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!"