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Hey all, this is Galileo and Nic from the Hotmail team. We?re big fans of the Neowin community and love all the insight and support you offer each other. Over the last few months we?ve seen a bunch of conversation around Hotmail and even chatted with some of you in the forums. We?ve tried to field as many of these great questions as possible, but sometimes time isn't on our side. So we decided to open up a thread so that you guys could ask us basically anything*. Ah yes, the infamous Microsoft asterisk. What?s the catch? We won?t be able to talk about future plans for the product and we can?t promise we?ll get to every single question, but we?ll do our best. Oh, and you?ll have to suffer through seeing our ugly mugs on screen since we?ll be replying via video.

So bring us your questions, comments, complaints and compliments (we appreciate <3 as much as the next guy). This thread will be open for a few days and we?ll be recording the video response next week.

Cheers!

Galileo and Nic

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What do you consider some of the defining features of Hotmail that set you apart from your competitors such as Gmail?

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Incredibly cool idea! Let me think about a couple of questions! :)

Glassed Silver:mac

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Oh this is cool!

OK

1) I havent used hotmail in years, but still have an old account...why should i switch back now?

2) I have several spam email address that I use at hotmail to register for forums, newsletters etc, how is this related to graymail?

Also, is this a one time shot?

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Ah I got one now:

How do you consider to tackle data integrity?

Many mail providers sometimes lose customers' mails (not often of cause) most notably through hardware issues.

What does your back up strategy look like and how do you tackle bitrot?

(May pass this question on to other MS teams like Azure)

Glassed Silver:mac

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Are you on the dev team? Marketing? What do you do so I know what kind of questions to ask!

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Hotmail is understandably one of the biggest targets for spam.

For example, I recently set up a new hotmail address and within 24hours, without even giving the address out, I'd received over a hundred blatant spam emails into my inbox.

My question is what tangible efforts are you making about advancing spam filtering?

Over a hundred unsolicited emails in 24hours of being open, and only a further 4 emails had been actually caught. Unacceptable and I did not continue using that account. Are you doing anything about it?

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Google has taken a lot of criticism over the years regarding user privacy, most recently how they've reduced everything to a single policy. I'm not sure how to phrase the question, but could you comment on that? How do you guys (or Microsoft in general) regard user privacy? What assurances do we have for the future?

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Are you on the dev team? Marketing? What do you do so I know what kind of questions to ask!

We can cover both, as long as it's something we can publicly answer of course.

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Will you be improving the 2 Step Verification process to actually 'prevent' unauthorised access like Gmail offers by use of a code sent to a Phone or Mobile app that is required to be entered Before anyone can log in?

Authorised applications and sites is a great security measure with Gmail

Apologies if I have missed something somewhere, but as it stands, it appears the security currently offered only gives the account holder more ability to reset passwords and regain access After the attack, which is not great if you have sensitive emails stored with other account details etc

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Is there some easter eggs inside hotmail? (if so, don't tell us which one ofc!)

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Why doesn't the Hotmail app for Android 4.0 not work? It displays your account with a red triangle, then afterwards when you try to open it again, it tries to do so then closes, an uninstall and re install doesn't work.

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Will you guys ever make an Android app that works as elegantly as Gmail? I'm not sure what can or cannot be done on your end, but on the Gmail app I can see ALL my emails (not just last 7 days), and the UI is cleaner and more polished.

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new,reply,reply all,forward etc options are not placed at a location where people can easily access or is confusing for a first time user...

Any plans on improving the ease of use in hotmail?

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- Why can't Windows Phone 7 flag hotmail e-mails?

- Why does hotmail's UI look so dated?

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Any plans to revamp the design, the current one is uninspiring and bland.

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Do you guys offer or plan to offer 2 factor authentication via cellphones to help secure peoples hotmail / live accounts?

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Do you plan to put a smooth scroll for email? It's really boring to navigate between so small page.

When we make a search, a select buttons which select ALL the mail (even those in others pages) will be a good addition.

To finish, I don't know if it's your domain, but do you plan to make a real homepage like iGoogle? A page in HTML5 with Bing, mail, RSS, Weather, etc.

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How popular is hotmail? How many unique visitors per month? How many email account exist till date?

Not sure if you guys are allowed to answer this.

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I would like to know if we are ever going to see a more updated version of the Hotmail UI. It has almost been the same for a few years now and I think a new, fresh UI will be quite amazing. Maybe a metro theme, or just something cleaned up with an improved UI.

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Will the Android Hotmail APK be reworked to give notifications for new emails that are received in folders other than the Inbox?

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Dear Galileo and Nic,

Thank you for doing this. I have 3 concerns or questions for you:

1) I have a Windows Phone. However, I cannot flag my emails nor search for them from the server. Ironically, Windows Phone + Gmail allows both of these handy features. Are you planning on supporting these soon?

2) I use Windows Live Calendar through Outlook and it's working great. However, I feel the web interface is a bit dated, in that its performance is slow with Opera 10.61 or Internet Explorer 9 and it has display issues from time to time. Are you aware of these problems, and are you planning on addressing them?

3) I find it very hard to manage my contacts through the Windows Live Contacts web interface. For instance, I cannot easily add photos, nor easily batch delete or batch categorize contacts. As a matter of fact, I often rely on Outlook or Windows Phone to manage my contacts. Did you receive any other similar feedback?

Sincerely,

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Why dont multiple aliases work on the android app?

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I've been wondering about still1 and SoyoS's questions, hope you answer them :)

To expand on SoyoS's question, do you have any plans to Metro-fy the UX? That would be cool (and in line with the direction the other MS properties are going)

And now the best three I can think of right now:

do you have plans for any big marketing? Google's been using GMail in a lot of their Chrome ads, it would be neat to see what you guys could do with Hotmail. If you can't answer that, is there any specific reason I haven't seen any Hotmail ads in TV/newspaper? is it simply hard to create an ad around email?

is there a technical reason you can't allow GMail-Hotmail chat? It would actually be very helpful for people moving from GMail to Hotmail.

and finally, whatever happened to your OpenID plans? From 2008: http://www.neowin.net/news/main/08/10/30/windows-live-to-act-as-openid-provider

Thanks :)

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I seem to be getting a lot of viagra spam in my hotmail inbox, and I've been a user since 2001....I can handle the spam, been doing it oh, I don't know....since I got the NIMDA worm back in the day, and well, while that was bad, I'm ABSOLUTELY sick of receiving Viagra spam, especially, as of recent. My question is: Why don't you guys enforce some sort of hardware (possibly) based firewall/spam-blocker where stupid emails like these don't bother me when it comes down to my business that runs through my hotmail address? (Heck, even something virtual would be awesome) I get 2000+ emails per day, and I don't mind the technical emails (about tech-related stuff, like webinars and what not)....I just can't take these viagra emails any more....in fact, I may as well go ahead and set my own email server up, since I have my own in-house server (but you already know that, don't you Microsoft?)....I just want to be able to click a shortcut on my droid, and be somewhere besides my house, read/check my email without seeing Viagra....VIAGRA....hey, do you know anyone needing viagra? I know a (not so) great dealer, speaking of.....you get it? (and I swear to the creator of everything that I'm not trying to spam, but since I had the opportunity, I had to jump on it....) I love Microsoft, Apple, Linux, etc...that will bring different experiences from different hardware with different kernels, etc, so no, I'm not a fanboi....or a fanoldman.....these are genuine questions. (BTW, Microsoft, the Windows 8 kernel is severely awesome, especially on my 9 year old hardware.....just do something already with either the metro start screen, or give these old farts their start button back....lol!)

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