I kind of like Live Hotmail in it’s own way. I think the UI is kind of neat. Not really hard to use at all. Compared to ugly MSN Hotmail, and cluttered up Yahoo! Mail. It doesn’t really slow me down, because I use high-speed cable internet. Although I guess if you are a user of DSL or even dial-up, then I guess it might be slow on your end. I also don’t get why people even care about extra GB’s. According to Live Hotmail, I only use up 1% of my 2GB. If you really need any more than that, you’re either really busy with contacts, or you have spam. No problems for me.
For me, it works great as a web e-mail thing. It does it job real great, and I’ve had like no problems with it. Well except for a few things that I haven’t liked.
So here’s my simple list of things that I hope they can take care of in Live Hotmail:
- Speed it up for many users – Although speed really doesn’t affect me considering I have a high-speed cable connection, I hear that for other users (who I guess have DSL or even dial-up) Live Hotmail takes too long. The only thing it really takes long for me, is when I first enter, and it loads up my inbox. Like around 6-10 seconds for the inbox to load up the first time I access it. Although it only takes 1 second if I visit again. I don’t really mind (I’m not a speed freak, 6 sec. won’t dilute my life time), but I guess for some people, it should be faster. It does kind of look redundant when it says "Taking too long? – Try the Classic version." – NOT a good way to show off Live Hotmail. Maybe the should fix their AJAX thing to optimize it for speed like Gmail does.
- Windows Live Calendar (make it come!) – That’s one thing I was really not happy about. Live Hotmail left beta, and became official – without being feature complete (Microsoft!). Instead, for me, it first redirects me to a "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage". And pressing the back button, brings me to the old MSN Calendar interface. Sigh. Guys, couldn’t you just wait until Live Calendar came? Or pushed Live Calendar first? To tell you the truth, I don’t use calendars or any type of fixed schedule at all, but it wouldn’t hurt if Live Calendar was available. I’m really hoping that Live Calendar offers what Google Calendar, iCal, Windows Calendar, and even Outlook‘s calendar, in terms of function/design, and improve it even more somehow. Make it work with the web, and have some good way of connecting the same data to my desktop either through Windows Mail or it’s own offering. C’mon, we really need a full functioning calendar.
- Offering @live.com accounts – I think @hotmail.com offers too many small inconveniences. 1. it’s pretty long compared to @yahoo.com, or @gmail.com, or even @msn.com. So it’s takes extra time to type/write it, and saying it all outloud. And it would be great to have another account system, to get some cool domains. Like if somebody already took email@example.com, maybe a firstname.lastname@example.org is available once it’s released. You know, a 2nd account to fall back on. And it’s shorter too. So how about offering it, and giving users something to cheer about?
- Giving POP3 to free users as well – It pretty much says itself. I know that it’s offered for paid users, but being nice to your free users counts too, right? It is available for free if you have Microsoft Outlook or use Windows Live Mail, but I’m not sure that really counts.
- Full support for Safari browser – Now I am far from ever using Safari. It ranks at the bottom of my list of browsers. Heck, even OS X users preferred Firefox over Safari. I can’t blame them. But I saw in the Wikipedia article that it’s not really usable in Safari. Windows Live/MSN really needs to stay committed to being cross platform, or it won’t be leading happy users at all.
- Better support for Hotmail Plus subscribers – I’ve heard that Hotmail Plus doesn’t really give you a whole lot more than the free version so it should work on that. I don’t know if it’s to add some extra features, more storage, or even a cheap price. Just something to make sure that they’re really benefiting.
- Integration of a Web Messenger – I’m not talking about this sad old MSN WebMessenger thing. I’m talking about an integration of something with the look and feel of Live Messenger, in a internet browser window. Sometime people are on the go, and can’t take their personal computers with them. And sometimes, a computer they borrow may not have Live Messenger installed, and it’s a hassle to find a way to IM. Meebo is great, but it doesn’t offer the full features as the regular Windows Live Messenger. So here’s to hoping that the Hotmail team, and the Live Messenger team can work on putting together a Live Web Messenger onto Live Hotmail instead. Much more convenient and better for users.
- Changing the name (minor wish) – Not a really important thing needed, but I think they should change the whole Hotmail name thing. Hotmail sounds so 90’s. They got the name from some geek-speak, where Hotmail’s letters represents HTML when spelled: HoTMaiL. Yeah, I know, really geeky. But Hotmail still sounds old, and I think it should be changed. I was hoping for Windows Live Mail. I already know that they have some desktop application that does mail, but I don’t see why their web-based e-mail should be call Windows Live Mail. Maybe the desktop one could be renamed Windows Live Mail Desktop (WLMD – yikes!), or Windows Desktop Mail. I don’t know, something? Anyways, I still think that changing the name of the web-based e-mail to Windows Live Mail seems more important, and is a good idea to me. Just to keep up with the times.
Well that’s about it. That’s the stuff from the top of my head. So if the Live Hotmail team can accomplish this, I’d really appreciate it. I hope they consider these wishes.
I got the scoop of some of the latest updates from LiveSide.