Microsoft Hotmail, the pioneer in web-based email recently updated their look and feel. It is now dubbed “Windows Live Hotmail”.
It now gets confusing since Microsoft has now 3 versions of their webmail. MSN Hotmail, Live Hotmail and this new one.
Ok, I just noticed. If you are using the old Hotmail interface below, then you are still not using the new interface. You have to click that itsy-bitsy small tiny link (which I missed on my first visit). I circled in red to view the new Hotmail. Hope you find it (good luck).
Also, just a warning (that’s from Microsoft, not me) – you need to have a fast Internet to use this (ok… but why?).
Upon initial entry, it will ask you what interface you want to use. The 3 interface looks almost exactly like MS Outlook and Outlook Express. Good, it presents an already-known interface to most users.
We (together with Terence and Ross) were actually developing this same interface (I think it’s better and with a lot more features at that time) . We tried using JSON way back 2001. We were also using open-source and it was dubbed Udeko Mail.
Hotmail Live uses Trend Micro to scan for viruses (why don’t they do this too for Windows for FREE?) ugh.
There’s a built-in spell-checker which I find cool, coz you can add your own words to your own dictionary. But, one thing that I don’t like is it doesn’t check words on the fly, you have to click the “Spell Check” button just to see if you had everything correctly spelled.
Drag and drop and right-click functionality is already there. Yahoo! Mail have these already on the Yahoo! Mail Beta – thanks to Oddpost (which was acquired by Yahoo! in July 2004). Google’s GMail still has to come up with a drag and drop and right-click functionality though.
Folders vs. labels: Hotmail Live still uses folders (isn’t that so web 1.0?). A quick click to the contacts and calendar still loads like web 1.0 too.
Finally, I find the “Attach” button weird. Why would they ask users if it is a file or a photo? Can’t they just automatically determine the file type? Uncool (or maybe, there’s an explanation).
More features are listed here. Of course, be prepared for a lengthy marketing pitch. Microsoft does that very very well.
Maybe you want to try it out for yourself. I’m sure you still have that old @hotmail.com account (Yeah yeah, I know you use GMail now. You still might want to check it out just so that you are not left out or not in the know).