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I must say.  I am, at the moment, one disgruntled MSN Premium customer. I have only had the service for 4 months now, and I am still experiencing the same old dull featureless service, that I experienced when I signed up for a hotmail account over 2 years ago. As an avid web developer, I am aware of how long it can take to develop a reliable and good looking webmail system. But with Microsoft's budget and staff; I am really suprised at how they have not jumped onto the webmail fastlane like some of the other leading email providers have.
Hotmails main opposition gmail is still in beta (and for good reason). 
gMail offers all the basic tools needed to manage and use an email account. Features like email forwarding and free pop3 access.

Hotmail seems to be still in the webmail dark ages. Not only is their entire email interface still parsed in HTML, it is still full of all this ninemsn advertisement content which is really starting to get on my nerves. After I paid for a Premium Hotmail account there were still advertisements for ninemsn featuring on the left side of the page.
I thought the today page was supposed to remind you about new appointments or notify you of new emails. Instead, I think Microsoft is using it as a advertisement in your face initiative as soon as you login.
Hotmail frequently has server errors or the page mysteriously fails to completely load with half the pages images missing.

gMail offers a seemless interface and I have to say (in it's beta stages) I have not recieved 1 error sinced I signed up for a beta account back in 2004. gMail came started with all the basics I would expect such as email forwarding, sigantures, pop3 access, maximum page size. Hell; with gMail you can send email on behalf of other email accounts (providing you have the authority to do so)!

Hotmail is still way behind on the feature / options list. I have frequently tried to get through to the MSN Support Chat, and have frequently been battered back by some support person named "Julie" (the name gets more common every day) with a, "Can I provide you with a link to email our technical support team?" sort of reply.
Oh and by the way, if you do email the Hotmail Technical Support team, dont expect an email back. Thats obviously how things work over at Microsoft.

Ironically, if you do know of any email providers that can give me fully privatized email, no banners, no inline advertisements etc, please email me at my damned hotmail account [jmsbuckler@hotmail.com].

Thanks for reading my first blog!

James.

Posted on Sunday, February 5, 2006 2:22 PM | Back to top


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