How Microsoft's Hotmail was made 10 times faster

Microsoft's Hotmail web based email service is still extremely popular and recently the service got a small makeover with a number of improvements. One of the improvements is increasing the speed and performance of Hotmail. Now Microsoft has posted up a new blog entry that talks specifically on how they were able to get Hotmail to work as fast as 10 time what it was previously able to do.

Written by Dick Craddock, the group product manager for Hotmail, the blog talks about how Microsoft did several things to speed up performance such as cutting off some content on Hotmail's pages as well as getting rid of "a network round trip on login." However, Craddock says that ultimately his team did three things that made using Hotmail much faster. One is caching info in your web browser after it is first downloaded. Both the message list and the actual emails themselves are now stored in the browser. However the info is deleted when you sign out of Hotmail or close your web browser for privacy.

Yet another new feature is pre-loading the first few new emails you get in your Hotmail account as you read the subject lines. Finally Microsoft has changed Hotmail so it doesn't wait for the server to respond before updating the user interface. Email can then be deleted instantly but Craddock states, "In the background, client code queues up actions and calls the server to delete the email. So email still gets deleted, but without the wait."

You can check out a video showing the different in speed from the old Hotmail to the new improvements below:

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