New Hotmail Wave 3 released :Get a Yahoo account and start taking notes!

Although the new Hotmail wave 3 release is an improvement over the wave 2 release, it misses the mark in many respects.  Here are some examples:
 
1. The pagination is annoying.  There should be an option to show more emails per page or even better would be to allow me to just scroll down while Ajax buffers in 25 emails ahead of me at all times.
 
2. Drag and drop works ok, but its annoying that I can’t select multiple emails at a time to drag and drop.  This needs to work more like the Windows live mail win32 app.
 
3. There should be a full right click menu on anything I right click.  Now it seems like I right click and get an anemic menu.  Where is reply, reply to all, forward, etc?
 
4. Folder font sizes are too big. Should be adjustable through a menu or match the size of the Yahoo fonts. Too much wasted space right now.
 
5. Folder pane width is not adjustable.  Make this adjustable.
 
6. Email search should be better.  Should allow me to filter results better.  Look at how Yahoo does this.  When I search I then get a new pane on the right that allows me to further "narrow results".
 
7. Add the ability to embed objects (e.g. flash/silverlight videos) into our emails similar to what spaces allows.
 
8. Make spell-check real-time like Telerik editor. Maybe buy Telerik and put it across every live service.  You already use them on a lot of your sites (MSDN forums, Channel 8, 9, 10, etc)
 
9. Missing a "Check for email" button.  Yeah, I know that you can click on your inbox and Mail will auto refresh.  Most people will not know that. My Dad for instance will likely close IE then go back to Hotmail and curse under his breath how stupid the new mail is. Simple solution… put the button back.  There is plenty of space at the top of the UI for this.
 
Let me discuss some things I like about the new release to be fair and so that I don’t seem like a Yahoo fan boy (I’m not):
 
1. I like the speed of the new interface.  Make sure to keep the speed as you refine and add the features above.  Other mail providers have shown that we can have both speed and features.
 
2. I love the way contacts I start typing drop down with my contacts and auto refine as I type.  Very ajaxy… me likey!
 
 
This Hotmail release just seems baron of nice little touches.  Advice to MS… sign up to yahoo.com for a free email account and start copying as much as possible.  They were able to manage to do a feature packed web 2.0 app that is still super fast. You can do it too.  There is no shame in copying someone when they were first and got it right.  When you don’t then there is no way to get it right yourself. Don’t be different for the sake of being different.  In this case it equates to "not as good!"
 
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6 thoughts on “New Hotmail Wave 3 released :Get a Yahoo account and start taking notes!

  1. Ahmed

    Great article. All of what you mentioned are minor interface changes that shouldn’t affect emailing, browsing, and Hotmail’s core functionality. I posted a similar article on the new Hotmail look and I am receiving a lot of negative comments. Most of them are simply not happy with it. While, on the other hand, I am having absolutely no issues with it. Everything seems to work the way it should on several different major browsers.
     
    People are saying that they can’t reply, can’t receive new emails, the reading pane is too small, etc. Those (and others) are major problems that I just can’t see possible. It’s as if those people are using a totally different version of Hotmail. OR (and play along with me on this one plz) those people were hired by a competing company to do one thing and one thing only: complain.

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  2. Unknown

    not paid dang it! Im ALSO having probs! Actually thinking im gonna have to change Ive been w/hotmail for approx 5 yrs!!! same addy so it’ll be a painful move if i do! I can’t even write an email! WTF! Im on a mac so IE isn’t poss. Plus im on an older sytem so i can’t upgrade to any of the browsers listed…

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  3. Christian

    @ Evil_lil_deva: Your mac must be a couple of years old – my 10.4 iBook runs the new Hotmail fine. But if you do a web search you should be able to find at least some web browser (even if it’s unlisted as being able to run hotmail) that will work, despite the age.@ Jovic: I completely agree. This is the first time I’ve seen your blog, but you seem to know what you’re talking about. Maybe you should work for Microsoft… I have to disagree with the spell checker though – have you seen Yahoo! Answers’ spell checker? If they can make an unobtrusive spell checker then they should go ahead, but besides that, it’s really not a priority – assuming the Windows Live target audience is mostly pre-teens, teens and young adults, the need for a spell checker isn’t that great especially since a spell checker doesn’t understand the use of slang.Nonetheless, spot on and great article.

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  4. Justin

    Thanks Christian and Ahmed for your kind words.
     
    As for the spell checker, it works pretty good right now.  You click on it and it goes through your email and underlines each word that is mispelled.  The enhancement I would be looking for is for them to automatically click that spell check button every time you hit the space bar.  Using Ajax it should be easy enough to code.  Perhaps they make the default behavior the way it is now to keep the speed and let power users select "inline spell check" as an option.

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  5. L

    "People are saying that they can’t reply, can’t receive new emails, the reading pane is too small, etc. Those (and others) are major problems that I just can’t see possible. It’s as if those people are using a totally different version of Hotmail. OR (and play along with me on this one plz) those people were hired by a competing company to do one thing and one thing only: complain."
     
    Microsoft  = Paranoid much?
     
    People are having seroius tech problems with email accounts that they have had for years, DECADES in some cases, and you would rather pass the problems off as a competing company?!
     
     This is why Microsoft is seen as being so out of touch with the majority of today’s computer users. If you want to believe YAhoo/AOL/Google have sent us to complain, then good for you… but you just reminded me why it’s useless to complain to Microsoft – they’ll just pretent there is no problem and do whatever the hell they want anyway.

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  6. Mike

    I love it !!!  the new interface… the calendar sharing… At the office we have all changed our email addresses to hotmail and it is working great especially when we can view each others shedules and agenda from home, office, cell or anywhere… the folders (even personal folders, calendar and contacts are all there and easy to access… We are making plans for using the SkyDrive with the share features to exchange files we have to update everyday… We are also using Windows Live One Care on all PC’s now (5 at home, 2 at the office)… working great !!!

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