I have written previously about Microsoft’s Hotmail and what a lame excuse for a mail platform it is – in response to that Microsoft gave an account on their new mail platform, Microsoft Live Mail and I have to say it is a serious disappointment.
One of the biggest problems with Hotmail to date has been the fact that they delete all your mail if you don’t log in for 30 days. This has caused loads of people (myself included) lots of pain as we see several years mail disappear never to be returned.
With Windows Live Mail, that 30 day login has been changed to 120 days in an effort to overcome this problem. However, the proper way to fix this would have been to allow POP access to the mail. Live Mail’s main competitors (Gmail and Yahoo! Mail) both allow this functionality. POP access means you can access the email through an email application such as Outlook or Thunderbird and as these applications poll the servers every 30 minutes or so, it means as long as they are running on your system, you are logging into the servers and will never fall foul of the 30-day limit.
Another reason to allow POP access to email is so that you can read your mail when you are not connected to the ‘Net.
Furthermore, I was made aware of another deficiency of Live Mail this weekend at BarCamp Ireland where one of the speakers bemoaned the fact that you cannot export your contacts in Live Mail! As far as I recall this was possible in Hotmail.
It seems incredible to me that Live Mail would try to lock you into a crummy application by not allowing you to export your contacts. Then again, lock-in is Microsoft’s middle name, isn’t it?