 3 Don't use E-Mail until you really understand Rule 1

As for Hotmail stripping HTML code out before rendering - maybe this is a security measure... oh no wait this is Hotmail!

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Doesn't work with Chrome either (or does it)

If you're a chrome user, you can't create email (unless it's just me!).

Hit reply and you get a blank message that you can't type into with the recipient's addresses at the top.

Hit "New" message and you get a similar blank page that you can't type into and address/subject that you can type into.

The font / format buttons are disabled as well.

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed this?

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Pointless

Great, they completely redesign the interface and now it looks like half of it hasn't loaded as all the colours and half the lines have gone. And for what? I don't see a single new feature or option anywhere!

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Paris Hilton

There's a new interface?

I just use my webmail plugin for Thunderbird for hotmail.

Efros

Paris cos she knows a good interface when she sees one.

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Anonymous Coward

Not just

It's not just "If you aren't happy, ask for a refund" it's "If you're stupid enough to still use hotmail for anything, you don't get to complain"

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Gates Horns

MS, Hotmail and the Non-IE browser

Hmm why does this not surprise me that the New Hotmail interface doesn't reneder correctly in anything other than IE..

Yeah I do hate how it drops random CSS rules at will.

I also hate that there is no "mark as READ" option like well practically every other web based e-mail service..

Also I just want to see the message headers if I wanted to see the e-mail I'd open it..

THAT's how people get infected by E-mail from duff sources.. the "Preview" as it's basically opened the e-mail and ran the scripts..

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Boffin

FAU on Opera

The horrible thing for me is that it won't run in Opera so, if you're visually impaird you have to fall back to IE which has to be the most disabled-unfriendly browser out there.

Mine-s the one with the thick glasses & cane

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Why
Alert

Too many tabs that dont seem to remember your positions

Have to resize everything every time I login.

Give us the old style back!

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Flame

It's worse than that - it's deliberately broken on Ubuntu

If you try either Firefox or Konqueror from Kubuntu, or Firefox from Ubuntu, MS won't provide the necessary bits to let the message creation page accept the cursor focus and actually write something.

The only way I've seen to fix this is is to remove 'Ubuntu' from the user agent vendor.

And I won't hear the argument 'shouldn't be using Hotmail anyway'; I've been a user a long time, since before MS got their grubby little paws on it and started breaking it, and I want it to work exactly as any properly compliant web-page should: irrespective of browser or OS.

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Yeeuch

Just had the forced migration. Horrible. When the browser isn't full screen (which is my normal), the folder options and "Other places" merge into and over each other. And they took away the "empty folder" options previously placed next to junk and deleted, so now you have to go into that folder to have the option to empty it all, which is a pain in the arse.

But it's free and I like my address, so I guess I'll suck it up. It's not like MS get any money out of me using it (click on adverts? HA!) so I guess I don't really have any leverage...

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Linux

@Max Allen

I was having the same problem in Firefox on Debian. Changin the User agent string so that firefox reported itself as running on Windows fixed the problem. Not sure if chrome can do the same

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Unhappy

Hotmail - a pain too far

I had the new interface inflicted on me this week (I didn't even know it was going to be changed!) and I agree it is actually worse than the old one. The worst bit for me is that because I long ago gave up paying for the privilege of an account M$ now see fit to use a quarter of the screen for adverts, which just makes the rest of it a pain to use. Just so you understand, I'm not complaining adverts as such, I know that I have to pay for free some how. But come on! Google manage it much nicer with Gmail!

I have to admit I'm also fed up with M$ deliberately breaking the service on anything that isn't IE.

Ah well, more impetus to move away from them then.

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Unhappy

Dont like it

My main complaint about hotmail is is the fact that the new look is shit. and it keeps 'swallowing' legitimate emails, not even putting them in the junk folder.

My two main complaints about hotmail is fact that the new look is shit and it keeps 'swallowing' legitimate emails, not even putting them in the junk folder. and increasing amounts of junk mail keeps making it to me inbox.

My three...

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Anonymous Coward

HATE!

I hate it, switching to gmail now..shame theres no autoforward selection from hotmail

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Gold badge

@But its free.....

>Why complain about something you get for nothing. If you don't like it switch to another, or if email >is critical for you, get a proper paid for email service.

Because it's Microsoft and they're so serious about having great online services but time and time again they prove they don't have a clue as to what end users want.

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iPhone "Upgrade your browser"

When visiting with an iPhone you get the "Upgrade your browser" message.

And the options they give: IE, Firefox, Safari. Hey, isn't that what I'm using?

The old interface worked with an iPhone, not with the new one due to the way they edit messages.

What's the rules about accessibility? Don't rely on a particular browser. Degrade gracefully. Fail. Twats.

But then again, what does one expect for free?

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Unhappy

Another unhappy user,,,

It was a bit of a shock when they changed it...

Things that you would expect to be there are not anymore

- Check email button

- Mark as read/unread (as someone's already mentioned)

Yes, its quicker to load... A lot slower to use tho!

Another Hotmail/Microsoft EPIC FAIL!

And I too have been using Hotmail since well before MS got their mitts on it!

GMail... Here I (possibly) come!

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Stop

Load times?

Which fool decided that page load times are the essential measurement criteria. It doesn't matter how quickly the page loads if it is slow to actually process the contents and navigate round the site.

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Deffo broken this time

Doesn't work on Ubuntu. I guess this is deliberate.

It's now very slow and clunk.

Am I bothered? Nope! It's free - I'll just send my mail elsewhere. I only use hotmail for sing-ups, junk and people I don't want to give my proper mail address to.

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Heh

It is far, far, far better than the abomination that Ebay is trying to impose on us.

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I quite like it

It actually looks like a mail client. And it *is* a damn sight faster now, no question. Less annoying too, by some miracle of oddness.

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The only downside is...

...my WebMail plugin for Thunderbird doesn't work now. Bah!

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Anti-Microsoft

I was pro-Microsoft when they acted normal.

Decided to cut sales for XP, the OS that users know and love? Not Normal.

Decided to stop listening to their users? Not Normal.

Sure, it might be normal for some companies to act like this -- Apple for instance -- but I'm bummed that Microsoft has turned the corner.

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And?

More annoying than anything, it doesn't work in Opera AGAIN (the buttons do nothing but give a javascript error). It's almost as if Hotmail have got a personal grudge against the Opera people because they've only just brought out 9.62. I never cared for the non-Classic look anyway - even the renaming of things like "Inbox" to "Mail" annoyed me.

However, the situation was easily resolved - I switched all my email forwarding to a GMail account instead. Never give out an @hotmail address... just buy a £2 throwaway domain and use that to forward instead - change ISP, change provider, who cares, you just re-forward the email. I wonder how many people have done the same.

It took about ten seconds to change my setting. Two or so hours for the change to propogate worldwide and now all I get is spam in the Hotmail account. Fortunately, I'm a user of MSN Messenger (using Pidgin), so my account will always stick around in case someone does try to use the @hotmail.com address.

Shame, because before they got rid of the Classic Interface last time around I was actually a "Hotmail Plus" subscriber and would have stayed on it out of sheer laziness if they hadn't caused me all this hassle before. After that, I no longer paid, I just used it as an email for casual acquaintances and because it was easy to log into from anywhere in the world. Now everyone is using my forwarded addresses so they haven't even noticed the difference, and I get an MSN "ping" if I do get anything important into that account anyway.

Oh, and Hotmail support (especially "Live Support") are the most stupid people you will ever meet. You spend half an hour explaining the problem and they say things like "Well, Opera isn't supported. Goodbye". YES, I know, but I also told you that I'd tried IE, Firefox, Netscape, Mosaic, Lynx on every operating system known to man.

No big loss for me. Big loss, I suspect, for MSN.

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Stop

Really stupid redesign... Always set to "InboxLight" :/

Always seems to be set to the "Light" version...

Theres no Send/Receive and I cant see how its faster cos its even slower and much harder to use.

the last version was much better and I loved it!

God damn it

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Happy

bollux - a star wars character

get a life people - its free, it works, it may not be the best, so change and chill out!!

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Anonymous Coward

It's a bit shit, really

Everything in noddy "large type format" for the hard-of-reading by default means nothing fits any more. Meh. It's free. Why should it actually be any good?

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Silver badge

I hadn't noticed the Windows only thing

The cheeky bastards! I'd already modified my user-agent string, so I didn't realise they'd done it. That's just plain arsey.

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Reminds me of...

When the Reg changed their user interface.. As I recall the Reg didn't change back (ok, they put back some of the old icons), M$ probably won't either.

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It's probably just me...

But the fonts on the left hand side with the folders list, reminds me far too much of Comic Sans.

Anyone, and I sincerely mean ANYONE, using Comic Sans for anything more than a homemade Christmas card to a 6 year old relative deserves to be urinated on by a herd of stampeding cows then thrown into a meat grinder.

I’m using Firefox 3, perhaps this is why they look so awful?

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Nic
Flame

@AC - HTML Pretty emails

Wrong wrong wrong.

"Rule 1 Never, I repeat NEVER use HTML in an E-Mail and expect it to look the same on the recipients computer as it did on the senders system." - There are plenty of services out there including Return-Paths system that allow you to previews all email clients and therefore be sure.

"Rule 2 Don't forget blind people will probably be using a 'screen reader', loads of HTML = fail, plain text will work just fine." - That's what the Text Alternate version in Mime Email is for. Clients using screen readers will use that.

"Rule 3 Don't use E-Mail until you really understand Rule 1" - What? You just wanted to come up with three points but could only muster 2?

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opera user no more

Alas I used to use opera to view my email, and nothing works in Opera now, links don't respond, pages don't change, it's like it's a picture of my mail. I like firefox, but I just used opera for my email because it was quicker to load and use. alas now my opera will sit quietly on the side. I wouldn't care so much if it actually worked, but it's M$ so they had to crap it up somehow.

Oh and having to scroll your folders when you didn't have to before, and not having the quick empty on your junk/trash folders unless you open them up first.. they haven't sped up hotmail so much as removed all the functionality so you can't do anything. maybe as people leave they can claim it's faster for the leftover users?

I'll stick with it for now but it's certainly one major I now have to switch email services, there aren't many left that I like though.

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Rob
Bronze badge
Flame

@Nic RE: @AC - HTML Pretty emails

"There are plenty of services out there including Return-Paths system that allow you to previews all email clients and therefore be sure." - indeed there are plenty but not all, which is the original point of AC, for maximum compatibilty, plain is the way to go.

"That's what the Text Alternate version in Mime Email is for. Clients using screen readers will use that." - Indeed, but most of us live in the real world where a lot of people don't fill in the Alt text whether they have a legal obligation too or not. Again plain text solves that issue

"What? You just wanted to come up with three points but could only muster 2?" - You couldn't be bothered to come up with a point 3 better than the original made (nope neither could I ;))

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Stop

NO functional mail and A COLD SHOWER

title says it all

not only looks but acts broken...

time for a rollback... or the trashcan

whichever is faster...

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Gates Horns

You could give away free money...

playing CS:S/DOD:S whilst testing a $ for play service and still the brats would complain wether it be reg or some other issue that probably just isnt that important!!!

Its F-R-E-E deal with it! But no doubt if you shout load enough they might decide to hear you.. but like someone else has already commented.... ITS FREE!!!

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I love it!

I absolutely LOVE the new look and the easier way to choose the font style and size. It's brilliant. I'm using my hotmail account more and more since the changes. Have waited a long time for this improvement.

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Boffin

Grammar pedant alert.

>"it decided to shelf the “classic” interface"

You don't shelf something, you shelve it. See, e.g. http://www.bartleby.com/68/47/4147.html

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Nic
Alert

@Rob Re @Nic RE: @AC - HTML Pretty emails

Okay so no point 3 I can live with that ;-)

I don't agree with your basic premise about plain text being the better option. I own an ESP (Email Service Provider) business. The stats just don't add up in your favour. Typically we receive a much higher click through rate for HTML emails.

Oh and before you ask, no I am not a spammer. These are all opt-in lists for my clients newsletters etc. We force them to use the text alternative too! (It also helps for spam filters)

My original point was that Ian Furgason was talking as a creator of email templates, not talking about sending an ordinary email. Plain text isnt the way to go.

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Dead Vulture

So?

Nobody ueses the lame ass service anymore so who cares?

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@ Ian Ferguson

CSS in an email, it's an email! not a web page!

However, this is a free service, you get what you pay for, and thankfully there are free alternatives.

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@iPhone "Upgrade your browser"

i got that on my pc usering firefox hit continue and it worked just ignore it

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Jobs Horns

Lost the plot

I have no problems with rendering in FF 2.0.0.17 on XP, looks almost exactly the same as IE6.

However, girly pastel shades have been the only thing that MS has been pushing for a few years now.

We also want functionality not lock-ins any more. Really p!$$ed off since they cut off access to hotmail with Outlook...actually does work if you get a free officelive account and get a live.com address, you also get Outlook Connector.

Don't like google mail either. Neither Zoho. Guess that web 2.0 is a load of hype sh!t at the end of the day. Yes I want good connectivity and online access, storage etc, but not the cr@p interfarces that today's designers insist on.

Actually Zimbra looks half-decent, but yet to find a good value hosted account with lots of storage, to include calendar and contacts.

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Unhappy

Comcast did this too

Actually, comcast didn't even give us a comparison period to allow you to use the new or the old. One day, without warning, mail stops working and you don't get it back without restarting into the new crap. No going back. At all. Ever. Tough Love. Most people also experienced comcast's servers going out for half a day as well, making a customer service nightmare. Bully for them.

I really don't mind comcast's new look but they dropped functionality which is extremely painful. I have 3 accounts but can only use one at a time. In order to have full use of each account's folders, send & receive, I have to log out and log back in. The old format supported a mailbox manager which made this very easy & painless.

They claim they are working on it but I have my doubts. I am in the process of migrating to another mail service so this will just accelerate that process.

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