I was in those adolescent days when I learnt what a computer is? The first machine came to our house during that time. It was like a jewelry box full of treasures. We used to spend our most evenings seeing what my elder brother is doing. After few years later I was introduced by my brother to the world of World Wide Web. When I think today, I still remember the first website I opened – Hotmail.com
That time I did not know it was a mailing system. The word “Hot” probably attracted me more than anything else. Anyways, from that point of time I had a new address apart from my home. Later on the learning was exponential. Within few days I have got few more email addresses including yahoo and AOL. However the experience with hotmail was unique because it was first & somehow it takes a while to forget about “First” in your life:
Lot of water has passed through the Tames & Ganges from then till now. World Wide Web is now an integral part of our life. You cannot imagine a single day without chatting or mailing or checking your social networking pages. From then till now email programs and nature of an email also evolved a lot. We can do many things today which were not available couple of years back. We have learned many tech savvy words like email spoofing/ junk emails/ email newsletter etc. The business dynamics has changed. Leading email programs of today compete against each other to provide service to consumers like you and me. Each of these mail systems tries to provide some unique feature to distinguish itself from others. I still remember the day couple of years back when Google announced unlimited space for your email address. It was like an unimaginable thing at that point of time.
So the business model is -innovate and differentiate. If you cannot, you will ultimately perish. Few weeks back when I got an email in that first mail box (which I created in my adolescence) from Hotmail team about new features, I wanted to review it. To reveal the truth, that account was actually become inactive when I started using Gmail. To my surprise, I am feeling cozy about the new cool features they have introduced. These features which are meant to increase productivity ease of use and nice visualizations really gel well with today’s fast paced life. Another good thing about these features is they are available out of the box. So you need not spend much time to figure out what you need to do to use those features.
I will give you few examples of these new features which you can use in your day to day emailing experience and see if that works for you.
1. Unlimited email space, 25 GB Skydrive Space & Edit Documents Online:-Windows Live Hotmail now offers unlimited email storage!! So Google finally got competition from Microsoft on this aspect. It does not end up there! You will get your personal space on the cloud called SkyDrive to store anything ranging from photos, office documents or video file! You can also share folder with your family/friend/colleague. This is a big advantage. The new differentiator which is coming again in couple of months when you will be able to edit your Microsoft office documents from anywhere because it will support office in cloud.
2. Sorting and filtering Inbox Smart way: – This is not a feature copied from rivals. You can now use any keywords to do your email sorting .This helps immensely when you are receiving lot of emails. This feature enables sorting on subject, contact and size apart from usual date. IF you have a contact list in your mailbox, from contact sort will provide you with a view of email from your contacts. This will help you when you want to prioritize certain kind of email in your inbox.
There is one more filter option which shows updates from all social networking sites
3. Preview video/ photo: – They call it Active View! If you receive an email from your friend with a video link, hotmail will show a preview in your mail box itself. This gives the user much more flexibility in terms of less usage of browser window which in turn saves computer memory. Preview video works with YouTube and HuLu. In case of a photo album, the thumbnail views are shown.
4. Download all attachments at once: – With new Hotmail you can now download all the attachments in an email with a single click .You don’t have to individually scan and download .This is a real boost for productivity.
5. IM in Hotmail & One Click Junk Remove:-Now you can send instant message from your inbox in Hotmail. This was long due seeing the fact that Yahoo and Gmail has already introduced this feature. From user perspective if you are using a public computer where windows messenger is not available you can still use the web messenger for chatting with your friends.
With one click Junk, you can just right click or hover and say Junk. But wait, that is not all, you can hover to the sender and identify all the messages from that email as junk in single click or move to a different folder! Isn’t that cool?
Apart from all these there are few more new features like Integration with Bing, nice themes etc. I have started redirecting all my POP enabled email like AOL, Gmail, yahoo mail to my Hotmail inbox! It’s easy to manage from one place! And I am back romancing with my first email address. What’s your thought?