Category: Email

Windows Live Mail's exclusionary philosophy

Robert Scoble (of Microsoft) wrote a post the other day claiming that “Windows Live Mail (formerly Hotmail) has a philosophy?“. I’m sure they do but the philosophy they have is far different from the philosophy Scoble claims. He says:

The Windows Live Mail team just got a philosophy. Companies that have pro-participant philosophies, especially in the advertising age, will end up with bigger audiences and more profit in the end.

Pro-participant? Really? Then why is the Windows Live Mail interface crap on anything other than Internet Explorer?
Windows Live in Firefox

This strikes me as a completely exclusionary philosophy – an anti-participant one if you will. You can use our mail application (to make us money by serving you ads) only on the (completely insecure) browser we make.

I see Mike Arrington had a similar issue with Windows Live Shopping. As Mike said:

Most bloggers and journalists use a Mac and/or Firefox and this audience was just completely alienated from Live Shopping.

Same goes for Windows Live Mail guys – c’mon, get a clue. This is 2006, not 1996. If you are releasing sites these days, they have to run on more than Internet Explorer. That war is over guys, and you lost.

If I had a suspicious mind…

I wrote a post a couple of weeks back about Hotmail deleting all my mails and it generated quite a bit of discussion (40 comments to-date).

One of the comments was from Omar Shahine – Omar is a program manager on the Hotmail team. I appreciated his dropping by and commenting.

Then over the weekend, Omar posted about the issue on his own blog – he said:

we have changed the policy for Windows Live Mail accounts to 120 day expiration… I just sent Tom a Windows Live Mail Invite to fix his storage issue and hopefully the expiration issue if he still cares to use the service.

All fair enough so far – execpt for the fact that I haven’t received any Windows Live Mail invite from Omar!

Then when I left a comment to that effect on his blog to that effect, the comment never appeared. Several comments left after mine have appeared so this looks a little bit dubious to me! What does anyone else think?

UPDATE: – Omar came back to me and explained that he had sent the invite to my Hotmail account! I haven’t logged into that account since all my mail was deleted – (why would I?) so I didn’t see it. He didn’t, however, explain the disappearance of the comment I left on his blog.

Microsoft Hotmail, you suck!

Really, I am furious right now. I wanted to use another term rather than suck (one which rhymes with suck) but I realise some people can be offended by profanity so I rowed back on the language.

Why am I annoyed? – Microsoft’s insistence that you have to log into Hotmail every 30 days or they delete all your info. I don’t use Hotmail much, but I have had my Hotmail account for years and there was tons of old email info in there. I logged in today (after obviously more than 30 days) and I find all my info has been deleted by Microsoft.

Microsoft Hotmail deleted all my info

Why impose such a shortsighted policy of deleting people’s info after 30 days when your main competitors (Yahoo! and Gmail) don’t have any such policies as far as I know.

Serves me right for trusting Microsoft with my information online, I guess! I won’t make that mistake in a hurry again.

Update: – I notice as well that my account has been downgraded from 250mb to 2mb! Insult to injury.

Hotmail's 2mb storage

I have a hotmail account (I feel like someone in group therapy –
Tom: “Hi, my name is Tom and …. I have a hotmail account”
All: “Hi Tom!”)

and my Hotmail account’s storage is still only 2mb. I know, I know, Gmail is 2gb – I have a Gmail account too and I think it is the business but I still use the Hotmail account for the odd thing.

I have read in several places that hotmail accounts have variously been upped to 25mb and/or 250mb. I can’t see how to up the limit on my account. Every time I click on the upgrade button in hotmail, it wants me to pay for the privilige (whereas I believe Hotmail should be paying me for the privilige of reading my emails!).

Anyone know how to increase the storage on my Hotmail account (without paying!)?

Gmail rolls out POP3 support

According to numerous reports in the press, Gmail is now going to be available for download using POP3.

This is a very useful facility, as it will allow people to access their mail when they are away from an Internet connection by downloading their mail to their favourite mail client – something they have been unable to do up until now.

From what I read, Gmail are rolling it out over a number of weeks – it still hasn’t been enabled on my account so I don’t yet know how well it will work.

By the way I still have a few Gmail invites, if antone wants one, feel free to contact me.

Gmail security hole

The Isreali site has published details of a security vulnerability in Gmail which allows the hacker full access to people’s Gmail accounts.

This news has very serious implications for anyone who has used their Gmail account to send or receive any sensitive information – credit card details, passwords, PINs, etc.

There is currently no fix for the vulnerability which comes hot on the heels of two security vulnerabilities being published relating to Google’s search engine. The Google search exploits became critical when Google released its Google Desktop Search which was also vulnerable to these exploits.

Google’s ‘good guy’ image is in serious jeopardy – they need to kill this hole and do a major security revision of all their products to avoid any more of these embarassing revalations or their security reputation will be lower than Microsoft’s!