Microsoft unveiled a new-look Hotmail named Hotmail Wave 4 by its engineers. If you are one of the millions of people who makes a Hotmail sign in from your browser every morning, then you already know what Hotmail Wave 4 looks and feels like. Millions of people have been waiting for the day when Microsoft will give a magic touch to the old and weary Hotmail interface. Thanks to the never-ending competition and innovation from Google, Microsoft has been feeling the heat. The company has been forced to shape up or ship out from the email service game, and they seem to have opted for the former. Microsoft has definitely been forced to shape up or else Google might have opened a huge gap that would have stolen millions of disgruntled Hotmail users. Before the debut of MSN Hotmail Wave 4, Gmail has been providing unique features being developed in Google Labs. Microsoft has not only caught up with the latest features that are found in Gmail, but they have taken a step further in advancing or modifying some of the features.
The most prominent features that have been adapted by Hotmail Wave 4 are the threaded conversations feature, the modified email search box and the extremely large storage capacities supplied by the cloud hosting servers. The cloud servers for Hotmail have multiplied its file storage allocation to 10 Gigs per user per email attachment sent. If you are familiar with email attachments, you will realize that most free services allow attachments up to 25Mb.For larger attachments, you would have to upgrade to paid services or look for special email providers that provide this service. By allowing mega-sized attachments, Hotmail has taken a huge edge over Gmail.Hotmail also beats Google hands down in anti-spam features.Hotmail inboxes are perpetually clean and free from spam. A look at the new user interface shows that efforts have been made to provide a simple user-friendly UI with a few images and buttons. A user has to click links to navigate around, which is quite easy.Hotmail Wave 4 goes a step further by adding side view bar that allows media to be played by clicking the links in the messages. Microsoft also decided to push its new technology – SilverLight, by integrating it with the picture viewing feature. In order to watch or view the media, you have to install SilverLight, much like installing Adobe Flash or HTML5.Hotmail manages the photo attachments sent to you in a fantastic way. The pictures are automatically converted into a picture album when you view them.
The icing on the cake is Hotmail’s tool for editing Microsoft Word/Excel docs on the fly in your inbox. This means you can quickly edit the files online without downloading them to your desktop, then send the files in the same window of your email. Both the original and edited versions are stored online in Hotmail’s cloud servers and these are transferred to their recipients by sending a link. Unlike other email providers who show Ads in your email, Hotmail gives you the option to remove Ads by paying $19.95 every year.
Most people know Hotmail, but they do not how the email service was started.Hotmail was started in 1996 by Jurvetson as a free service. There were many other email services at that time, but Hotmail was the hottest product at the time with a user-friendly interface and very reliable. The popular email service was then bought by Microsoft for $400 million.Hotmail has grown substantially in terms of the number of users worldwide, but its user interface has been left untouched until May 2010 when it was completely overhauled. Despite this, Hotmail has remained at the top with an estimated 400 million user’s worldwide.However, in the USA, Hotmail takes the second spot after Yahoo Mail and Google is quickly closing the gap at No.3.
As the Microsoft team says, one of the best features of Hotmail Wave 4 is its ability to automatically archive and delete newletters.You simply set Hotmail to archive or delete emails from certain senders. Other modern features in Hotmail include the sharing of docs, photos and attachments. You can even share your content with people who do not have a Hotmail account.
Hotmail vs. Gmail
In order to show what Hotmail Wave 4 has to offer, Microsoft prepared a comparison chart that allows users to compare each of the 9 features provided by Hotmail and Gmail. As you can see from the chart below (Hotmail vs. Gmail):
1. Hotmail provides unlimited storage. Gmail is limited.
2. Hotmail provides a maximum of 50MB per attachment compared to Gmail’s 25MB.
3. Hotmail allows a maximum of 10Gig for total attachments per message compared to Gmail’ 25MB.
4. Hotmail gives the user an option to enable threaded conversations. Gmail does not provide an option. Your conversations are always threaded.
5. Both Hotmail and Gmail are chat enabled.
6. Both Hotmail and Gmail allow mobile browsing.
7. Both Hotmail and Gmail allow mobile sync.
8. Both Hotmail and Gmail allow email forwarding.
9. Bothe Hotmail and Gmail allow flagging of messages