ron rothman.ron rothman
selectively conformist

My Next Book: “HoTMaiL [is] for Dummies”

Okay, I’ve thought MSN HoTMaiL was inferior (to Yahoo! Mail or gmail, for example) for years now.

[Incidentally, CNET Reviews independently agrees with me on this. They scored Yahoo! Mail an 8.3 and Hotmail a 6.3.]

Q. “So,” you must be asking, “why write about it now?”

A. I returned from my honeymoon to find that my account has been “reset” since I hadn’t logged in for 30 days. “Reset” as in “all my emails deleted.” “Deleted” as in “permanently deleted.” “Permanently deleted” as in “What the f**k?”

What part of “consumer-friendly” does Micro$oft not understand? Oh wait, I forgot, they don’t understand any part of it.

There is not a single way in which Hotmail is better than Yahoo! Mail. The only possible reasons for using Hotmail are (a) e-mail address inertia, (b) you are a Microsoft employee or (c) you like pain.

So quit being a L-) dumbass. [Apologies to all my friends who use Hotmail! #-o] Go use gmail, or, if you must, Yahoo! Mail.

24 Responses to “My Next Book: “HoTMaiL [is] for Dummies”” [Leave yours »]

  1. Ron [author of post] said:
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  2. Beating a Dead Horse

    We’ve already established that Hotmail sucks.
    But, as if Microsoft didn’t want to leave any shadow of a doubt, this is what I saw when I tried to log in earlier today:

    It says:

    Account Temporarily Unavailable
    We apologize, but yo…

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  3. jack said:

    Read the Terms of Use before you start bitching about the service. Also its FREE, if you don’t like it go elsewhere.

    jack@69.156.152.178

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  4. Ron [author of post] said:

    my dear friend jack,

    note that i have edited your comment; the personal insult i removed made me chuckle; are you a microsoft employee? (and why in tarnation were you googling for “Hotmail Sucks” in the first place? lordy, you must have found billions of matches… :D )

    i’d always thought that canadians were immune to bitterness; i guess you’re not, after all. but really now, of all the things to get riled over, you chose this? what gives?

    just this once, i’ll actually waste my time and address your [rather unthoughtful] comment.

    “it’s free?” yes, hotmail is free. so is gmail, yahoo, et al. among the free services, hotmail is by far the worst.

    microsoft makes money (primarily from advertising, but also from internal lead generation) when we suckers use hotmail; all of the free services do. the fact that they don’t directly charge users is not a valid excuse to provide crappy service. (or does it explicitly state, “OUR SERVICE MAY BE CRAPPY” in their Terms of Service? in that case, i’m sorry; you’re right, i should have read them more carefully.)

    “go elsewhere?” excellent idea. already have. you should too. everybody who wants a good free email service should.

    and last but not least, “Read the Terms of Use?” :)) good one, jack; you almost had me–for a minute i thought you were serious!

    (a) nobody [who has a life] reads those TOS contracts, and
    (b) Hotmail can spell out their ridiculously unfriendly policies in their TOS; that doesn’t make those policies any better. face it: their policies are crap, regardless of whether they disclose that fact.
    (c) did you read my site’s Terms of Service before you used it? (I know for a fact that you didn’t, because it clearly forbids dumbasses from posting.)

    next time, leave an thoughtful, intelligent comment, and don’t be a ~:> chicken–leave your real email address.

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  5. Karen said:

    Lol I’m changing to GMail since my new Hotmail address is giving me some trouble (For some reason my first Hotmail address stilk works fine though) but I agree with Jack on that since it’s free you can’t really ask for the best service. It’s just Microsoft’s problem when they lose all their business lol. Oh and.. um even if you don’t read the TOS contract, as long as you say you accept it, it doesn’t make much difference about whether or not you’re subject to it. But I also agree no one is really bothered to read them lol.

    Hehe that’s funny “our service may be crappy” haha good one!

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  6. Ron [author of post] said:

    Karen said:

    since it’s free you can’t really ask for the best service.

    ah, i see. how much will gmail cost you? :) hotmail, gmail and yahoo cost precisely the same amount: $0; yet hotmail is by far the worst of the three.

    you suggest that we shouldn’t expect the “best service” from hotmail. perhaps that’s so. but i ask you this: do you expect your emails to be there when you log in? (assuming you have logged in over the past 30 days.) or, is it okay if hotmail loses your emails and cannot recover them? that has happened to me with hotmail (though i didn’t mention it in this blog entry). surely you agree that the expectation that your emails will simply be there applies to all email providers, not just “best service” providers.

    i’m sure yahoo and gmail have had their problems too; but personally, i’ve had several yahoo accounts for even longer than i’ve had my hotmail account, and yahoo (which is just as free as hotmail or gmail) has never lost my emails.

    p.s., i’m 100% sure you’ll love your gmail account! :)

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  7. John said:

    i think you are a big fat liar, its 3 months till your account is inactive not 30 days, and how do you know you simply didnt just get hacked. and losing mail? wtf? i have had hotmail for almost 9 years now and have never failed to send or recieve anything, but ya go ahead and leave the hotmail servers for your crappy Gmail, your Gmail that takes 3 days to send a message and gives you random “Oops!” messages and failure to connect to the server. sure, go ahead.

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  8. Ron [author of post] said:

    um, john, did you even read my post? (i see you arrived at my site by googling for “hotmail sucks,” so maybe you’re only looking to start flame wars over this?)

    john, you poor hotmail-using schmuck, just because you’ve never had the misfortune of having hotmail delete your emails, that doesn’t mean that nobody else has. right?

    and john, my dear, ignorant guest: perhaps i was hacked? huh? let’s see… when i emailed hotmail customer service to ask them where my emails had gone, they replied with a rather unapologetic note informing me of the data loss, and promising me that they’d do everything they could to restore my emails. (that restoration, of course, never happened.)

    you seem unable to realize, on your own, that policies change over time (especially stupid policies, as public pressure mounts), so i’ll spell it out for you: at the time of my posting, hotmail’s policy was to delete emails whenever a user had not logged in for 30 days. that is a fact, not a lie. sure, they’ve changed their policy to 90 days, and do you know why? because google’s policy was better, and customers knew it (and were switching to gmail).

    and john, poor john, i’m sorry to hear that you got an “Oops” message from gmail; i’ve gotten it, too. but i can say that gmail has been available to me far more frequently than hotmail has, through the years. gmail is more reliable, faster, more feature-rich, etc. etc. etc. this is borne out not only by my experience, but also by independent reviews, one of which i cited in my posting above. (did you even read it?)

    look, this issue was resolved a long time ago. most people, especially those with a clue, decided that hotmail was inferior to its competitors. you seem not to have realized that, and i pity you, really, i do, because you’re stuck in the past. (though i understand–it’s not easy to change one’s email address. still, it’s sometimes worth it.) you’re missing out on better email features and service, all because of… who knows what? maybe you’re a microsoft shareholder; maybe your uncle works there; maybe you just prefer a challenge. i dunno.

    anyway, your comment was rife with ignorance, so i wanted to respond.

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  9. the Gibbler said:

    Yeah, couldn’t agree more. I’ve used all three of the main email providers: Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail over the years, and Hotmail is BY FAR the worst!! There are so few features offered (not even a “Mark as Read” feature, which annoys me to no end), such poor email searching, and just downright horrible, horrible service! Sure, Hotmail’s made its storage larger over the years due to competition — I believe it started out with only a measly 2MG of storage, if I remember correctly — but it stands no chance against Yahoo Mail or Gmail, none whatsoever (especially since Hotmail’s new 2000MG storage is no match for Yahoo’s now unlimited storage and Gmail’s ever-increasing storage).

    As said before, Hotmail has no exceptional features to offer, and the few that it does are terrible and poorly enacted. Plus, Hotmail goofs up a whole lot more than its competitors, and is not very user-friendly. For example, my sister and I have had a Hotmail account for about 6-7 years now. Even though I haven’t used the account for important purposes for three or so years now (as I had discovered Yahoo Mail and then Gmail), I still made sure to log in every 30 days so that my old emails weren’t be deleted. However, several months ago, I realized something odd: my earliest emails in my inbox only date back to late 2005, which does not make sense as I had emails dating from 2001, 2002, and so on. Of course, the emails could have been deleted if I had not followed through with the stupid policy of signing in once every 30 days, but as said before, I made sure to sign in. But I could have made a mistake, right? Maybe, just maybe, I hadn’t signed in, and there went my emails from before late 2005! However, this fact is greatly disproved as my folders (which were created way before 2005) are still there, and some emails in those folders date back to 2003 and such. It appears that my inbox emails — meaning MOST of my emails — from before 2005 went bye-bye, which just plain sucks, as there were some important emails that I still regret losing. (The same thing happened with my sister’s account.) Of course, when I tried to contact Hotmail customer service to see what the heck happened, I got a reply a month or so later (not very good service), which basically resolved zilch, nada, nothing! Basically, the point of this little anecdote was to demonstrate the utter weakling that is Hotmail; I have never experienced such blatantly crappy service from Yahoo Mail, Gmail, etc. — although I’m not saying these aforementioned services don’t have their faults because they do, but these are mediocre in comparison to the BIG MISTAKE that is Hotmail.

    If you’ve got half a brain — heck, even a quarter of a brain! — quit Hotmail now and experience true email service with Yahoo, and even better (in my opinion, at least), Gmail! They’re FREE as well, so your wallet stays intact, but your without the myriad hassles of hotmail. Then, to all those people who still root for Hotmail (for reasons I cannot fathom), you will truly see just how much you’ve been duped by Hotmail these past years.

    Now and then,
    the Gibbler

    P.S. This is much longer than I intended. :)

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  10. Tristan said:

    Yea, I changed to gmail about three weeks ago because I got tired of accessing hotmail through my browser. Gmail provides POP3 access and this is great for me! [Ed. Note: unhelpful anti-microsoft rant removed.]

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  12. Of course Hotmail sucks. Email is expensive to run properly. You get what you pay for. It is not possible for a for-profit corporation to do it soley on the advertising and data mining revenue it generates. Gmail and Yahoo Mail suck, too. Yahoo is the #1 email service provider to the Nigerian identity theft syndicate. Their accounts are designed to be thrown away. Anyone can generate a fake spam report and get your account destroyed instantly on a whim, and there is nothing you can do. Gmail is a privacy nightmare right out of 1984.

    If you want well run webmail, then register a domain name for yourself with an ICANN-accredited Registrar who also offers email service. Maybe GANDI.net or GKG.net or 007names.com or even Godaddy.com. (But avoid Dotster and Network Solutions.) It only costs a few bucks a month. Or get a web hosting account at someplace good like Dreamhost.com or Amhosting.com and just use the email that comes with it. If you are smart enough to follow instructions carefully, the accounts at Freeshell.org and Riseup.net are a bargain.

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  13. Carolyn said:

    Oh good god… if one more person says “you get what you pay for” — how is the idiocy of this comment being lost on everybody? Do you people read the entries or do you just sorta pick out key words and go for it?

    I’m embarrassed to admit that starting ten years ago I was a Hotmail die-hard until I started working in e-commerce, at which point I opened Yahoo and Gmail accounts and realized what I’d been missing. I’ve never had a huge disaster that pissed me off enough to leave, but the features that Hotmail lacks are a huge pain. Address book annoyances, message formatting issues, even a recent week-long run-in with browser rendering issues that finally resolved itself, but I mean come on guys, I use Explorer for pete’s sake (which I also know is wrong, but that’s another blog). Predictive text for email addresses that are in your address book? That’s too hard? You shouldn’t have to work so hard with email, even FREE email. And I’m sure I’ll be slammed for saying this, but why would you pay for email? Do you pay for plastic Safeway bags, too? If it comes with your cable service or webhost then fine, that’s essentially a freebie anyway, but otherwise?

    Furthermore, it should be reiterated that any features Hotmail DOES have now were born purely out of pressure from competition, and even that is a slow/sad process. They are surely not blazing any new trails… more like going 35 in the fast lane :-w

    That said, what I’m most embarrassed about is admitting that “email address inertia” is exactly why Hotmail is still my #1 personal email address. Being the first big player was huge for them, as I think a lot of people are in the same boat as me.

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  14. If this does not get published it is because I did not read your comment policy… :-) [Editor’s Note: true, it’s a bit off topic, but I’ll approve it. :D ] I’ve had a hotmail account for well for ever. AND I absolutely love it…. nope I have no saved emails on there because they at some point deleted them all. I had a few passwords on there as well as product codes for stuff I purchased (like ace utitilites) so I could re-access them as needed… well they’re gone to. Luckily some business’s (like ace utilities) resent them to me at my current email addy. In fact hotmail (and maybe vista) made me take a very hard look at micro$oft in general and I decided to look at alternatives. I found the greatest (imho) program in Linux it is called Ubuntu. Totally free and open sourced with any program easily replaced that micro$oft can offer. Not only does this software meet my expectations it often exceeds them (micro$oft has a very low standard). Programs that I refer to are firefox instead of IE, openoffice instead of micro$oft office, vlc instead of medial player, and the list is endless. The only thing that really sucks with Linux (Ubuntu) is that I (using comcast) have no need for a virus checker, and it’s free. I really miss the pop ups (sic) I also miss the blue screen of death and the restart computer on every update. Being serious I really do miss having to pirate software (although I have bought my fair share). For those of you who really bitch on hotmail….. look at the parent company, is the philosophy any different? I had a funny incident yesterday, I found in a garbage pick a full working computer (hp e-pc 42) with a printer. The printer was a hp and only had a parallel port connection (nice printer though) I plugged it into my Ubuntu machine and it recognized it!!!!!! when was the last time you plugged ANY parallel port printer into micro$oft and it was recognized without preloading drivers.

    I realize I have gone off topic (sortof) but people have to realize that hotmail is merely one aspect of micro$oft that WE (not me) put up with and it is time we said enough is enough. Let’s look at one of the richest men in the world…. Michael Dell (yea dell puters), he was interviewed last year and in one of the photo’s was a pic of his own laptop…. was he using micro$oft…. wrong.. he was using Ubuntu (google it). Why I as is one of the richest men in the world, not to mention a computer guru using Linux? furthermore why does he offer a linux based system on the computers he sells? So for all you whiners, quit whinning and do something about it… google Ubuntu (current version hardy heron) and make a move to YOU controlling the content of your computer! Any questions I freely offer my email rlvarcoe@comcast.net.

    Cheers

    Rob

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  15. It’s really simple. When you watch broadcast television, you’re the product. The advertisers who pay for the programming and the broadcast are the customer. When you go to the movies or Tivo programs from cable and skip the ads, you’re the customer. It costs money to make TV content and someone has to pay.

    It costs real money to run email. I’d be amazed if Yahoo spends less than a dollar a month per yahoo.com email address. It takes real engineering talent and an ever growing physical infrastructure to keep out even as much spam as they do. Better spam control costs even more. Someone is paying. When you use “free” email from a for-profit corporation, YOU’RE THE PRODUCT. The company doesn’t owe you any
    thing. And you don’t even know who’s buying. They can take your account away any time for any reason. They can be down for a long time. You cannot contact them for help. (Ever tried? Yahoo Mail has NO customer service, as a matter of company policy.) They can mine your messages and sell the results. They can censor your mail, in and out, and they don’t even have to tell you. They can sell your account. Yahoo is about to sell your email account to Microsoft.

    Which is all very fine if you are a chatty teenager and email is just another entertainment service. But if you are a professional trying to do real work, “free” email just isn’t an appropriate tool. If you were an auto mechanic, would you buy your tools at Toys R Us? Grow up and get professional quality email service. I already suggested several vendors.

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  16. […] Hotmail is for Dummies […]

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  17. Yes, I did get here by typing “Hotmail sucks”!
    I just wrote an article myself about their services and i’m not even using Hotmail, but i still have reasons to hate them and millions of others are in the same boat with me. Hotmail is blocking emails I sent from normal account to my friends! So, please, everybody just stop using hotmail services!

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  18. Antonios said:

    My hotmail account was hacked into. For the last hour, while hotmail’s crack team of employees aren’t resetting my password, my friends have been conversing with the scum who have sent everyone in my address book an email about what a lucrative opportunity I have found in England while attending a youth program… I’m 32

    And I’m a paying customer. I have only the small satisfaction of having been able to cancel my subscription in the meantime.

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  19. Andy said:

    Ron, you are quite right hotmail does suck, for the reason you already stated. If you don’t log in for 30 days then good night Vienna. I work abroad sometimes and i had a hotmail account, because i had no acess to a computer or the internet, i lost my account and all the contacts i had inside it. So i think hotmail sucks, i have had a yahoo address for 5 years now and i still have it and my contacts. My yahoo account does’nt get bombarded with spam either. I think you are justified……Andy

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  20. Rob said:

    I’ve long since abandoned Hotmail for Gmail, but I still need to check the account. Can anyone tell me why, every week or so, I have to re-enter my address and password? And why I have to enter my entire email address even though I’m logging into Hotmail? Why should I have to enter @hotmail.com? Doesn’t it know I’m at Hotmail? I guess one can’t exepect much from Microsoft.

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  21. Mark said:

    Rob, THANK YOU. You are asking the same question I’ve been asking myself. Why in God’s name do I have to keep signing into hotmail so they won’t delete my emails? And why do I have to enter @hotmail.com? What a bunch of jackasses. Hotmail deleted all of my sent emails at some point 5 or 6 years ago, then older messages in my inbox. Messages I would like to have now. Messages I can never have back. Lovely emails from my wife when I first met her. And emails before that go all the way back to high school (which is starting to be a long time ago now). I created a folder within my hotmail account called “Fuck Hotmail” and put everything in there, so that at least I had messages saved somewhere. That folder is also a nice reminder of why I moved to gmail.

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  22. Hi Ron,
    Thank you for your post (which is getting old by the way ;-)
    I just compiled a list of reasons about why not to use hotmail. Check it out!

    10 reasons why not to use Hotmail

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  23. Josh said:

    I have been using Gmail since its launch in 2004. @ that time, Hotmail provided 250 MB of disk space. I remember when Hotmail had 2 MB of space, and then 10MB and then 250MB.

    The google staff always add some “tools” to make your emailing more efficient and that’s what I like about gmail, and google in general.

    I wouldn’t insult you or contradict you, but I had to pay a small amount of money (around 20 usd i guess) to create my gmail account several days after the official launch @ April 1st 2004. The only way to subscribe to gmail @ that time was by sending so called “invitations” from subscribed gmail users. Gmail is widely open for everyone for free.

    The reason why Hotmail is crap is because MS offers less flexibility. For example, do you really think that MS will add IMAP support for Hotmail ?? I don’t think so. Instead, those guys are,afaik, currently providing the 15-year-old POP3 access. Also, Hotmail have lots of ads and the “unblockable” Windows Live spam that really irritates me.

    Gmail is now set up w/ Google Apps. It means that I use Gmail to provide the mail for my domain….and still the same features.

    Also, there’s the aspect of MSN. Do you wanna go to Windows Live Messenger?? Yeah, use a hotmail/live address!! There are a few people who use their OWN address for Live Accounts (like lolcake@mydomain.com). Most of people don’t know how to do that trick and thats why they’re trapped into the Hotmail paradigm.

    Thanks for reading

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  24. Mark Tedrow said:

    Is there any books about Hotmail???
    I have questions about things and all of the forums suck and I can get a number or anything to talk to Microsoft. Even if its free, there should still be a place to get answers for questions!!

    I can’t get it to sign me out, and it won’t tell me why!
    Clearing Cashe’s and cookees does nothing! I have had it for 20 years!

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