Is It Time To Let Hotmail Back Into Our Hearts? [Opinion]

James Bruce 28-03-2012

Is It Time To Let Hotmail Back Into Our Hearts? [Opinion] give hotmail a chanceHotmail has had some seriously bad rap over the years, and is now almost universally shunned by tech professionals and bloggers. The main complaint has always been that the service is spam riddled, but is that fair? Is it time we gave Hotmail – the daddy of web based email – another chance to win back our hearts?


The Early Days

Hotmail was one of the first ever free webmail services, and I was one of the first to sign up when I was still in secondary school back in 1996. It was a revolution, signalling freedom from ISP-based email addresses – a truly portable solution that would stay with you for life, no matter where in the world you were located and no matter who you chose to get your Internet from.

After a few years of usage, my inbox was so full of certifiable spam that it was completely useless. Like many others, I abandoned my Hotmail account, and the stigma of the service being spam ridden has stuck with me to this day. Is that entirely fair though?

I don’t think so. I think the majority of the blame actually lies with me, the user. I would plaster my email anywhere I could, throwing it onto web forms in exchange for free toothpaste samples or simply just to say “hey guys, I have an email address, how awesome is that?“. It was a twilight period where we didn’t quite understand the new fangled email thing, and I suspect many of you did the same.

Is It Time To Let Hotmail Back Into Our Hearts? [Opinion] old hotmail

Legislative protections that we take for granted today simply didn’t exist back then – there was no online privacy or data protection act. Opting-out of future email wasn’t an option for a long time, and unscrupulous marketing types had free range with our email addresses.


Once our email addresses were put on the Internet in plain sight, it was only a matter of time before spammers would start harvesting them. Nowadays, we make sure to hide our address with little tricks like “email me: jamesbruce AT makeuseof DOT com“, or by putting indirect contact forms onto websites instead of direct mailto: links. In short, we got savvy about protecting our virtual assets. We’re careful about who we give our email to now, and some of us even create new mail accounts purely to give out – a burner – which we can just nuke if things get nasty.

None of that helped our Hotmail addresses though, which were overridden with torrential amounts of self-inflicted junk email. Abandoning them was the only option, and it left a bad taste in our mouths that some of us just can’t shake. Sure, Microsoft could have stepped up their anti-spam game sooner than they did, but I think we need to accept responsibility here for being so careless in the first place.

Security Breaches

It wasn’t just the spam though – around the year 2000 when Hotmail was beginning to be integrated with MSN Messenger and other Microsoft services, a serious security bug meant that any Hotmail account could be accessed with the password ‘eh‘. Eh, indeed.

Another bug in 2001 meant anyone with a Hotmail account could randomly delete messages from another account using a carefully crafted URL containing the other email address and a message number.


Looking To The Future & Today

Since those dark times of pathetic security and overflowing spam, Microsoft have continued to invest in improving the service, spurred on by the popularity of their main competitor, Gmail. Current estimates put Hotmail and Gmail in the top spot in terms of active users, both weighing in at a hefty 350 million, with Yahoo Mail a close second at 280 million. In a market like that, Hotmail must be doing something to remain competitive.

According to Microsoft, the dark days of 2006 when 30% of a user’s inbox were spam are well and truly over. SmartScreen now checks emails against a list of your most visited sites and a central server of known malware, even going so far as to block phishing 4 General Methods You Can Use To Detect Phishing Attacks A "phish" is a term for a scam website that tries to look like a site that you know might well and visit often. The act of all these sites trying to steal your account... Read More attempts. Today, they say, less than 3% of a typical Hotmail users’ inbox is spam – an even more incredible number when you consider that 80% of all email on the Internet is spam.

Is It Time To Let Hotmail Back Into Our Hearts? [Opinion] spam percetnage

As well as all the usual features you’d expect a modern webmail service to have – like POP access for desktop clients, importing contacts and the ability to check your other email accounts (Gmail, Yahoo, or generic accounts), Hotmail has also implemented a series of user-friendly ways to obliterate inbox clutter from newsletters and similar services, which I’ll demonstrate in detail next time.


It’s about time we got rid of that old stigma and started recommending Hotmail again. I for one, am ready to give Hotmail a second chance. How about you? Do you currently use Hotmail and have some niggling complaints? Or are you more like this guy? What features do you think Gmail has that would convince you to switch to Hotmail?

Image source: Old hotmail inbox ; Girl holding placard

Related topics: Desktop Email Client, Email Tips, Hotmail.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Mike
    July 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Great article and love your picture of the protester lol! Yes, Hotmail had a much-deserved horrible reputation at one time and yes I agree it's made a huge transformation and no longer deserves that reputation.

    I now use Hotmail Plus as my main email provider (over gmail, Comcast, Yahoo and others). It's extremely rare for spam to make it in my inbox anymore. Even the junk folder rarely has more than 5 or 10 emails on a given day with the 10-day auto-deletion setting.

    Nevertheless, it's obviously going to take a long time for much of the world to regain respect for Hotmail. The perception thing is hard to overcome. I sometimes wonder if Microsoft should have introduced a whole new email service/domain name and moved all existing accounts to it for free just to get beyond it all quickly. But that would probably be very expensive... so please everyone--give Hotmail a second chance! :)

    • Mike
      August 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Wow, am I psychic or what? I posted the above comment (Microsoft should introduce a new email service/domain name and move all Hotmail users) a mere 5 days before they did just that with! OK, obviously, many others have thought of this, but posting so close to a totally unexpected release is still a fun coincidence--or maybe I tapped into the nonlocal consciousness that connects all minds... ;)

  2. JohnReno
    July 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Nearly a year ago I gave Hotmail a chance. I chose their pay option which I believe is a tad under bucks a year. It avoids all ad's and for me, it's worth the money and I wish Google had the same option.

    The "new" Hotmail is greatly improved, *I* like it better than Gmail -but each has benefits that the other doesn't. The sorting, and some of the reply address flexiblility is better in Hotmail.

    I signed up primarily to use as the email on a big project that i was spearheading and there would be a lot of attachments (mostly images) also i would point my daily WP backup SQL databases to it as a home-brew tier 3 database backup. My point being I was hammering the account with attachments. About 7mos into I hit the 10gig level and got nasty notes from MS -and it didn't seem they were flexible. I don't think that "we grow with you" should be taken literally, my guess it means they bump the limit up on occassion. Perhaps now it's 11gig -or perhaps not.

    I was able to delete some old data bases and got a couple of gig back which got me through the project.

    a lot of ramble here, but this new Hotmail is better, it's good, it might be better than Gmail for you as it is for me, or it might not be. and next year, who knows which on-line email we'll be boasting.

    happy with the new Hotmail, ......John

  3. Scott McCall
    June 29, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Despite using hotmail for over 10 years, all of a sudden I have been locked out. This is a BIG problem and hotmail has proved itself absolutely incompetently useless in terms of showing me a way to get back in. I have emails to which I need access, all of my contacts details are there, I use the calendar as well as Skydrive - it is ALL LOCKED OUT!!! The terms "help" and "support" on the hotmail website can be described as ironic, at best. The system wants to send a code to an email that has long been inactive; and I most certainly updated this in my hotmail account settings! I followed the link at the TeamHotmail page from this website, though bizarrely, this link is not as far as I can tell, available on hotmail's own help and support. There is no email address nor is there a telephone number for further assistance. When I followed the link at TeamHotmail, it required me to answer questions about emails I have sent as well as folders created - it is difficult to remember this information accurately as I have used this supposedly efficient technology so that I WOULD NOT NEED TO REMEMBER THIS INFORMATION!! This is the second day of being locked out and it is NOT A HAPPY CIRCUMSTANCE! It should be said that I am far from alone in this example of incompetence from Hotmail. I will of course be happy to make a positive note on this thread if hotmail sort out my issue - however this is looking more unlikely as the days go by ...

    • Scott McCall
      June 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      So finally, Hotmail have accepted the information I put on the form accessed from TeamHotmail on this web site and returned my account to me. Much relief! I do NOT want to have to go through that again. However, why is TeamHotmail not available on the un-"help" and non-"support" section of Hotmail itself??

  4. Pieter Swanepoel
    June 21, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Why am I and many other people finding it impossible to sync our Hotmail accounts on Mobile devices for the last month.

    I am using Mail for Exchange on a Nokia N9.

    • Pieter Swanepoel
      June 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks Tina

      As you can see no response from Hotmail team.

      So I guess the answer to your initial question is : "No we can let them back in"

  5. Bernie
    June 2, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    OK i'm sold. How do I let my correspondents know that I am switching to hotmail?


    • Tina
      June 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm


      You could send all of them an email from your new email account to let them know. As a reminder, you could have a notice in your signature that you now have a new email address. You could also re-direct emails from your old account to your new account, until everyone has noticed that you are using a new email account.

      If you need help with any of these ideas, I recommend asking a question on MakeUseOf Answers. We will need to know what your old email account is and how/where you will be checking your emails, e.g. will you be using the web interface or a desktop client like Outlook.

  6. rob
    April 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Ha ha ha, funny i get more spam then i ever had, and I cant filter through important emails. i switched back to gmail its so much better, and i am using hotmail for people who want me email for advertising now, or contests.
    the horrible thing is if you identify an email as junk it doesnt go through your email and mark all the other emails from the same spammer as junk you have to do i manually what a waste of time, no wonder microsoft is so behind and going down hill

    • Mike
      June 18, 2012 at 2:30 am

      These days you pretty much have to sabotage Hotmail through your own actions to get an inbox full of spam.

      • Mike
        June 18, 2012 at 11:10 pm

        P.S. It should also be said that if you have an old Hotmail account still active but mostly untouched since the old days, you'll probably have to clean the inbox and tighten safe-sender/spam settings before deciding how much things have improved. Powerful new features make fast work of cleanup and ongoing control of all types of email (see graymail). But Hotmail isn't going to automatically clean up old junk without instructions from you. BTW, I'm not associated with Microsoft other than being a mostly happy user of Hotmail and other Microsoft products (btw, an Apple iOS fan too :).

        • Mike
          June 19, 2012 at 10:38 pm

          Clarification: "Hotmail isn't going to automatically clean up old [spam from the inbox] without instructions from you." Sigh... no way to edit after posting.

  7. jrobie
    April 13, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Honestly, I think the main reason to avoid hotmail these days is the stigma - people see a hotmail account and assume you don't know what you're doing online.

    • Tina
      April 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      I know a girl who won't date a guy who uses a Hotmail email account. ;)

  8. Bluesman69
    April 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    It is common practice nowadays to set up a "burner" account to act as a spam magnet when you sign up for newletters and the like. Why not use Hotmail for your next burner? Then, you will have he opportunity to see if it really has changed for the better and at the same time have an indication of how effective it is at blocking spam.
    I am currently using a Yahoo account as my burner and, to be honest, the only criticism I have is that it is a bit on the slow side to load. I receive minimal spam, most of which either goes to the Spam folder or directly to Trash in accordance the filters I have configured.
    Just about every negative comment I have seen so far about Hotmail or Yahoo is by someone that has not used either product in years or has not bothered to take the time to configure it properly.
    Due to the fact that everyone is different, in terms of their computer skill level, current usage and what they are hoping to achieve with their e-mail package, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
    Personally, I recommend taking the time to try a few different options to find the one that suits you best and also repeating that exercise at least every two years, as both the applications and your requirements are likely to have changed by then.

    • muotechguy
      April 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Great advice, thanks Bluesman!

  9. Robert "Ruedii"
    April 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Microsoft has had a bad history with bugs and lack of fixes for them for their entire history.

    Remember the IE and IIS out of order URL sanity check bug, where they sanity checked the URL before processing UTF codes instead of after? How they refused the simple fix GIVEN to them by who sent the same fix to every software company using software based on the original URL parsing demo code? Instead, they band-aided it with hundreds of patches over the next few years that added more and more UTF codes to their sanity check blacklist, instead of just doing the logical thing that every other company in the world had done to fix the bug? How, every single UTF revision added more codes for them to blacklist?

    This is the stubbornness of Microsoft, and why I would NEVER trust them with anything that I want to be secure. They put their pride over the well being of their customers, plain and simple.

    • TeamHotmail
      April 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm

      Sorry, that's just not true today. I might have been in the distant past, but it's not so today. If you look at all the work that our engineers are doing with the W3C on web standards, you'll see what I'm talking about.

  10. Ib Nancy
    April 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I still use Hotmail and Yahoo everyday. Hotmail has gotten better at putting the spam in the Junk file, however when you delete it it goes into trash, then I have to delete it again. I keep getting the same emails from the same companies/people, no don't need Viagra, or male sex enhancement as a female~
    Once deleted out of Junk it should just be gone! and blocked from coming back!

    Other thing is since improving the blocking spam features, several companies I do deal with are red marked as possible spam, even once I have literally put their address in my Contacts list.....this includes 2 e-bills and a company I get reward points from, their statement. Every month they have the red warning this could be spam! I click show and add to my contacts, and then it comes in and again red flagged.
    Come on already how many times do I have to tell you? Really getting frustrated at that!

    I would like to add pics right into my emails but right now can only put them there as attachments, can we update that?

    • TeamHotmail
      April 5, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Let's tackle your 3 issues.

      1) You can just empty your Junk folder. There's a button up top that says "Empty" when you're in Junk. Alternatively, you can right-click the Junk folder and click on "Empty folder" as well.

      2) We've actually gone to great lengths to improve our spam proctection as the article says. Unfortunately, many companies use email marketing tools that don't respect certain guidelines we provide to maintain a safe email environment. It's not because you see an that the email is actually coming from their servers. In fact, Microsoft is the same way. There are even occassions when marketing emails from Microsoft products get marked as suspicious.

      3) Jones requested this as well and I've provided the feedback to our team. You can do this currently by creating your email in an email program like Windows Live Mail or Outlook, by creating the text in a document editor like Word, or even the free version of Word you get with Hotmail (just click on the SkyDrive link up top), or by using and HTML editor. You can create your messages and just copy them over to Hotmail.

  11. Jones
    April 2, 2012 at 4:18 am

    Does Hotmail have a button that gives you the ability to select any graphic from your HDD and embed it exactly where you want inside your email text? In Gmail I do that a lot, so my pictures appear precisely where I like them, without using old-fashioned attachments. If I want to talk about a hippopotamus, I can place a hippo picture between any two lines, and choose left, right, or centred as well. My readers see what I'm talking about, just like readers of a webpage or a book.

    • TeamHotmail
      April 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      Good point. We actually don't do this directly in Hotmail. You can do it in email clients, a text editor like Word or even in HTML and then copy it over. It'll actually work well in the Word Web App that we provide for free with SkyDrive. You can definitely make much better looking documents/emails than in Gmail. Then you can just copy and paste that over in the Hotmail email message.

  12. stark
    April 2, 2012 at 12:27 am

    I use both Hotmail and Yahoo mail. My Yahoo mail is constantly spammed up, although it does go straight to the spam folder usually. My Hotmail account NEVER gets spam. EVER.

    So to all the people who complain about spam in their Hotmail accounts, I think you should put the blame on yourselves just like the article says. Learn to internet.

  13. pir
    April 1, 2012 at 3:28 am

    uh, no thanks -- why in the world should i give something a chance that has never even tried to think of MY best interest? hotmail isn't even seriously in the running for me, and the reasons are myriad.

    1. the spam; holy moses, the spam. and not just the spam sent to my hotmail account, but the spam that's sent FROM hotmail accounts; it's given the service such a bad name that at some point in time i couldn't even use my hotmail account for sending email because it got blocked by my spam-hating friends.

    2. security issues. any large provider has to be conscious of it, and hotmail has screwed up too much for me to trust them anymore.

    3. the interface. it was ugly and confusing as sin (i haven't looked lately, but why should i? it was ugly and confusing for years).

    4. the terrible policy of deleting inactive accounts, and worse, recycling them. no. just. no. with everything on the web being archived these days i sure don't want my former email address associated with some newbie spammer or troll. this is the only reason i am maintaining my hotmail account.

    5. microsoft. seriously; i didn't become a hater because it's fashionable. microsoft has screwed me over so many times, and is such a nasty company that i am damned if i'll support their endeavours in any way these days. i don't trust them with my private data.

    6. i've come to believe that keeping my email in the cloud is a stupid idea anyway. this doesn't just go for hotmail, but for gmail as well (which i used until google made it clear that my private data is theirs to sell in return for their service). i rather pay for services directly, but that's not an option. my data is much safer on my own machine because in > 20 years i've never yet gotten hacked. heck, it's safer on my small ISP's webmail server because they're too small to be bothered by hackers out for bragging rights. so i am downloading my email again, and am using my own anti-spam measures, and you know? i don't see why i ever stopped. the hype of "convenience" isn't worth the hassle it brings.

    in short: no, it's not time to give somebody a chance who's already screwed up several times. does microsoft need our help in any way? no; they already have millions of people latched to their corporate whim as it is. maybe you should talk about smaller providers who actually could use the help?

    • TeamHotmail
      April 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      I obviously cannot come to understand all the issues you've previously had with Microsoft, and so can't apologize for all those. All I can do is say that we have learned more than others in this industry and am certain that we put people first. If you are willing to, you can definitely provide this feedback to the company at this website: [Broken Link Removed]

  14. Occlumency
    April 1, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Hotmail was something which I used for junk mail. But off late their ui has improved significantly

    • TeamHotmail
      April 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      And we've improved tons for what you call junk, or what the industry calls graymail. Check out the new features we have at [Broken URL Removed].

  15. Frustrated by other peoples email
    April 1, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Although I have kept in there with hotmail, I am about to get myself an account somewhere else cause the spam is becoming to much. I keep receiving emails to my hotmail account, that are not even directed to my email.

    • TeamHotmail
      April 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      Hey, Galileo again. If you want to reach to us on Twitter we can see what's going on. But you obviously shouldn't be receiving email that isn't directed at you.

      • Frustrated
        April 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm

        Sorry I don't Tweet. Don't you have another contact? I can send you screen captures of proof that I am receiving emails that are not addressed to me.

  16. Peter
    March 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Awesome to see TeamHotmail actively participating btw. Kudos for that.

    But, the above article completely misses the main point aside from spam: the UI. It's truly terrible and incomprehensible. I recently had to log on to test something using my old hotmail account (hadn't used it forever, as I access it through IMAP/POP3) and it took me way too long to even find how to Send the mail! How can it be so hard to not make that obvious? Sorry guys, the UI is simply not good enough.

    • muotechguy
      March 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      I'd tend to agree with you Peter, but my article was about letting go of prejudices. The UI definitely needs work.

      • TeamHotmail
        March 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm

        That's a great and valid point. UI is always a very delicate thing to change. Look at all the flack that FB and Gmail got over their changes last year. Same with Win8. So while UI is something very personal in terms of taste, there are basic concepts of usability that one could argue are universal. That's just the long-winded version of "we know the UI needs improvements". It's feedback we've heard loud and clear.

  17. Dan
    March 30, 2012 at 1:08 am

    I've always used my GMail and Hotmail accounts, always via POP desktop email client. I don't like either one's online interface.

    • muotechguy
      March 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Me too... I honestly don't get web-apps... I have a perfectly fine OS right here, I'd like to use it! I don't want apps in a browser!

      • TeamHotmail
        March 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm

        It's all about choice right?

  18. Madis
    March 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    No. Gmail FTW!

  19. BenN
    March 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    What about the virus or whatever you call it that sends out mail for you. As far as I could tell this was never figured out and was still happehning pretty recently. Hotmail accounts would send email to 10 people at a time from you contacts. I received many of these from other hotmail users and my account sent them out too. Since I only access my hotmail from my home computer (running FF on Bodhi Linux) it isn't a home PC security problem. These emails were never in the sent folder either. The complaints were all over forums and MS just seemed to ignore them. Changing passwords did nothing, the only way to solve it was to delete all contacts. That is what I did so I would stop sending spam to my friends but that makes it a pretty bad email client.

    I also personally don't like the interface. Although I think Gmails new interface is horrible so if they start requiring people to use it I may be looking elsewhere.

    • TeamHotmail
      March 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      BenN, we've done a lot of work over the last 18 months to improve the spam situation in Hotmail. It was indeed pretty bad, reaching it's peak back in mid-2006. Since then it has declined considerably and we're at a point where we can say with confidence - and with independent 3rd party research - that we're just as good as the best out there at fighting spam. To you specific point, I recommend reading the "Spammers use Hotmail, too" section in this blog post We've even added a helpful feature to the product where someone can tell the service that a friend has had their acount hijacked. And just to be clear, fighting spam is not a one-time thing - it's a continual process that goes way beyond just improvements to an email service. As a company, Microsoft does a lot of work to take down spammers for all email users, not just Hotmail. If you're interested, there's more info here:

  20. RaMaN
    March 29, 2012 at 11:57 am

    whatever. some months ago I composed an email and sent it but when I checked links in it through the 'sent' folder, I was surprised. hotmail was redirecting them to any of other microsoft websites and not to where the link should go then I again sent that msg using gmail (what I remind). Hotmail for me is still suspicious.

    • TeamHotmail
      March 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      I can assure you that what you describe is not typical behavior for Hotmail. Obviously there's not enough detail in your comment to diagnose what happened, but there's not benefit to te company in having your email forwarded to "other microsoft websites". If you're still seeing this behavior, do let me know.

  21. Jack Cola
    March 29, 2012 at 3:01 am

    The thing I hate about hotmail is that after a period of inactivity, your emails get deleted. I have lost so many important emails doing this, and so have others I know.

    No one here knows how to recover them by asking Hotmail to reinstate them? Surely they will have backups somewhere - isn't it a legal requirement to keep documents for 7 years?

    • James Bruce
      March 29, 2012 at 7:23 am

      I know accounts get deleted after 270 days, but didnt know emails do. That seems very odd - they have a set storage limit, surely if you stick within that they should be kept while your account is active.

      • TeamHotmail
        March 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm

        Also, we have no set storage limit. Today we offer what we call "virtually unlimited" storage. It's basically tiered storage where you start with a certain amount and if you ever hit that limit, we'll provide more after making sure you're not abusing (spamming) the service. So you can email hoard all you want.

    • TeamHotmail
      March 29, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      Our policy is to delete an account after 270 days of inactivity. That means logging in to the account. There's no way to recover your account if it's been deleted after this period. We do not arbitrarily delete emails. If you had been using (logging in to) your account and still saw this behavior, then your account had been compromised and someone else was deleting the messages. This happens more often then folks think.

      • Chris Hoffman
        March 29, 2012 at 11:54 pm

        Is there any reason for this? This kind of scares me.

        What if someone ends up in a coma and wakes up a year later? If they're a Hotmail user, their account will be deleted. If they're a Gmail user, they can pick up where they left off.

        Yes, maybe it's a very rare example -- but it kind of scares me knowing there's a timer in the background and an axe ready to drop on my account. It's probably more a psychological thing than a practical thing.

        • TeamHotmail
          March 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm

          That's a valid point Chris. I'm looking into the specifics of this and will try to get an answer for you.

        • Nav
          July 23, 2012 at 3:01 am

          I LOL'D.

  22. Chris Hoffman
    March 29, 2012 at 1:51 am

    "In a market like that, Hotmail must be doing something to remain competitive."

    I'm not sure I agree with this. A lot of people -- particularly less tech-savvy people -- are just using what they've always used. (The same reason people use Yahoo's search engine.) Why bother creating a new email address and giving it to everyone and every website?

    That cuts both ways, though. Hotmail may be better now, but why would I go through the trouble of switching from Gmail to it? Even if it's "as good as Gmail," why switch? What's compelling about it?

    The takeaway from this article seems to be "Hotmail sucks less than it used to," which is great. But it's hardly a compelling reason to switch!

    • James Bruce
      March 29, 2012 at 7:24 am

      My next article is about the impressive Hotmail Sweep feature, which clears your inbox of grey mails. It's actually really compelling, and something I dont think is easily done in gmail.

      • TeamHotmail
        March 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm

        Hey James, this is Galileo from the Hotmail team. I see some great questions in the comments that I would love to address. Would that be ok with you?

        • muotechguy
          March 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm

          Absolutely, please do! Thank you for reading.

    • TeamHotmail
      March 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      That's a great point and hopefully Bruce will shed some light on the differentiating features we have. But I did want to make one point. Hotmail allows you to aggregate other accounts (like Gmail does). So you don't have to switch services per se. You're basically using Hotmail like an email web app/client. Some folks prefer the interface and layout, some prefer the ecosystem it provides you with (SkyDrive, Windows Phone, Xbox Live, Windos 8, etc.). But if I were to give you a compelling reason to switch, it would be the features Bruce mentioned. Again, I'll let him do the write-up and I can comeback and comment on it too.

      • Chris Hoffman
        March 29, 2012 at 11:50 pm

        Awesome. I actually had no idea Hotmail could now aggregate accounts; I haven't paid attention to it in a long time.

        Keep up the good work!

  23. Greg
    March 29, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Why are we dissing Hotmail when we should be insulting Yahoo Mail?? I can't get my parents away from it! Hotmail is okay with me, but I prefer Gmail

    • James Bruce
      March 29, 2012 at 7:24 am

      ... good point. Yahoo sucks!

    • Robert "Ruedii"
      April 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      Good point, Yahoo is about as bad these days.

      I don't know why everyone gets on Google's case for privacy, when Yahoo was the one who posted a page advertising the prices for law enforcement to have them spy on their customers for them.

  24. Allison
    March 28, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I use gmail and have no urge to switch. However, I am a librarian and often teach novice computer and internet users about email. I am finding that hotmail has, by far, the easiest interface to understand. Yes, I still prefer my gmail, but I prefer teaching hotmail.

    • TeamHotmail
      March 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Allison, let us know if you need any content to help you with your lessons. We have some great, easy-to-understand videos on more advanced features over at. The same videos are on as well.

  25. Tree
    March 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I use Hotmail as my primary email, and yes, spam used to be bad, but it's ok now. But people are too ignorant to give it a try. I don't experience problems ever, and the functionality and design is pretty efficient. You can actually find your way around opposed to many other email providers..

  26. wyrwolf
    March 28, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Have you USED Hotmail lately?!? - It's still the slowest buggiest piece-of-crap. Considering that it's one of Microsoft's oldest products, you'd think they'd have gotten it right by now. Shaking my head in mind-boggling wonder... Nope, it's not April 1st yet.

    • James Bruce
      March 29, 2012 at 7:26 am

      I have used it, but not as a primary email account or at any level of daily use. I think it offers a lot for lower level users who dont want to spend the time learning gmails infinite keyboard shortcuts and power user features.

      I cant comment on speed though, I rarely have speed issues with any site nowadays. I'm on a Mac though.

      • TeamHotmail
        March 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm

        Speed will always depend on a bunch of factors, most importantly geographic location. And there will alwas be places where one service will be faster than another, and the opposite will be true in another location. Wyrwolf, where are you accessing from?

  27. BigDaddy
    March 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I gave up on Hotmail, when I had a Windows Mobile 5 Phone, and my own Hotmail account was blocked from it, yet everything else worked fine. They wasted me to pay to access it from my phone.

    • James Bruce
      March 29, 2012 at 7:27 am

      that's pretty hilarious ;)

      • TeamHotmail
        March 29, 2012 at 10:00 pm

        It's funny cause it's true - and sad :( Those were darker days...All joking aside, that was indeed a problem we knew we had to fix. Today, Hotmail offers free Exchange Active Sync which provides push email, contacts and calendar. It's a great piece of technology and some folks recommend using EAS for other email services as well

  28. CW
    March 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I've been using hotmail since the early 2000s, so I've been through the "nothing but spam" days and have considered leaving hotmail several times. I never do though, gmail is nice but not compelling enough to get me to dump hotmail and move all my contacts and update everyone who has my hotmail address. Maybe someday, but I think Microsoft has done a nice job with the latest version and while not perfect it's way better than it used to be.

  29. Sarah
    March 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I find hotmail is much better in regards to spam then it used to be, i find yahoo is the worst culprit. But i do suppose it depends on who you give your email address out too. My hotmail is very quiet whereas my yahoo is spam folder is constantly filling up with sex aids, dodgy bank security etc.

    • TeamHotmail
      March 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      You bring up a really excellent point. We often see arguments where one email account/service is so much worse at spam than another account/service for a particular person. And then when you ask that person how they use their accounts, they'll have one of these be their "spam" (or what we prefer to call graymail) accounts that they use for signing-up to all types of sites. So obviously the more an acount is "exposed" to the wonders of the Internet, the more susceptible it'll be to spam.

  30. Seppe
    March 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I use gmail and hotmail. Hotmail isn't that bad anymore, it's just not popular to like microsoft products.

  31. Gary Stephen Callaghan
    March 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Hotmail is okay when it actually works, but this is the third time in several weeks I've had to change my password just to log into the damn thing. Apparently I always have too many attempted wrong trys.

    • James Bruce
      March 29, 2012 at 7:27 am

      you should probably look into using a password manager so you neednt type your pass (wrongly) again ;)

      • TeamHotmail
        March 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm

        I would also recommend adding what we call "proofs" to your account. This is a common industry practice where you associate a secondary email account and/or a mobile phone number to your email account. That way when you forget your password or when your account is hacked, you can recover it safely and quickly via SMS or email to the secondary account.

  32. free
    March 28, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    NO WAY. Ever. Bye microsoft.

  33. Amihai
    March 28, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    No... no it's not.

  34. Jouni "Rautamiekka" Järvinen
    March 28, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    What is the first good point in using Hotmail in the first place ? Gmail or nothing.

    • Tug Ricks
      March 29, 2012 at 5:33 am

      Folders, as I'm just not a fan of the label system. I still use Gmail as a matter of convenience. (I use their other products.)

      • James Bruce
        March 29, 2012 at 7:28 am

        Gmail has folders too doesn't it?

        • Tug Ricks
          March 29, 2012 at 7:30 am

          Not really. It's a similar but different organizational method. You can play with the settings to make them work as folders though.

        • E. W.
          March 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm

          Gmail uses tags. You are essentially tagging your saved email with a tag instead of putting it in a folder.. it will work just like a folder if you want it to, which I do.
          Right -click to get a context menu or run through the Options to find how to stop tagging or starring your messages.
          You can still 'Move' your messages to a created 'Folder'.