Hotmail gets handy new features, gets faster

Microsoft has just announced some minor, but welcomed improvements to its free Hotmail service. We've seen the company improving its Live services incrementally recently, and this update is no different.

Hotmail users now have even more "right click actions." Where they previously had "Delete," "Junk" and "View Message Source," Microsoft has added "Reply," "Reply-All" and "Forward messages."

The company also added email shortcuts many users are used to in Outlook at work such as Ctrl+Enter for sending a message, Ctrl+N for a new one. They've also added shortcuts from other popular email services, such as # to delete a message (Gmail) and you can hit N to create a new one (full list of new shortcuts here).

Microsoft also added the ability to set the default font in the Hotmail web interface, a long-requested feature, as well as enabling a personal signature for all emails (which most other services already have). They also have tweaked the back button so that it always does what's expected, and have made it possible to recover accidentally deleted email messages.

Finally, the company says they've been making speed improvements over the last few weeks by optimizing the way they program and making the most of HTML5 to speed up the inbox. Apparently, there's more news to come on this, so stay tuned.

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One difference that I like that I've noticed so far is that I can now move my mouse pointer over a particular check box for an email to delete it without seeing the tool tip drop down, hiding the email under it. That action prevented me from just going down the list of my emails, deleting as I go.

That alone makes me happy.

Just the thought alone of having an *@hotmail.com e-mail address makes me vomit. They can do all they want to Hotmail, and I'll still never use it because the name Hotmail just looks retarded, unprofessional, and any time I see a hotmail e-mail address I think of either spammer or teenie.

At least *@gmail.com looks semi professional and major companies are endorsing it as a preferred free e-mail account to use.

BTW, at the video, I lul'd out loud at "if you are one of the millions switching to Hotmail".

GollyJeeWizz said,
Just the thought alone of having an *@hotmail.com e-mail address makes me vomit. They can do all they want to Hotmail, and I'll still never use it because the name Hotmail just looks retarded, unprofessional, and any time I see a hotmail e-mail address I think of either spammer or teenie.

At least *@gmail.com looks semi professional and major companies are endorsing it as a preferred free e-mail account to use.

BTW, at the video, I lul'd out loud at "if you are one of the millions switching to Hotmail".

I think you can choose between "hotmail" and "live." My address is ____@live.com.

srprimeaux said,

I think you can choose between "hotmail" and "live." My address is ____@live.com.

Or a regional domain (i.e. @live.ca).

One of my Hotmail accounts went ape-poopie for a couple of hours today, I wonder if it was related to these upgrades...

Awesome! The message preloading really works. Hotmail is today (since the last 2-3 "waves") the best email service IMHO. Made massive improvements in the last few releases leaving Gmail behind. Gmail still can't get account switching right.

You have to be out of your mind to say Gmail looks better than Hotmail. Gmail is the most generic site for email I have ever seen. It is not user friendly at all. I especially cannot stand their contact list.

I'm hoping they soon redesign all of the Windows Live software and services to be consistent with the new Windows 8 apps, especially as there is most likely going to be a Windows 8 beta sometime this year. There would be no harm in them implementing a completely Metro interface now even though the final release of Windows 8 is still most likely over a year away.

I just tried Hotmail after years of using Gmail and was horrified at how bad, unusable, unintuitive and ugly it was. It still looks like a poor late-90's webmail client. It's over loaded with obtrusive ads and I am lost on it. It seems as if Microsoft have lost the plot.

Hotmail can't even begin to compair itself to Yahoo Mail or Gmail.

Brian Miller said,
I just tried Hotmail after years of using Gmail and was horrified at how bad, unusable, unintuitive and ugly it was. It still looks like a poor late-90's webmail client. It's over loaded with obtrusive ads and I am lost on it. It seems as if Microsoft have lost the plot.

Hotmail can't even begin to compair itself to Yahoo Mail or Gmail.

1+ Agree

Brian Miller said,
I just tried Hotmail after years of using Gmail and was horrified at how bad, unusable, unintuitive and ugly it was. It still looks like a poor late-90's webmail client. It's over loaded with obtrusive ads and I am lost on it. It seems as if Microsoft have lost the plot.

Hotmail can't even begin to compair itself to Yahoo Mail or Gmail.

Okay, Yahoo! Mail is atrocious. I hate using it and even looking at it. It's so outdated. Gmail, is wonderful and is still my favorite webmail client. However, since using getting my Windows Phone is mostly use Hotmail now and it is loads better than it used to be. The UI is still a little funky but it's more than usuable and has ton of nice features. Like the way it integrates with SkyDrive so you can share pictures (albums) without sending an email with a giant attachment. Or if you're sharing documents. I wish it had Gmails archiving but it's a way better alternative to Gmail, it's also a lot more user friendly.

Brian Miller said,
I just tried Hotmail after years of using Gmail and was horrified at how bad, unusable, unintuitive and ugly it was. It still looks like a poor late-90's webmail client. It's over loaded with obtrusive ads and I am lost on it. It seems as if Microsoft have lost the plot.

Hotmail can't even begin to compair itself to Yahoo Mail or Gmail.

just because you dont want to like it, then it makes it bad? its your opinion.
but it works fine for me, and alot of people, besides. it has skydrive and it looks better now, it has office web apps which is useful, and now it has nice features like right click and drag and drop. also Alias which is useful alot of times.

if you dont like it, then dont use it.
i think google is horrible thats why i stopped using it besides i got like 500 spam emai daily.
and its a mail client, its not like it has to make you coffee. people have different opinions but that doesn't make it "poor late-90's webmail client" just because you think so.

Whoa whoa whoa, late 90's webmail was a very special kind of awful that I think any one of us in this article thread could design circles around. Calling Hotmail that bad is just mean!

Brian Miller said,
I just tried Gmail after years of using Hotmail and was horrified at how bad, unusable, unintuitive and ugly it was. It still looks like a poor late-90's webmail client. It's over loaded with obtrusive ads and I am lost on it. It seems as if Google have lost the plot.

Gmail can't even begin to compair itself to Yahoo Mail or Hotmail.

Adjusted for my experience.

Brian Miller said,
I just tried Hotmail after years of using Gmail and was horrified at how bad, unusable, unintuitive and ugly it was. It still looks like a poor late-90's webmail client. It's over loaded with obtrusive ads and I am lost on it. It seems as if Microsoft have lost the plot.

Hotmail can't even begin to compair itself to Yahoo Mail or Gmail.


are you sure you typed hotmail.com
cause i just switched out from gmail to hotmail as a main email account

Edited by subcld, Jun 24 2011, 8:37am :

Brian Miller said,
I just tried Hotmail after years of using Gmail and was horrified at how bad, unusable, unintuitive and ugly it was. It still looks like a poor late-90's webmail client. It's over loaded with obtrusive ads and I am lost on it. It seems as if Microsoft have lost the plot.

Hotmail can't even begin to compair itself to Yahoo Mail or Gmail.


I perfer brunettes, you perfer blondes.

I personally think GMail looks simple and too plain.

I used to download Hotmail into my work Outlook and had same at home; but I chose now to move Hotmail to Windows Live Mail client. Because it receives instant updates from the site, and with Outlook you have to wait until Hotmail connector cares to download mail. So I would really like the Outlook Hotmail connector to become as good as Windows Live Mail client. An update would be lovely.

Same here, I find WLM is so much better. But I've only recent using it more since Skydrive is now revamped and much more interesting to use. I hope they continue to make it better.

IntelliMoo said,
I used to rely on the site but now I actually prefer the Windows Live Mail client. (:: cookoo - cookoo :

Yeah I switched to the client about a year ago and love it.

I would like them to update the settings menu, navigating those options is a pain. Second the help topics need a serious improvment, trying to find how to setup pop3 for hotmail took forever so ended up just searching google.

_DP said,
Slowly starting to evolve more and more into gmail.

Having used both, I think Hotmail is worlds better than to to be honest.

M_Lyons10 said,

Having used both, I think Hotmail is worlds better than to to be honest.
You cannot be serious. The page loads, it shows my mail, but I can't even click on it, because it hasn't downloaded the stupid Javascript files yet. It's terribly unresponsive. I would take the GMail loading page any day over the Hotmail loading.

_DP said,
Slowly starting to evolve more and more into gmail.

How can you have a reasonable mind and even write something like this?

There are things in Hotmail/Live that are non-existent in GMail and a world of difference. Gmail is not even HTML5 optimized, let alone offers a fraction of the features of Hotmail/Live - especially if you have compared them in the last year or two.

Hotmail existed long before GMail, so the entire, 'concept' of GMail is a rip off of Hotmail if we are going to use your myopic logic.