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Hotmail On Your Desktop 235

Posted by samzenpus
from the mail-everywhere dept.
thomas2you writes "Microsoft has just started its beta testing on a new program, made to have Microsoft's hotmail on your own desktop according to an article on CNET. It's going to be free software, you're going to be able to manage multiple accounts and they are attempting to include the ability to also just control all pop3 and smtp accounts you have, including Google's gmail as well as Windows Live Mail, the successor to Hotmail. From the article, 'The move is a shift for the Hotmail business, which in the past, has charged users who wanted to read their mail using desktop software, rather than a Web browser. Microsoft charged $20 and up for its paid service.'"
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Hotmail On Your Desktop

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  • Better Solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:06AM (#15025386) Journal
    The move is a shift for the Hotmail business, which in the past, has charged users who wanted to read their mail using desktop software, rather than a Web browser.
    And for those of us who have an ounce of intelligence [mozilla.org], there's no change [mozdev.org].

    You might not have known this but there's already a tool out there that lets you connect and check mail from AOL, Libero, Gmail, MailDotCom, Lycos, Yahoo and (the seemingly "impossible") Hotmail. It's called Thunderbird [mozilla.com] with the Webmail extension [mozdev.org]. In fact, I'm pretty sure that there's even a Webmail plugin for Firefox that would allow you to check it automatically through your browser.

    So when I saw the headline of "Hotmail On Your Desktop" I thought to myself, "So what?" I pulled up Thunderbird and there it was, Hotmail on my desktop. Am I some sort of sorcerer? No, but if this is news then I must have madd haXX0rz skillz to be able to do this when it's not possible. Or perhaps it's just another lame Slashdot article brought to us by a Microsoft employee that encouraged samzenpus to post it with a nominal paypal transaction? I'm not implying anything, of course...

    But I suppose now, you have a choice:
    1. Check your Hotmail (and Gmail and Windows Life Mail) through a new proprietary (malware issues?) client that will most likely bombard you with advertisements or
    2. Check your Hotmail (and many other mail systems) through good old Thunderbird with no advertisements and source code that you can alter yourself if you ever feel the need to.
    Pretty tough choice...

    Remember, Microsoft owns Hotmail and, according to the article:
    It's part of the company's broader Windows Live effort and could eventually serve as a hub, not just for Windows Live Mail, but for other Microsoft Web-based services as well.
    That's right, "other Web-based services as well" like the following possibilities:
    • The "Genuine Advantage" checker Web-based service. There to report you for anything you've done to Windows that in any way violates the EULA you blindly clicked during the install.
    • Microsofty Ads! The Web-based service that brings advertisements to your desktop so that you can get all the cool new Microsoft products cheaper!
    • Member Updates. The client application that annoyingly pops up in the bottom right of your screen as a paper clip to alert you of cool new Microsoft products!
    • The Blue Screen of Death inducer--a service that allows Microsoft to trigger your machine remotely to BSOD on you. Why try to recover from an error when you can just reboot?
    • The Friendly Survey Service, a program that just tallies up what you got on your machine and phones home to Microsoft so Mr. Gates can have charts presented to him that realistically show the threat of OOo against Office.
    • Et cetera...
    Yeah, I pretty much can't wait to install something on my machine that's going to be a catalyst for other Microsoft programs.
    • I don't want it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Poromenos1 (830658) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:21AM (#15025439) Homepage
      I've been using hotmail since the late nineties and guess what my space is at now: Same as what it was then (2 mb). That's right, I have 2 mb of storage space. Gmail has 2-3 GB (I've lost track) and my POP mail client (Opera) has as much as my PC. Does hotmail have ANYTHING going for it any more?
      • Re:I don't want it (Score:2, Informative)

        by x2A (858210)
        I've had my account since around '96, when it was HoTMaiL... then MS bought it. During the process of "upgrading" accounts, my account got wiped (losing years old emails I'd had from friends, oooo I was pissed off with that), and then reset, back to 2meg. Thanks so much for that.

        Just had a quick look at it, it's now 250meg, empty, and unused.

        Gmail all the way.

        • Re:I don't want it (Score:2, Insightful)

          by airjrdn (681898)
          While I agree that would suck, your "Gmail all the way." direction might need some thought. You're ditching a free email account with a company that deleted historical emails and switching to one that deleted their own blog [searchlatitude.com] and has access to not only your emails [gmail.com] but search patterns [google.com], photos [picasa.com], probably PC files [google.com], and who knows what else.

          Just get your own domain name and hosting account and do it yourself.
          • I'm not defending google, but this is a decision that he decided to make when he went with gmail. I made that same decision, so I'm biased.

            All this will probably become moot soon enough, when more governments decide to force ISPs to store all data sent to or from their customers.

            And remember, as for email, you have no control over how people store what you sent them or what they sent you.
          • Re:I don't want it (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Bogtha (906264)

            You're ditching a free email account with a company that deleted historical emails and switching to one that deleted their own blog

            ...and then restored it frmo backups straight away, thus proving that they have a recovery plan in place should anything happen to my data.

            Just get your own domain name and hosting account and do it yourself.

            Your average cheap hosting company is much less likely to have a solid backup/recovery plan in place than Google.

        • Well, a mistake is one thing. I'm still pissed that a few years ago, they just decided out of nowhere to delete all of the mail in my "sent" folder. I wasn't anywhere near my mailbox limit, and this happened without warning (unless it came in one of those annoying hotmail staff spams).
      • Not only that, but after 16 e-mails with a Hotmail tech where I eventually identified that hotmail drops
        packets (no reject message, no connect to the server over anything) from any range tagged as "dynamic"
        I've been forced to reject all delivery of e-mail from Hotmail to my domain. You might want to try GMail,
        Yahoo! or pretty much any other service that uses more intelligent spam blocking methods.

        I really don't see what their service has going for them anymore. Your account size just confirms it.
    • Re:Better Solution (Score:3, Informative)

      by De Lemming (227104)
      No, but if this is news then I must have madd haXX0rz skillz to be able to do this when it's not possible.

      Besides your solution, I use Outlook Express (included in Windows) for years to access my Hotmail accounts. OE connects to Hotmail using some proprietary protocol, not POP3. It's a bit slow, but I like the abillity to have access to these accounts in the same place as my POP account. This is a free (gratis) solution and it's ad-free.
      • Re:Better Solution (Score:4, Informative)

        by Jim_Maryland (718224) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:35AM (#15025513)
        I too use Outlook Express to access Hotmail (actually that's all I use Outlook Express for). I don't know if you remember, but at one point, they stopped allowing that access via Outlook Express unless you paid for a Hotmail account. Free accounts, since that cut-off, were only permitted to access using a web browser.

        I've stopped using this account for the most part. The only reason I periodically check it now is that I've had it long enough that some long lost contacts from high school or college may still have that as the only way to locate me for a class reunion or possibly some former co-workers who may be of use for career networking.
        • Free accounts, since that cut-off, were only permitted to access using a web browser.

          Ah, but apparently this restriction applies only to newly created accounts, and mine are a number of years old. Thanks for the info.
          • Re:Better Solution (Score:3, Informative)

            by De Lemming (227104)
            Addition: according to this knowledge base article [microsoft.com], free access only works if you already accessed the Hotmail account using Outlook or Outlook Express before they switched to paid access. So you can't access an old account using OE for free if that account wasn't accessed throug OE before.
            • Addition: according to this knowledge base article, free access only works if you already accessed the Hotmail account using Outlook or Outlook Express before they switched to paid access. So you can't access an old account using OE for free if that account wasn't accessed throug OE before.

              MSN is tweeky that way... for example there was a time you could pick a domain when subscribing to hotmail. This would include .msn. .MSN is now reserved to people paying for service which gives them special privileges
        • http://sourceforge.net/projects/hotwayd [sourceforge.net] is a pop deamon that retrieves Hotmail. It sends the same requests that OE does, rather than screen scrape, and it allows you to send mail. You may want to give it a try, if only to have all you mail readable under one client.
    • A Windows mail client. Very cutting-edge. For 1990.
    • The Blue Screen of Death inducer--a service that allows Microsoft to trigger your machine remotely to BSOD on you. Why try to recover from an error when you can just reboot?

      My neighbor in college had one of those. Every time he woke me up playing MP3s on his Windows 95 machine too loud, it would blue screen. Of course, the "service" ran on my Linux box... and may have been manual...

    • Hotmail on the desktop has been available since Outlook Express 5 (for those who use it)
      Why the hell is this news?
    • Re:Better Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sremick (91371) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @11:57AM (#15026405)
      What amazes me that you get all these people being incredibly vocal about how much hotmail/gmail/yahoo mail sucks because their email is so important to them, blah blah blah... well, the more-important your email is to you, the less you should be using some gimmicky free email service.

      Here's a hint: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Now, here's a radical idea: if email is so important to you, why not toss out a few cents and PAY for it? *SHUDDER*

      Yes, you heard me: PAY for your email service. What a concept! And it's amazing how many peoples' jaws drop when I suggest such heresy. "PAY for email??? Email is free! Email is SUPPOSED to be free! Email has ALWAYS been free! Why should I PAY for something that I can get for FREE???" Then go on to bitch and moan some more about how much Hotmail sucks...

      I outgrew Yahoo's email and decided to pay for the enhanced "Plus" email service from them one day. It was nice to get rid of the ads, and get more filters, more space, better spam control, and a myriad of other stuff. But their customer service sucked, and I needed features like IMAP they wouldn't offer. So I shifted my money to someone else willing to fill that need. So now, for less than a dime a day, I get 2GB of storage, 50MB attachments, up to 1000 address book entries, and IMAP. I use Thunderbird 99% of the time (from various computers) and have the option to use the web interface if I so choose (or am at a computer I haven't set up TB on).

      I stopped worrying about lack of features, limits, ads, and sucky customer-service a long time ago. Because I decided if I'm willing to spend a few bucks on coffee a day, I should be willing to spend $0.10 a day for an email service. And which is really more-important to me?

    • In fact, I'm pretty sure that there's even a Webmail plugin for Firefox that would allow you to check it automatically through your browser.

      I hear people complain about needing all these extensions to make Firefox really useful, but you need an extension just to login to Hotmail? That must be how they got the browser so lean.

      [/end_humor]
  • by Mattygfunk1 (596840) * on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:07AM (#15025391)
    it's going to be free software

    Define "free".

    Realistically, I would imagine that it's a teaser that will be Vista only, or will only be fully featured on Vista.

    • Define "free".

      Free as in beer which can only be poured into a glass one maintains a subscription on. Agreed.
    • In Microsoft terms "free" is as in "free" for them. In this case it's "free beta-testers." In my University they offered "free" versions of beta Visual Studio. I ended up having less "free" time.
    • Realistically, I would imagine that it's a teaser that will be Vista only, or will only be fully featured on Vista.

      Even assuming you are right, what is wrong with that? Or are you just saying this because this is Microsoft we are talking about here? Just for example, Apple does this regularly and so do many application manufacturers to encourage users to buy new software versions. Would you expect software makers to make every feature of the newest iteration/major-version of their software products availabl
  • by a_nonamiss (743253) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:07AM (#15025392)
    Sadly, I stopped using Hotmail when they discontinued support for the Outlook plugin. I think it was a bad decision on their part.
    • What is this discontinued plugin of which you speak? I can still check Hotmail via Outlook, and I'm using Office 2003.
    • I've been using Outlook Express to check Hotmail for the past five years, and it still works today. I never paid an extra fee to be able to do this.
      • My account stopped working about a year ago. It was well after they made the announcement [microsoft.com] that they were not going to support hotmail accounts in Outlook, so I thought I dodged the bullet. Then I started getting the error messages. It's a shame, really, beacuse I was using Hotmail for years before Microsoft ever bought them out. This Hotmail plugin for Thunderbird intrigues me. Maybe I'll check that out.
    • They didn't discontinue that feature for existing users (like you were, at the time), they only stopped including the feature for users who signed up afterwards. So unless you were signing up for new accounts, it wouldn't have affected you at all.
    • This is FUD. When they started charging the only thing that changed (at that time, don't even know if it still applies) was only new accounts had to pay for it. Definitely if your account was created before that date, there was/is no issues using Outlook/Outlook Express.
    • They didn't discontinue support. They changed it so that a paid account is required to use it. It's weird though because it didn't happen to everyone at once. It took up until about a month ago for it to happen to me. I paid the yearly fee because it's worth it to be able to move messages into a pst file. My account is now 10 or 11 years old. It was the first email address I ever had and I still get emails on it from people I haven't heard from in ages.
  • by Bromskloss (750445) <auxiliary.addres ... ]com ['il.' in > on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:11AM (#15025401)
    Finally!
  • Free software? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by overshoot (39700) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:12AM (#15025407)
    Actually libre or just gratis?

    .END rhetorical_question

    • It's Microsoft. What do you think it will be? I'm betting it's free as in "here's some buggy software... oh, and subscribe to our virus scanner for only $50/year!"
    • Neither.

      Free as in "paid with your copy of MS-Windows". I will say it's gratis when it is available for other OSes (Mac OS, Linux, FreeBSD, QNX, whatever)

      An immaterial product "P" from company "C" can't be said gratis when it only works with another product "Q" also produced by company "C" and that you need to pay.

      Well... except as PR !
      • Your basic point is valid, but really, QNX?

        Guestimate of the amount of people using QNX as their desktop - 10,000 (high side, I'm guessing)

        Amount using hotmail? 1, 2, maybe?

        Amount who'd want hotmail on their QNX desktop?

        0.
    • Yeah. I saw the writeup and nearly went into shock. Went and did the minor ten seconds of fact-checking the editor should have done before posting this, and realised there's no need. It's not free software. It's not even software. It's mushware that's effectively part of another mushware product you have to buy, so it's not even freeware, really. Just a marketing scam.
  • gotmail does it (Score:5, Informative)

    by rollx (830963) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:14AM (#15025413) Homepage
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotmail [wikipedia.org]

    You can use it with any mail client. Without any favor from Microsoft
  • Arrrgh! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:15AM (#15025417)
    it's = it is
    its = possessive

    you're = you are
    your = possessive
    • Dude, you completely left out the comma fault, the split infinitive, and the sentence capitalization errors. If you're gonna be a grammar nazi, show some attention to detail! Sheesh.
      • The experts don't concern themselves much about the split infinitive these days: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split_infinitive [wikipedia.org] There's no real reason to avoid it as long as the "to" and the verb aren't so far apart that it causes the reader to lose track of the infinitive construction. If you have that much extra stuff packed in, it's likely there are a number of other reasons why you should rethink the construction of the sentence, anyway (unless you're William Faulkner).
  • by CyberSlugGump (609485) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:17AM (#15025422)
    According to the table [com.com] (from clicking the image in the article), Windows Live Services will include "Windows Live Favorites" which is listed as having no competitors. Isn't del.icio.us [del.icio.us] a competitor?
  • I stopped using hotmail years back mostly because their spam situation was insane I could create I new hotmail account and without signing up for anything of giving the address out anywhere within a week the address would have started to recieve spam. Their filters were terrible.

    Has this situation changed? Have they improved their filtering methods?

    When I originally left hotmail I went to yahoo since their spam filters seemed a lot more powerful (you could teach it what you thought was spam) however then
    • Try setting up a simple webmailprog. Like Ilohamail or something. That should work through a proxy.
    • Hotmail's spam filtering has improved a lot in the last couple of years. It's had to; Hotmail has so very many users that every spammer in the world just tries a dictionary attack. [any word]@hotmail.com is likely to get delivered, and so it gets added to the list of fully double opt-in leads. Most spam gets correctly filtered from my Hotmail account, which has been promiscuously posted all over the net (including USENET) without bothering to mung it for the last eight years. There are a few false positives
    • Hotmail has gotten a lot better in the last couple years, I still only use it for a spam catcher for sign ups and stuff. I still get a few spam emails a day(5-6), but more than half of them get filtered into my Junk folder. I know where you're coming from though, I used to get 20-30 spams a day and I wasn't too impressed with having to sort through my junk to find the real email that had gotten filtered out. But anyway, Gmail still way better as far as I'm concerned.
      • Gmail still way better as far as I'm concerned.

        I thought this until I found a number of mails that Google decided were spam that were actually were for me. Not to say that Hotmail is better but it still bothers me to know that had I not looked into the filtered mail that I would have thought that I just never got a responce.
        • I haven't had that happen to me yet(with Gmail anyway), but false positives are something we may have to accept in the age of spam filtering. I hate having to go through every single email that gets filtered in to my Junk folder, but I do it anyway just in case. Unless someone can come up with a fool proof method of detection, but I know that I have trouble myself since the emergence of the 'spam faked from people you know' phenomenon.
    • I've had my hotmail account since 2001. I'm on numerous mailing lists. My address is posted on my web site and on numerous other web sites and forums. I get maybe 3-5 unsolicited spam mailings a day. I get maybe 15-20 spams a day, but the vast majority come from newsletters, email lists, and update notices from different groups I've opted in with.

      I did have an account from 97-98 (from before the MS buyout) that I had until 2001 but the spam on that account was out of control. 200+ unsolicited spam emails a

    • When I originally left hotmail I went to yahoo since their spam filters seemed a lot more powerful (you could teach it what you thought was spam) however then yahoo started to charge for their better filtering service and the spam situation there become unmanagable.


      I know what you mean. I just use my account as a spamtrap anymore.

      "You have 1812 unread messages:"

      Thanks for reminding to do my monthly yahoo mailbox cleanup, btw.

    • My current email solution is to host my own mail server from my home, however, I would like to start using a freemail service since I can't access my home mail server from work due to an overly restrictive firewall/proxy policy.

      Depending upon what the firewall/proxy policy is, you might want to consider just setting up your e-mail server to serve webmail as well. There are free webmail solutions for quite a few mail servers. For some of the easiest, it is as simple as checking a box and making sure port

  • by fermion (181285) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:26AM (#15025464) Homepage Journal
    Wow, a new email reader. The ability to manage multiple accounts has never existed before, and integration with a product that does not yet even exist! And how did they manage to read through the standards to interface with a standards complient service like Google Mail. What great innovation will MS come up with next, a CLI with predictive typing?

    With all the email clients out there, one must ponder why MS would create a new product instead of just using Outlook Express. One must also wonder how MS will replace the revenue of allowing users to not user to skip the ads when reading mail.

    It is possible that they are just desperate to win back a portion of the market that they still have not understood. MS has missed the Intenet again by not updating IE, and IE has lost some trust. Windows live is going to require a client, and it may be that IE is not going to be that client. it might be that they are thinking of seperating the application interface from the browser. This would be a good thing.

    OTOH, it could be that this innovative email client simply shifts the ads from the browser to the client, just like Eudora does. The client could also be some form of spyware.

    Why we do know is that MS does not give away product except to gain a share in a long negleted marketspace. We also not that MS says it wil unbundle IE. What all these things mean will only become clear as Vista is released.

  • [...] your going to be able to manage [...]
    What is it with this mental illness, that it befell even the Slashdot editors? Maybe, they should be sent to the same ESL class, that I went through, to know their own first (and, I suspect, only) language?
  • Here's an e-mail service I haven't heard about for a while. Who uses it anymore? With better options like GMail, whats the point of it? Guess it's just Microsoft's attempt at trying to sway people away from GMail. I still think GMail has a definite advantage over hotmail. Now with almost 3GB of storage space, POP access so any POP-able e-mail program can be used to view messages (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc), and the chat feature, GMail as far as I am concerned is the better e-mail service.
    • Same reason why people use Windows. Hotmail was good once (no really, it was!), then it got worse (ads, minuscule storage space, awful spam filtering), and although it's been overtaken (Gmail, Yahoo Mail) people still use what they used to use. Sigh.
    • Hotmail is synonymous with Web Mail for a lot of people. Some people won't use GMail because it's new and different, and they are scared to try it in case they find it difficult.

      It's the same reasons why people don't get broadband: "2 Gig? I'll never use it. I only send one or two pictures once in a while. It's good enough for me."
  • Users? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jesterpilot (906386) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:32AM (#15025498) Homepage
    Fine. Your hotmail on your desktop. Will there be *any* users? Do you know anyone who uses hotmail as a serious personal email-account? I don't. The last one converted to Gmail 6 months ago, here at the office, when Groupwise got replaced bij Outlook. Everyone uses Gmail. If M$ wants this to be a succes, they'd better advertise it with 'Gmail on your desktop'. I don't think hotblondelooking4b1gd1ck1156431165@hotmail.com will want to read her hotmail from the desktop.
    • Do you know anyone who uses hotmail as a serious personal email-account? I don't.

      Oh, I guess that settles that argument. Give me an f'ing break. There are LOADS of people that use Hotmail as their personal account. Granted I'm not one of them, but so what? Now that I've ranted, I'm thinking the above post is a troll...

    • My wife does. She's got separate one (at my personal domain) that she can use, but she's got lots of people that have her hotmail address, and most of those don't seem to know how to change their address books, so most of her mail still comes to her hotmail account.

      She does access it through Thunderbird though.
  • hotmail? (Score:3, Funny)

    by suezz (804747) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:34AM (#15025509)
    what is hotmail?
    • Well, allow me to answer as an Internet historian. I have been chronicling the history of the World Wide Web for over thirty years, and thus, I can say definitively that it seems to have been some sort of a website used in the earliest days of what was then called "electronic-snail-mail." While we can't be sure exactly what the site was like, we can speculate based on the name that it was some sort of messaging service where gay men, and possibly straight women, could receive notifications about the latest
    • Hotmail was that quality webmail service that used to run on FreeBSD servers, before they were bought-out by Microsoft. Things progressively went downhill from there, beginning with the move to Windows servers and the evolution of the service from email to a Microsoft-advertising venue. It has now decended to be the bottom-feeder of all webmail services and having an @hotmail.com address holds a stigma just shy of being @aol.com
  • by ickoonite (639305) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:44AM (#15025550) Homepage
    As I read the summary, I could not help but be amazed by the submitter's poor command of English. It is clear from the nature of his errors that he is a native speaker of English, but it is news to me that capital letters are now optional on proper nouns and at the start of sentences, that "your" is a valid replacement for "you're", that you can just string any number of clauses together with an "and"...I could go on. The its/it's thing. C'mon people! I suppose it's just that I'm not keeping up with the younger generation these days...

    I am left wondering how old the submitter is, and worrying about just how bad the education system is in $country_of_origin.

    Perhaps we should set up a charity and a PayPal account - "Help A Geek: Educating Slashdotters in Basic English". What say?

    iqu :D
    • As I read the summary, I could not help but be amazed

      Just look at Taco's policy on article spelling and formatting [slashdot.org]:

      Now let us talk about one of my secondary concerns: spelling and grammar. Let me be clear. As you are probably well aware, I don't think these are as important as the things I mentioned above. I want a Slashdot story to be focused, directing your attention to the URL in question. It needs to be not to long, not to short. Links should be clear. Spelling and Grammar are secondary issues.

      Sl

    • "Its" is possessive. "It's" is an abbreviation for "it is". It's counter-intuitive, but that's English for you.
    • And you can string five perfect sentences together in how many languages? Your use of commas is wrong. You use five words where three would be better. Pretend the next paragraph is about Glass Houses.
      • And you can string five perfect sentences together in how many languages?

        Well, since you ask, three. English, French and Japanese. I am also learning Chinese, but I wouldn't count on being able to meet your precise requirement yet.

        There is nothing wrong with my comma usage - certainly not from the point of view of a person who begins a sentence with the word "and".

        Just as long as we are nitpicking, anyway...

        iqu :P
  • by MrNougat (927651) <ckratsch@NOSPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:44AM (#15025554)
    I put that in quotes because it makes me shudder just to say it. But I already digress.

    Hotmail, should I choose to use it, is already on my desktop, since my web browser brings it to me along with all sorts of applications these days.

    Microsoft's sending Hotmail to a pure OS-installed interface only points to the fact that they [can't | don't want to] keep up with other online mail services. Gmail and Yahoo are updating their web interfaces all the time.

    Strangely, those web interfaces are still available to me on my desktop.
  • One Word: (Score:4, Funny)

    by aquatone282 (905179) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:46AM (#15025562)

    Hell No.

    Sorry - that's two words. I'll release the patch in a month or two.

  • by dyfet (154716) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:48AM (#15025571) Homepage
    ...that brought the world Outlook and Outlook express! Oh goody, they wish to bring the world a whole new e-mail client host for viruses, trojans, and worms!

    Wouldn't it be better if they instead produced a e-mail client that did not assume email could contain things to be executed, and instead simply let people read their mail? Now that would be original for them.

    Of course, there are plenty of free (and also free as in freedom) e-mail clients already, including thunderbird, which includes plugins to do all those e-mail services today, without compromising the security of the machine in the process.

  • Hotmail is the ugliest interface of any mail client. It has too much on the screen and too much crap that I would never use.

    They need a cleaner interface in my opinion.
  • Microsoft's paying Hotmail customers get completely screwed... boy, I'd really feel like an asshole if I ever paid for Hotmail and now they're gonna give it away in any fashion. My money paid for what exactly? Another jet for some executive?
  • Yay! (Score:4, Funny)

    by coffeechica (948145) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @10:02AM (#15025652)
    First a new version of Paint, and now this! I can't wait for Vista to hit the shelves!
  • by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @10:07AM (#15025670)
    Honestly, there are too many email options out there. Once someone gets set up with a hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc service, what motivation is there to switch?

    Like changing home addresses, phone numbers, bank accounts and credit cards, changing emails service providers is like pulling teeth. It is a painful affair in which you have to be on the ball to contact ANYBODY that knows of your existing information and then let them know the new information. For a while, people will be out of contact with you because they keep sending you email to your old account (because they didn't update their contact information). Even worse is when you try and keep both accounts active, then people forget which one is your newer one and start sending email to both. Honestly, if you have had an email address for more then a few years, you probably have tonnes of contacts to notify if you change that address.

    Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc, these companies are not selling you on email services. They are selling you on using their site as a portal to your email service. Google liberally peppers their GMail with GAds, same with Yahoo and Hotmail. They want people to show up, not because of the @whatever.com extension, but because they can indoctrinate you with advertising earning their site revenue.

    Hotmail saying "we don't expect you to switch your email provider, just use our software as a portal" is a big step in the right direction. I may not like hotmail, and I will reserve judgement on hotmail's new service until I have tried it out, but Microsoft is realizing that people are not going to switch their gmail or yahoo accounts simply to get a new email address with @hotmail.com at the end of it. But if Hotmail offers a desktop software that allows me to see my Gmail account more easily, or even offers additional features that GMail doesn't offer, then I am all for it.

    Consequently, this will inspire Google and Yahoo to offer support for 3rd party email as well which undoubtedly will offer better, more competitive services.

    Just like with universal IM integration, email integration into one central app will be beneficial on the whole. It allows a person to set up ONE email account and then they can decide which app/web service they want to access that email through. It means people don't have to go through the hassle of changing email accounts simply because Yahoo or Hotmail or Gmail offers a fancier interface or bigger storage capacity.

    Its the beginning of the end of switching email providers like underwear. People can select an email address and then keep it indefinitely, regardless of which companies software they are using to access that email. Don't dump on Microsoft just because they are Microsoft, Microsoft is still innovating the future. Celebrate the fact that by Microsoft doing it first, more will follow, and that is overall beneficial.

    • Have to disagree with you there. Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, and similar aren't a multitude of options, they're all collectively one option out of four.

      As things are today, if you want an email address, you can:
      • Go with a web-based provider like Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo. This gets you an address for free, but peppers you with ads and things, and throws the confidentiality of your email into dispute.
      • Use the address that came with your Internet service, and be yourusername@yourisp.com. Chances are, your ISP al
      • Get a forwarding address from a reputable company like pobox.com, and point it at whichever of the other 4 options you want to use at any given time.
    • Honestly, there are too many email options out there.

      How many is "too many?" Three? Five? 21? 256?
    • Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc, these companies are not selling you on email services. They are selling you on using their site as a portal to your email service. Google liberally peppers their GMail with GAds, same with Yahoo and Hotmail. They want people to show up, not because of the @whatever.com extension, but because they can indoctrinate you with advertising earning their site revenue.

      And I suppose it never occurred to you that perhaps Microsoft sees this new "tool" as a way to deprive Gmail, Yahoo, e

    • "Its the beginning of the end of switching email providers like underwear. People can select an email address and then keep it indefinitely, regardless of which companies software they are using to access that email. Don't dump on Microsoft just because they are Microsoft, Microsoft is still innovating the future. Celebrate the fact that by Microsoft doing it first, more will follow, and that is overall beneficial."

      Beginning? People have been doing that for years already. It's called paying a few bucks ($6?
  • by scoser (780371) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @10:21AM (#15025752) Journal
    So now it's a MS program, so you can't block the ads using browser plug-ins? Damn, sign me up now! Now I can't even stop myself from being able to punch the monkey to win an X-box, no matter how hard I try!
  • no (Score:3, Informative)

    by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa.SPAM@yahoo@com> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @10:29AM (#15025796) Journal
    " From the article, "The move is a shift for the Hotmail business, which in the past, has charged users who wanted to read their mail using desktop software, rather than a Web browser. Microsoft charged $20 and up for its paid service."""

    No, this needs clarification. The service where you access hotmail from outlook and outlook express is free if you were using it in the past before MS made it a paid service.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @10:38AM (#15025844) Journal
    I'm using a standard mail client to read my Gmail through its POP3 support.

    It's free and I'm not even tied to a specific mail client, unlike this solution.

    And my mail client happen to support multiple accounts too.

    Heck, even Microsoft's own Outlook and Outlook Express supports reading Hotmail.

    I think I'm missing something here, or Microsoft is reinventing the wheel... again?
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @11:02AM (#15025993) Homepage Journal
    Come on, people. Stop wondering, it's obvious why M$ is doing this. It's the same old game again. They already ship IE with the OS, but that's just not enough to beat gmail. So they need to find a way to ship hotmail with the OS. Obviously, a dedicated, pre-installed client, sold as the latest and greatest (that's why they don't just use Outlook) and set up as the default e-mail handler, is the answer.

    Patterns. M$ doesn't innovate, not even business strategies. This is just the same old game once more.
  • by H8X55 (650339) <jason,r,thomas&gmail,com> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @11:33AM (#15026209) Homepage Journal
    "Microsoft's hotmail on your own desktop according to an article on CNET. it's going to be free software and your going to be able to manage multiple accounts and they are attempting to include the ability to also just control all pop3 and smtp accounts you have..."

    Is this going to be a re-branded Outlook Express?
  • Very very bad news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ernesto Alvarez (750678) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:30PM (#15026710) Homepage Journal
    I'm spotting a very disturbing trend here.

    The appearance of these live desktop apps are shifting the protocols for mail access from established standads. Now, in order to access some mail provider's server you need a proprietary application, when really it should not be necesary (IMAP would do just fine). Google still provides POP access (although it is not good enough), but I'd bet that MS will only be accessible via web or its application.

    Looks like the part about services being "decommoditized" mentioned in the halloween documents is becoming true.

    Very bad news indeed.

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