Microsoft up in the air over Hotmail

By Justin Mann on April 26, 2006, 7:25 PM
Hotmail isn't so hot, it seems, or at least the direction at which it could take is up in the air. Microsoft wants to maintain the user base that Hotmail has built up over the years, but also use Hotmail as an advertising platform to interest people in Windows Live personal services, a variety of them at that. Their biggest dilemma is how to prevent alienating existing users with an overload of ads, but still keeping the costs of Hotmail down. That may seem like a no brainer for Microsoft, but business is business, even if it is a free business.

"Removing one of those ad products is a very costly thing," product planner Richard Sim told his colleagues during a meeting about the ad issue, among others. But in the end, everyone knew what had to be done. Painful as it was, they had to side with their users and hope the dollars would be there.
For now, it will remain largely unchanged. But a year from now? It seems competing with g-mail isn't as easy as they thought.




User Comments: 5

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DragonMaster said:
[quote]Hotmail isn't so hot, it seems, [/quote]I stopped to use Hotmail (~2002) when they got up the new interface. I was getting bored by that crappy webmail.Whay I changED :1- SPAM2- SPAM3- They removed POP mail4- Lots of ads5- LOTS of ads6- Mailbox was 3MB7- ONLY 3MB (Before a lot more)8- It's Microsoft9- The new interface was SLLLLOOOOOOOOWWWW! (Loading time)10- Small attachmentsThen I got Netscape Mail. 100-200MBs free, but I switched when I stopped using Netscape 7, which was getting obsolete. (IMAP worked only with Netscape, not Mozilla or anything else)Then I got Softhome. The UI was crap, I never really switched. They removed POP mail last year.Now I have Yahoo. No problems (Apart for the cheesy translation), there's POP, 2GB of space, SMTP server, fast interface on dialup, not much SPAM, I can send mails to Hotmail accounts (Not liek Netscape).More recently I got a GMail account. Is pretty cool, but as long as my IM doesn't notify me of every incoming mails, I won't change. I should start using it for personal mail.
Julio said:
I'm no Hotmail lover either. Even with their new Beta Live interface, it feels sluggish compared to other free providers such as Google and Yahoo. The only reason I keep my account is for Messenger (which is also really bad, but many of my friends use it).
fiziks said:
well it IS beta, plus they're probably just throwing the NAME "hotmail" around, they're going to keep the service. I mean, they've spent so much time now it seems creating the LIVE service, they'll probably just change the name to LIVE mail or something
GeoK said:
Basically, I just use Hotmail as a conduit for my Microsoft programs. It works excellent in that capacity - even for reading my e-mail. I cannot say the same for their 'Live' however. It is sluggish to me as well as being a genuine pain-in-the-... when you try to read ANY e-mails. Make sure you have new batteries in your mouse and nimble up your index finger if you want to read your e-mails. Other than that it may yet possibly produce a site more then what they have. Hence, I went back to using Hotmail. A lot less nerve racking!
tokyopete said:
Hotmail is fine when used with Outlook Express. I can even download my gmail into outlook express or send mail form OE from my gmail account. One can keep everything in local folders and if the OS (dear old windows) goes bellyup then it is usually possible to retrieve the local folder emails from identities- MS - outlook express.Other than that, what more does one need from hotmail? Firefox runs fine. I can access hotmail on the server via Firefox if needed.I never take any notice of ads, if there are any and wouldn't follow up in the first place especially if it is coming from M$.LOL everybody.
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