After 16 long years, 300 million active users and 150 petabytes of data, Hotmail is dead. While the king of free web-based email is dead, will the ursuper, Outlook have a better reign?
On the surface, the new kid on the block, Outlook, is leaps and bounds better. Looking better, email management and having more fancy functions should please most people forced over. Besides copying like for like from fierce rival, Gmail, here are some improvements (not all original) that Outlookers can be proud of:
1. Scrubbed up inbox
No longer is Hotmail a cluttered mess. It is just email arranged neatly and focused only on email. Outlook also gives you a right-side panel with more details on your contact.
2. Social integration
FB messenger and the ability to see social media information on your contacts will be interesting. Outlook allows users to be more updated on networking than Hotmail.
3. Skype (tentative)
After spending $8.5 billion on Skype, Microsoft hasn’t found a good way to mix it well on its playground of softwares. This development is mirrored after Gchat so its good that Microsoft has finally caught on the integration bug. But, not yet, and no one knows when.
It would seem that there has been some cosmetic changes as well as some internal changes to Outlook that makes it a worthy successor to Hotmail. Though it is more evolutionary than revolutionary.
Where is Instant Messenger?
Though gone are the days where you can say “IM me” – the bulk of your old network is still on there. Sometimes it is fun to see friends online through Hotmail. These contacts will not be available on Outlook. We may have forgotten that these contacts were there but it is surely a loss to know you can’t reach them the same way anymore. There could have been a better way to migrate over instead of copping out to Facebook. Perhaps moving them over to Skype?
Where is the email migration?
When your lease runs up and the landlord wants you to stay, there will be an improved offer. After all you can rent anywhere else, especially it is for free and that the landlord is using you to sell ads. In this case, it was more like an eviction where everyone who forced on the trail of sadness and there were no options offered. Also, Hotmail is likely the first email address most people have – after setting up iluvBSB98 or everybodylove_me_cutie_pie, this will be a good time for a change to a mature email address.
Many people affected by the change have decided to move everything out. Though the only way to do so was to either transfer everything to a desktop or to email everything ever e-mailed to another account. Not only is it a waste of time and storage, there is bound to be something missing (as with every relocation). The least Outlook could have done was to offer a graceful email migration way out.
How about security?
Like all web-based emails, it is vulnerable to hacks. Hotmail has been quite known for its “accessibility” and now its new rendition in Outlook hasn’t given much confidence. Where are the military grade encryption and ciphers that are rather industry standand to protect emails from this new point?
And lastly, backups?
Hotmail has been famous and notorious for its unreliability. Though it is not limited to Outlook, Yahoo! and Gmail also faces the same problems. Ranging from frequent small downtimes to massive outages that stopped the world – Outlook hasn’t really addressed this issue. The clear way to ensure data safety is email backup in the cloud or some form of email archiving. The least Outlook could do is to offer a Outlook backup solution.
So in the aftermath of the demise of the oldest web-based email, the new Outlook was born. While looking nicer and promising to be more functional, there still is plenty that Outlook can do before it truly deserves its throne.