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Do you hate the new Gmail or, “Hey Redmond, Carpe Diem!”

Do you hate the new Gmail or, “Hey Redmond, Carpe Diem!”

Gmail recently implemented the rollout of a drastic change to the UX. I hear of more and more people who hate it with a passion.

Recently, several events have left me feeling less than pleased with Gmail / Google Apps but inertia amongst other things stopped me from migrating to another webmail. That and having to reprint my business cards.

The fact is that someone at Microsoft should be following what’s happening with Gmail and saying, “Hey guys this is an opportunity for us. Let’s do everything we can to increase our market share.”

gseesawl1

Hotmail or Windows Live Mail has a huge uphill battle to regain all the lost ground but actually if you haven’t looked at it over the last year, you should.

Live Hotmail2

  1. Hate the Gmail new look and feel? Hotmail is well laid out, simple to understand. The UX is clean and there aren’t really any confusing icons with no name. Everything is text labeled and easily understood.
  2. Hotmail may not have all the neat Lab features but it has Sweep. Sweep allows adherents of the Zero Mailbox philosophy to manage their mailbox and keep it under control. In addition you can create folders and apply rules.
  3. Filters: the top bar contains some very cool predefined filters
  4. Performance and reliability as features: Hotmail and Live implemented a performance rollout earlier this year improving things by a factor of 10 according to the Live Team. As for reliability, I’m always being tweeted to ask if Gmail is down; I don’t see those problems as often for Hotmail.
  5. UX / UI as a feature: Hotmail is well designed and they haven’t done anything to make it difficult or unintuitive to find your way around. There is tight integration with Messenger, SkyDrive and Calendar. One look at Hotmail and you know this is Made in Redmond. Your comfort zone is maintained all the way.
  6. Incoming: rumors abound and seem to be confirmed of Sweep becoming a feature you can schedule to keep your mailbox clean and orderly.

Is it enough?

Simply selling Hotmail and Live on the basis of features and UX isn’t going to cut it.

  • Microsoft needs to engage in a world-shaking marketing campaign to redefine peoples perceptions and prejudices.
  • Microsoft you dumped blogging platforms and told your users to go to WordPress; meanwhile Google gave us Google+. Anyone who uses that is not going to leave Gmail anytime soon for another webmail. Get your heads back in the game. What are you doing at Redmond to answer G+? Is reliance on the investment you made into Facebook the MS answer here?
  • Make it mobile … Hotmail should be developed as the “go-to”, kick ass, world killing mobile mail for any mobile platform.

As important and Redmond if you are reading this here’s the killer change to your paradigm: –

  • Internet Explorer: If you want people to love Hotmail do this one thing (it’s big and radical but hey…) IE10 should be released as a platform agnostic browser. If you develop a robust, fast IE10 for Windows, MAC and Linux; for Windows Phone, iOS, Android and even Blackberry as part of your campaign to encourage Hotmail use and later play catch up on some of the features Gmail has that Hotmail doesn’t then many of the prejudices associated with Microsoft products will vanish into thin air.

IE10

Okay Redmond so what are you going to do about it?

 
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