Thursday, November 3, 2011

MSN Hotmail Catches Up With Its Competitors – Hotmail Sign In

The last time you made your Hotmail sign in, you might have realized that the old uninspiring Hotmail user interface has changed. Microsoft released the most competitive Hotmail version of all in May 2010.The release was expected considering Hotmail’s dormant and almost passive existence within the last years. People had been wondering about the dearth of Hotmail for a long time and Microsoft had to do something about this since acquiring Hotmail for millions of dollars and changing the name to MSN Hotmail.Despite Hotmail’s almost passive existence in the past years, Hotmail still remains a brand name that is popular around the world due to the fact that Hotmail was among the leading pioneers in email service in the early days of the era. This is the biggest advantage that Hotmail has among its competitors, and it is the reason why they have a large following of people who still have hope in this email giant. Almost all people who had access to the internet during the era have a Hotmail email address and many people in the new generation are familiar with Hotmail.

In terms of features, MSN Hotmail still trails Gmail. In the US market, Hotmail is the second most popular email service after Yahoo. Users should not expect much from the new Hotmail features since the whole update is an overhaul rather than an innovation.Hotmail is simply trying to catch up with Google and Yahoo in this game, but they have a whole lot to learn. Gmail and Yahoo are already in their game, and they are experimenting with innovative features and carrying out beta tests every time and then. Any Hotmail user who has been using their accounts for a long time knows how much they have been yearning for changes in their old Hotmail UI.Many of these disappointed Hotmail users had no choice but switch to Hotmail’s competitors like Gmail and Yahoo whose applications are constantly updated. It is rare to find any Hotmail users who are fond of their old interface, once they discover what Gmail and Yahoo has to offer. While most Hotmail users are yearning for changes, many Gmail and Yahoo Users are averse to any complete overhaul of their user interfaces. As a result, the strategic teams at Gmail and Yahoo have been forced to give users a choice between the old and new beta interfaces.

The MSN Hotmail team has been smart in implementing major changes for the new Hotmail.It does not take an expert to notice that the changes have been painless. It is safe to assume that Hotmail users have been hungry for change for a long time, and thus they would welcome any changes, no matter how ineffective they are, as long as they sign in to a new and fresh user interface. In an effort to satisfy and woo back its millions of users, Hotmail seems to have implemented all the main features found in Yahoo and Gmail. They have also gone neck to neck with their competitors by matching the capabilities for data storage, social interaction and spam detection. The Hotmail UI also looks more web 2.0 and streamlined with features for social chatting, picture viewing, media sharing, email filtering and document editing. The new Hotmail UI is mobile enabled for the Blackberry, iPhone and cellphone.What a better way to begin an evolution. There is no better way to begin an evolution than providing the standard that your competitors are giving.

Other people might argue that the reason for Hotmail’s slow pace of change is because the entity is now owned by Microsoft. We all know that Microsoft is a big corporation and corporations are known to be slow in implementing changes. Any proposals for change have to pass through many boards and meetings before they are approved, and this may take many years. Microsoft is a company that is well known internationally for its Windows Operating System. While Windows is a good product, there has been a huge cry about Microsoft’s clearly bugged products like the first versions of Windows Vista. Many times, Microsoft has been forced to acknowledge that its development team made some errors on its side that even its software engineers did not understand. Errors and bugs are a normal thing in software development, but it is the technical support and response that matters most. It is fair to say Microsoft is too slow in its response to customer complaints. As a result, products like MSN Hotmail will stay a long time without any major improvements while users are languishing in their accounts.

One of the widely accepted Microsoft products is Doc WebApps.Doc WebApps is an internet application that enables people to edit their Microsoft documents in Hotmail without opening a new window. In the new Hotmail, Microsoft did not only implement the common features offered by their competitors, but they also introduced cool features of their own. For example, Slideshow is an innovative application that allows photo attachments and online pictures from Flickr to be viewed. You can also embed videos in your email messages. Users can embed YouTube, Justin.TV and Hulu videos. The Hotmail UI features a Bing sidebar where users can add various types of media and content such as images, web links, and clip art. Most Hotmail users will be pleased with the anti-spam features in the new version of Hotmail.There are settings for automatically deleting and blocking unsolicited emails from selected senders. The biggest time saver is a feature that enables a one-click view of all messages for a chosen sender.

While all these features are a good sign of things to come from MSN Hotmail, there are some features that some people will not like. One such feature is the time limit that has been imposed for storing pictures in your Hotmail account. All pictures in your email attachments and messages have a maximum lifespan of 3 months. After the expiry date, the pictures will be deleted from the cloud server unless you extend the expiry date. On a good note, the maximum size for pictures that can be sent in your Hotmail account is 10 Gigs. This is a plus for Hotmail users who do not like the comparatively smaller limits for sending files in Gmail and Yahoo, with 25MB and 20MB respectively. The ability to send mega size files will keep attract many email users who like sending big files. It is rare to find email companies who provide free services for sending large files.Hotmail may make inroads in this market that is dominated by paid email providers.

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