Thursday, November 3, 2011
Hotmail Issues – Suggestions for Hotmail Features – What Users Think About Hotmail
MSN Hotmail may be unrolling its new features now and then, but what Hotmail features do Hotmail users want? Is Hotmail listening to people in the forums to find out the problems that many Hotmail users are facing? For instance, you might be searching the forums for a Hotmail Sign In tool that allows you quick access, instant photo sharing or logging into multiple Hotmail accounts at the same time on your browser. You might be facing Hotmail issues that never seem to be solved by the Microsoft team.It is interesting to note that email users often will suggest features that are available as well as unavailable on other email services. If you are a frequent or heavy Hotmail user, it makes sense that you would want the best features of the best email services on one platform. You might have three email accounts on Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail, but just because you use MSN Hotmail daily, you would want some of the great features from other email services to be on your Hotmail account as well. People choose specific email services for many reasons. If you have a Hotmail email address, it might be difficult to crossover to other email services because most of your important contacts are on Hotmail.However,you can still create different accounts and give your existing contacts your new email address. Some people will suggest original features that they think will be a good idea or very useful. As you use your Hotmail account every day, you might observe some tasks which you do regularly, which you think might be done better if there was an improved tool for that task. Yet others observe some tasks that may be an obstruction, annoying or quite useless. Whatever ideas you have for a perfect email service, the objective boils down to important factors such as simplicity, ease of use, speed, organization, looks, better communication, efficiency, capacity,access,security,control and other things.
User A and user B might have different requirements, for example, a small businessman and a social networking fan will have different requirements for the best email service. The same goes for a student and a project manager. A worker and an employer. One Hotmail user named Robert says that there are some features on Gmail that he would like to see on Hotmail. He says that he will be a longtime Gmail user because of this. The said features are the Gmail add-ons that allow a user to convert Word documents and Excel docs.Also, the ability to create multiple Gmail filters, for example, 750 filters is another thing that Robert likes about Gmail. Robert can apply those filters on MSN Hotmail as well, but time does not allow him to do that at the moment. Robert suggests that it will be difficult to switch all his business to MSN Hotmail considering that all his business and internet activities are connected to his Gmail address, for example, the websites that he has signed up with – all have the Gmail address as the login.
Liz Gannes wants some answers from Hotmail about their future plans. The Hotmail staff told her that they have plans for US users at least, so international users have to keep waiting. Hotmail’s plan is to attract AOL users.MSN Hotmail is providing the TrueSwitch service for full importing as well as importing from P.O.P. for users who wish to maintain their old addresses. Not to mention that Microsoft is planning to splash a huge amount of money in attracting customers, although the scale of the campaign will not be as big as Bing.The most effective way to attract customers for the long term is to make Hotmail a better email service. If the Microsoft team could work on this, then they would have a better platform to launch their marketing campaign. Today’s email users are technology savvy. Although most will not be familiar with the most technical details of how email works, they have an eye for high quality performance through experience with other email services. They are aware of the evolution of email products and modern expectations. It’s like a generation of old internet users who were used to slow dial-up internet speeds who are now exposed to extremely fast broadband speeds. Almost all internet users know how frustrating and annoying slow internet can be. The same principle applies to email services. People are continually comparing between MSN Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo. In their observations, they learn what one email service lacks and what the other has. They are on the lookout for updates and new products that have the potential to change their way of running business on email. Campaigns alone are not the means to an end. They are not the solution. They are just customer getters. What is the use getting customers who never return? The goal of any marketing campaign is to get loyal and happy customers. This begins by creating the best product and continually improving it. A few big companies are known to be innovators, otherwise they tend to recycle products, which they repackage to the public as new. As Liz says ‘the old becomes the new again’. If you like the MSN Hotmail service, what is your chance of switching to other services, and if you like your existing Gmail account, what is your chance of switching to the MSN Hotmail service?
Kevin Baggs envisions a Hotmail service that has no limit on the number of contacts you can have. It looks like Kevin is a social networking fan with an interest in making many friends and contacts. The limit for MSN Hotmail is 1,000 contacts and this is barely useful for any email list builder who expects over 5,000 contacts. Maybe the limit might be increased in future versions. You just have to keep waiting for new changes. Another Hotmail user Lance does not like the 1,000 contacts limit along with the Hotmail calendar sync function. Lance is a mobile phone user with a Windows Phone and he finds it unnecessary being redirected to AT & T and back to his iphone.
Mark does not believe that Hotmail has stayed for many years without an update, but it’s true that Hotmail has not had any major update until 2010.Updates might be made on technical issues, but we are talking about a major feature update that is both revolutionary and hot. Nothing hot has been coming from Hotmail for several years, and it looks like they have had a quiet existence while Gmail was busy on its toes, releasing updates and experimenting with new features. Who is not aware of Google Labs? Many will agree that they have not seen any Hotmail product that has been making waves until recently. Liz says the Microsoft team admits that they have not been making any up-to-date additions till lately.
Rich Spalding disputes the claim made by some writers that the new Hotmail lacks social features. Contrary to this, Hotmail has an array of social features that you can count. The writer seems to suggest that ‘news feeds’ such as those on Facebook, are a notable social feature, but it is not logical to conclude that a platform that lacks this feature has no social features. We can line up many people, and they will tell you many things that may rightly be called social features.Hotmail have always had social features in their old Windows Live display. There is a stream of contacts that you can share updates with on Facebook,Twitter and MySpace. However, users like Simon Mackie prefer something more upscaled.He is a fan of Office Web Apps – the idea of making an online application from a desktop application. Maybe Hotmail can get some ideas from the Microsoft Outlook 2010 web app that can be accessed online. Simon thinks it would take a lot of major innovations and changes to entice him to switch to the new Hotmail version. He laments the painful process of switching that is required when upgrading to the new version. This shows another technical aspect of Hotmail services that the MSN Hotmail team should pay attention to. Ease of use is an important aspect that users consider in a product. Switching over to a new version should not be a pain, as many people are very impatient nowadays. Many users will not have time to go through the cumbersome process of switching over and they will rather stay with what they are used to.
Mary says that Hotmail can be completely integrated with the latest Office Web Apps.You simply email a document, then click to open it in Office Web Apps.Integrating the app with Facebook Docs would also be ideal, but major technical changes to the code would have to be done to make this happen. Mary likes the Hotmail ‘Active Views’ and wants it to be implemented in Microsoft Outlook. This is yet another good idea coming from a Hotmail user. Taking a break from Microsoft Outlook at work to view an amazing slideshow of your online photos should be a great experience. You can easily preview the pictures that a friend has sent you by clicking the link. Mary thinks this would save a lot of time.
Anslem likes the “View All”Hotmail feature that enables a person to view all messages by clicking the name. He says you can also do the same kind of thing on Gmail to see all messages starting with recent conversations.
Omar supports the previous assertion that the modern Hotmail has social features contrary to what some writers claim. He claims both the old and new versions have social features, for example, the new MSN Hotmail has a feature called the Messenger Social that can be accessed on the Hotmail home page on the center and front soon after your Hotmail sign in. You can read about this social feature on WindowsLivePreview.com
Bob does not like the Hotmail user interface. He thinks the user interface needs an overhaul, and would want to see a social networking feature like Google Buzz in his email.
Another Hotmail User is interested in IMAP.The user observes that Hotmail has been too slow to catch up with the latest email systems. For example, he says MSN Hotmail began using POP only in 2008 when POP was already an obsolete technology a decade earlier (1998).The user notes that IMAP works perfectly in Gmail which uses both IMAP and POP.However, the user notes that the Gmail POP has problems. She attributes this to other factors such as corrupted messages and large attachments – e.g. videos that can cause POP problems. Because MSN Hotmail POP does not work properly most of the time, she resorts to the online Hotmail interface. The user suggests a solution (a desktop client) that allows her to receive all her emails in one place. She notes that Hotmail is still stuck in old technology that cannot provide the solutions to modern email users’ needs.
An interesting point of view comes from Ernesto who says Hotmail is better than Gmail. Ernesto says that Gmail loads more slowly when compared to MSN Hotmail.He likes the Hotmail user interface and thinks the Gmail User Interface is not attractive. For Ernesto, the availability of social networking tools and adding thousands of contacts is not so important to him. He does not use any external e-mail applications with the exception of Windows Live Mail. To Ernesto, MSN Hotmail is the best email service that loads faster and has everything that he is interested in. The most important observation that Ernesto says about Hotmail is that he has never got any spam on his Hotmail account.Hotmail wins the spam war hands down. The Gmail spam filter is not very effective, although it is much better than Yahoo.For Ernesto, a week hardly passes by without getting about 3 or so spam emails in his Gmail Account. He does not use Gmail frequently but spam finds a way into his inbox anyway. Ernesto does not think Hotmail is aged or behind with its updates. He observes that Gmail used to be the newest thing a couple of years ago, but not when Hotmail made its recent major updates that have allowed the company to pull ahead of Gmail.
A.T. does not like the way Hotmail handles pictures. He thinks it’s kind of stupid that the preview pictures are so small to clearly see them. This problem forces A.T. to download the pictures every time he wants to view them.Alternatively, he uses Silverlight to see the pictures clearly. This problem is making A.T. think about going back to Gmail. Agnes does not like the way the pictures are presented in the Hotmail slideshow and she is frustrated looking for a way to return the pictures to their previous state.
J.S. chimes in and supports the observations made by Agnes and A.T.He thinks the changes made by Hotmail in its new updates is affecting his productivity because there are a lot of things to learn. The new updates are too fancy and hard for average users to completely comprehend. If MSN Hotmail could have much simpler user-friendly interfaces, they would not be spending a lot of money trying to woo back their former users that have switched to other email services like Gmail. George says his friends are having problems with the photos that he sends. Do they have to go the long route, installing external applications like Silverlight to do a simple thing such as downloading a photo? MSN Hotmail should think about this every time millions of Hotmail users make a Hotmail Sign In each day.