We spotted a tweet today about a Hotmail “Ask Me Anything” session today hosted on Reddit.com, and while we weren’t able to attend, it looks like our friends from Hotmail got quite a bit of attention, and some direct and honest feedback from an audience of email enthusiasts that were less than avid about Hotmail.
The session lasted from noon to 3pm Pacific Standard time today (Dec. 9), and received some 2366 comments and ended with 764 Reddit points (1,446 up votes and 682 down votes), some impressive numbers. But it wasn’t a lovefest, by any means. Some major complaints from Reddit users about Hotmail included lack of IMAP support, spam filtering, losing access and email after a period of inactivity (currently at 270 days, up from 30 and then 90 days inactivity, which is what a number of commenters complained about), and lots of complaints about the brand itself, not only with the Hotmail name, but with the intermixing of social networking aspects of Windows Live:
-When I login, it takes me to a stupid f%$#@! social networking screen. Stop turning hotmail into a social network. Its not. ITs a f%$#@! email client. Your not f^%$#$@! facebook. Just stop. It is making reading my emails harder than it should be.
It’s an interesting read, and although many of the comments were negative, they were well reasoned and intelligent, with of course some exceptions. There were also a number of positive comments, about multi level folders, Office integration, and even compliments for doing the Reddit session in the first place.
Many of the comments were directed at issues with Hotmail that have long since been solved or changed (“tagline” ads in mail, 30 day inactivity, etc.), and the “stigma” of Hotmail seems to be a real problem. At one point Microsoft seemed ready to tackle the problem with the introduction of @live.com accounts, but nothing really came of that effort, we’re not sure why.
We’ll try to get a bit more advance warning on the next sessions, if there are more, this looked like an interesting few hours and we’re sorry to have missed it.