More information (and some speculation) about Hotmail

By Kip Kniskern | In Featured, News | Posted August 14, 2007 19 comments

With the announced release of Windows Live Hotmail still rolling out, a bit more information has come out in the form of some blog posts from Hotmail team members. 

First, Steve Kafka goes more in depth into cleaning up your address book, with an explanation of “clean up duplicate contacts”

WindowClipping (4)

Next, Omar Shahine reports on some impressive numbers for Windows Live Hotmail:

Today on Windows Live Hotmail we are hosting about 200 million accounts. The remainder of the users are still on the older MSN Hotmail Service. Over the next few months we expect that number to continue to climb as the remaining users start to use Windows Live Hotmail as their main service.

The scale of the site is also far greater. When I first started working on Hotmail back in 2004 we were working on building out our first cluster that would eventually support Windows Live Hotmail, and today the sheer number of machines running our code is mind numbing.

Omar also points to a(n apparently 3rd party) tool to make it easy to switch to Windows Live Hotmail from some other mail service:

WindowClipping (5)

It’s also interesting to note that both Omar:

“There is one other surprise coming that I’ll blog about before the end of the month.”

and Dare Obasanjo:

“So far we’ve seen updates Spaces, SkyDrive, and now Mail within the past month. The summer of Windows Live is on here and so far it’s looking pretty good. I wonder what else Windows Live has up it’s sleeve?”

seem to be hinting pretty broadly of more to come within the next few weeks.  What could it be?  We know that at least three services (and surely more) are slated for beta releases soon: Windows Live Calendar, Windows Live Events, and the Gatineau analytics tool.  Of these, Calendar probably makes the most sense here, as it would replace the current MSN Calendar tab in Hotmail.

One interesting bit of (admittedly wild) speculation though is a Web Messenger sighting:

WindowClipping (6)

..in this screenshot posted on Read/Write Web yesterday. Will Web Messenger/Hotmail integration be coming, similar to Yahoo Mail?

Posted August 14th, 2007 at 1:33 am
  • aho

    Wow.. it will be great when Web Messenger comes to hotmail, if it does!

  • Nick

    The old MSN Web Messenger is soo out of date looking now, it’s not funny.
    Maybe a silverlight version [:P], or WPE/WPF version, both using the same code, so it’d be the same on windows and silverlight

  • quikboy

    Sounds pretty interesting.

    I don’t see why Hotmail doesn’t include a contact importer itself, but the tool sounds interesting.

    And web messenger should be integrated into Hotmail as soon as possible. A much needed feature.

    Many people are on the go these days, without their personal computers. It would be great to have the full version of Live Messenger in a internet browser, instead of depending on meebo.com, which is scaled down. Also, better than trying to install Live Messenger onto somebody else’s computer. We want this soon.

  • derviskemal

    ooo web messenger sounding great :)

  • Alber1690

    A Web Messenger would be amazing, I don’t like not being able to sign in anywhere I am just because the computer doesn’t have Live Messenger. And, maybe they could also let MSN Premium members upgrade to Live Hotmail soon…(I know, I keep bugging about this, but how can’t I, I’m paying here!)

  • G-Z

    does this switch tool also migrate the outbox mails?
    does it really work with every other mail account?

    but this changes look really great.

  • vipwoody

    Very nice updates, hopefully we will experience some change in the performance in downloading the pages. I still prefer Gmail till now, if WLH is getting better… I might change my mind. Thank you WLH team and LiveSide for giving us those information.

  • emil

    I like the new Hotmail quite a lot. What I simply cannot accept are taglines in the mails and graphical ads in the UI. Here in Germany MS currently doesn’t offer the paid Plus version.

    Also, what the Plus version offers abroad is to meager for me. I need 50 mb mails, 10 aliases, 100-200 SMS, ad free UI and at least a 10 gb Skydrive (without any limits to the filesize!). This would be the equivalent to my current GMX “Topmail” and I would pay the same 60 €/year for it.

    Why do they only offer this cheapo Plus tariff?

  • CalumJR

    Having Web Messenger in Hotmail would be absolutely brilliant!! I wondered what was happening with that.

    I don’t think Calendar will be released anytime soon though because why would the Hotmail team update 200 million accounts with this update now if they are going to release the Calendar beta in a few weeks??

    Surely they would wait until Calendar is ready or release it with this update, yes?

  • DavidK

    Calum, I agree, except for the speculation some time ago that the calendar may still be branded MSN calendar, which I can’t help but think may end up a seperate app rather like google calendar. My guess anyway.

    Now, off the topic, is it just my accounts, or has the drag and drop feature completely stuffed up?

  • DavidK

    NEWSFLASH… they have webmessenger already! It’s just completely crap!

    http://webmessenger.msn.com/

    ;-D

  • Zaarin

    I, for one, would prefer the calendar to be updated rather than webmessenger.

  • Red Robin

    I agree with Zaarin, I want the calendar ASAP! Its the only thing holding me back from totally switching from Google.

    It would be nice if there was a desktop application of it like Vista’s Calendar (Windows Live Calendar?)

    What I like about Live is you have the best of both worlds – fast feature rich desktop apps with locally saved data, and web accessible data so when I’m not at home. Right now I’m just missing a good calendar.

  • Vasudev

    Check out the screenshots of Upgraded Windows Live Hotmail at my blog http://vasudevg.blogspot.com/2007/08/new-windows-live-hotmail-screenshots.html

    New features shown in screenshots.

  • the andyman

    I know this is “shameless promotion” but I wrote about Windows Live Web Messenger a couple of months ago at Messenger Stuff: http://www.msgstuff.com/news/post/302/

  • Bassem

    @ Davidk: I don’t think they will be using the old “MSN” Web Messenger. o.O

  • jonathanyaniv

    This will be cool

  • shahineo

    My surprise has to do specifically with Hotmail…

  • Chris

    Omar you tease ;)