Most Hotmail users who don't pay for the premium service have been hit by the 30 day expiration limit at least once, or know someone who has. Frustrating, yes. Outdated, definitely. Luckily this is changing with Live Mail, as Omar Shahine explains that soon the expiration limit will be extended to 120 days. Make no mistake about it, this is a big deal to many users, and something that should have been reconsidered a long time ago, however why extend it to less than half the value of GMail's current policy? While this is a welcome change for the millions of users with free accounts though, it draws yet another question mark under the benefits of being a Windows Live premium customer.
Confirmed so far for premium Live Mail customers are no ads and no account expiration, and with this latest disclosure, the 2nd benefit almost totally disappears. Across Windows Live as a whole, the adless experience for premium customers is being extended, with Mail Desktop and Spaces following suit. Yet the Messenger team stubbornly refuses to get in line, creating yet more inconsistency in the Windows Live services (as if that is really needed). So while you are paying for no ads across Windows Live, you still have them sitting on your desktop. Add to the fact that storage is almost a non-issue for both sets of customers, it's no wonder that many premium customers testing Windows Live feel as though they are being taken for a ride. New benefits for premium customers will be appearing, lets just hope they will be worth the wait.