The Hotmail team answers Neowin's questions in an epic 90 minute video

A few weeks ago, the Hotmail team made a post in our forum that asked the Neowin community for feedback, questions and comments about the Hotmail service. The thread took on a life of its own with over 130 comments and 7,000 views. Once again, the Neowin community showed its true colors by providing genuine feedback and asking many tough but fair questions.

The Hotmail representatives, Nic and Galileo, took your questions and are now ready to share their responses with an epically long 90-minute video. That’s right, the team not only took your questions seriously, they took the time to properly investigate the merit behind the question and left no stone unturned.

The video can be seen below but if you want a breakdown of the questions as well as the time in video where the response is located, check out the thread the team created in our forums.

Neowin would like to personally thank Nic and Galileo for their hard work and the Neowin community for making the most of this opportunity. 

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I'm having major issues with sharing files with the Office web apps. I'm trying to share a web office document with someone who uses a Yahoo email address. The invitation goes through fine and he can view the document. However, when he tries to edit the document he's prompted to login with his Live account. What gives? I thought web apps could be shared with multiple email addresses. A Yahoo email is even listed on Microsoft's own web page.

http://office.microsoft.com/en...n-skydrive-HA101820121.aspx

Is the only workaround to have that person sign-up with a Live account? Seems like a bit of an oversight. I've tried all the options under Get a link but none of them worked. I've also tested if there's a difference between files uploaded to SkyDrive and files created using SkyDrive. Still a no go. I hope there's a way around this. I'm currently writing a report for work about how useful SkyDrive can be, but not being able to share files with non-live/hotmail accounts will sink the whole thing.

Hey guys, I wanted to let the heat of the moment pass (and also had to attend a few events since we posted the vid) but I'm coming around to answer everyone's question via DM since the thread is closed already. Sorry we didn't get to everyone's specific question in the video, but you can imagine how long the video would've been if we did. Cheers.

How sad, I wasn't even referenced when they got to the 2 factor authentication section, and my question was post # 17 out of 180+ and the first to ask about 2 factor authentication.

warwagon said,
How sad, I wasn't even referenced when they got to the 2 factor authentication section, and my question was post # 17 out of 180+ and the first to ask about 2 factor authentication.

Yes, they certainly went by that one fairly quickly.

I was also disappointed when they talked about their security measures. They pointed out the need for a strong password (and their feature of not allowing weak ones) and the suggestion of having a cell phone number available for account/password recovery. But I would like to know why they only allow passwords up to 16 characters. Some security-minded people have opined (in online articles) that that's the LEAST amount of characters an email password should have these days! What is Hotmail's rationale for encouraging strong passwords while simultaneously restricting the number of characters? Just about every other email provider out there allows passwords of 30+ characters.

I quite honestly don't really trust using my Hotmail account -- not until they implement much longer passwords and two-factor authentication. (Oh, and allowing special characters in the answers to the security questions -- something most other providers allow -- would be another way to show that they are *really* concerned about security of their users.)

Overall, though, I did like the information and was glad they took the time to speak to users about the feedback they got. :-)

Edited by Fuzzball, Apr 10 2012, 11:43pm :

Okay, I watched the video!
1- It was Awesome!! 90 minutes video support by two humble guys from Microsoft, U, Galileo and Nic You are so Cool!!
2- WOW, Galileo mentioned my name Thank You bro
3- This Video makes hotmail soooo HOT

Many Thanks for the time and video and answers, I learnt many things

Hotmail FTW

Very interesting and nice to see this really. If only they would do this for Windows 8, that definitely would be something interesting and quite awesome.

remixedcat said,
For those wanting to watch this on a smartphone or tablet on the go with limited BW here's an .mp4 format video that should work on most devices:

http://uploading.com/files/b96...Q%2526A%2BMarch%2B2012.mp4/

Please provide feedback on the link as well as the vid to let me know. Thank you!

If You have problems with that I will attempt another site. Thank you.


Thank You bro, I was trying to download the video and then watch it, You saved a day

remixedcat said,
Youre welcome.workin ok on your device???

I'm using my PC and it's ok Don't worry it should play on all devices.

All you haters. What other company is going to give you their time to make a 90 minute video just to answer consumer questions? NONE. Quit the hating and at least acknowledge the attempt. Kudos for Ms.

It's rather silly for one to have to watch a 90 minute video, just to get an answer to their one question. Worse, there is no way to know if the question has been answered at all, without actually watching the full 90 minute video. A transcript of the video should have been posted.

Sanjay said,
It's rather silly for one to have to watch a 90 minute video, just to get an answer to their one question. Worse, there is no way to know if the question has been answered at all, without actually watching the full 90 minute video. A transcript of the video should have been posted.
Maybe you could un-silly us and write the transcript?

Sanjay said,
It's rather silly for one to have to watch a 90 minute video, just to get an answer to their one question. Worse, there is no way to know if the question has been answered at all, without actually watching the full 90 minute video.

The forum thread in the original post has a list of questions, and links jumping to the start of each question.

tiagosilva29 said,
They didn't even made YouTube captions for the deaf people.

and they didn't add someone doing sign language, also why is this not an interactive html 5 video in 3d HD with surround sound and smellyvision? Pah they lazy....../s

Pretty cool to have my question answered first. And I was surprised that you guys spent 5 Minutes and 30 Seconds on my question. You guys did an amazing job on this and spent a whole lot of time answering peoples questions in depth.

Thanks for doing this!

bdsams said,
Just watched all 90 minutes of it and must say you guys did a great job!

Thanks! It wasn't easy to fit in everything that everyone asked. So we look forward to doing it again and improving upon the method to this madness!

Do these guys work in AUS or did they just bring some stuff to the office? Noticed the Kangaroo Crossing sign in the back

brent3000 said,
Do these guys work in AUS or did they just bring some stuff to the office? Noticed the Kangaroo Crossing sign in the back

I think the guy on the left in Brazilian-American and the guy on the right is Australian-American.

Simon- said,

I think the guy on the left in Brazilian-American and the guy on the right is Australian-American.

That would be correct - Nic is from Australia and I'm from Brazil.

brent3000 said,
awww my question didnt make it in there

haha mine did!!! its at 1:21:06 about Hotmail popularity.

brent3000 said,
awww my question didnt make it in there

I'm getting around to answering everyone's question via PM's. So keep an eye out!

Interesting that the guy said, "a Hotmail account... what we used to call a Windows Live account." I suppose that means they are dropping the Windows Live moniker?

osuwildlifer said,
Interesting that the guy said, "a Hotmail account... what we used to call a Windows Live account." I suppose that means they are dropping the Windows Live moniker?

Nope. Hotmail still lives .

And who knows, maybe he was referring to a @hotmail.com account .... (although all are the same )

osuwildlifer said,
Interesting that the guy said, "a Hotmail account... what we used to call a Windows Live account." I suppose that means they are dropping the Windows Live moniker?

Microsoft renamed hotmail to Microsoft Live mail for a while during the shift to the online Live ID branding, and the roll out of the @live.com etc domains. It was then renamed back to Hotmail.

The desktop email client is still named Windows Live Mail...

osuwildlifer said,
Interesting that the guy said, "a Hotmail account... what we used to call a Windows Live account." I suppose that means they are dropping the Windows Live moniker?

They are going into "Microsoft accounts" now instead of "live/hotmail account", it doesn't mean that the "Windows live" brand will die.

osuwildlifer said,
Interesting that the guy said, "a Hotmail account... what we used to call a Windows Live account." I suppose that means they are dropping the Windows Live moniker?

We know there's confusion there (we brought it up in the video when talking about the brand I believe). So a Hotmail account would be a full-on email account as you would imagine it under any of the domains we provide for free in the service - hotmail.com, live.com and the int'l variants. What used to be Windows Live ID, which can include a Hotmail account, is now Microsoft Account.

No offense but they are in a bit of a bubble here eg: Gmail doesn't have folders... only labels. Will the functionality of a label is almost the same except that you can have the mail email in multiple "folders"(labels) if you choose to. Even in an IMAP client it comes up as folders. Secondly they give suggestions how to move from Gmail to Hotmail, and when you do that your email will now be in the "Cloud".... hang on being in Gmail is already on the cloud. If you want to use any Microsoft Services, you don't have to create a hotmail account, you can sign up to Live ID using your existing email address.

Also they are suggesting an App for Android, even though it already has built in support using ActiveSync/Exchange.

Why did Hotmail stagnate for so long, since it was bought by Microsoft quotas were going DOWN and it wasn't until Gmail came about that they decided to increase quotas and it wasn't long before the quota went up to a gig. The damage had already done by that stage because instead of pushing people onto the Premium product, they were driving customers away to other services.

Also surprised that he is suggesting Windows Live Custom domains for small businesses, as Microsoft have been pushing Office 365 for this market. Also with Microsoft Office Live Small Business (which was the same as Windows Live Custom domains) being given the axe to push users to Office 365 it seems like the future is not certain. I know they have recently signed up Telstra Bigpond (ISP in Australia) to use Hotmail for their customers' email, but I'm not sure if this is Custom Domains or a tailor made solution for this deal. I wouldn't mind getting the technical details on this project because it sound very interesting to take on an ISPs' email system.

They avoided the fact that Microsoft Outlook 2011 for Mac doesn't support Hotmail sync. Said to just use hotmail.com

Edited by Simon-, Apr 7 2012, 2:13am :

For those reasons and many more I'll never use Hotmail or any Microsoft cloud products. Microsoft has a history of not doing things properly as far as I'm concerned, I simply don't trust them long term with any of my data or cost concerns. It's good people that are using them will see improvements.

Simon- said,
they have recently signed up Telstra Bigpond (ISP in Australia) to use Hotmail for their customers' email, but I'm not sure if this is Custom Domains or a tailor made solution for this deal. I wouldn't mind getting the technical details on this project because it sound very interesting to take on an ISPs' email system.

The free custom domains that Microsoft provide is limited to 1000 email addresses on the domain. If you're a .edu or related domain, you have unlimited, and you can sign up with that.

For a business that is larger then 1000 required emails, you're really wanting a more dedicated service from microsoft and I'm thinking thats where the Office 365 package comes into play. I've not used office 365 so I can't comment too much on that.

sagum said,

The free custom domains that Microsoft provide is limited to 1000 email addresses on the domain. If you're a .edu or related domain, you have unlimited, and you can sign up with that.


Um no it isn't. You get a set number of accounts up front and if you need more, all you have to do is send them a support request and they add it for you for free.

Razorfolds said,

Um no it isn't. You get a set number of accounts up front and if you need more, all you have to do is send them a support request and they add it for you for free.

My bad, I had signed up for Live accounts when there was no hard set rule for limits and was told there was around 1000 limit. Thanks for the correction.

Simon had lots of questions so let's clear those up.

I don't believe we said Gmail has folders. We know they don't. We were talking about the differences between the two services, which a few people asked us about, and we wanted to drive the point across that different folks will go for different styles. Hotmail offers both folders and categories (labels) while Gmail offers only labels. It's up to the user to choose what they prefer to use.

As to email being in the cloud, obviously Gmail is a cloud service. We were referencing the point that you can bring over any other email to Hotmail, in addition to Gmail, and many folks are still on old ISP's where they have to literally remove mail from the ISP's servers due to storage limitations. So when you bring all your email over, including email like those stored locally, now all a user's emails are in the cloud.

Live ID, or Microsoft Account as it's now called, can be signed up for with any email address, you're right. However, tons of people that live outside of the tech circles, as we here do, actually have an easier time grasping the concept of one provider to deal with. Email is still one of the primary uses of the Internet (along with search), and the Internet is the #1 thing people use a PC for. So in our view, for all folks, Hotmail, i.e. Microsoft's free email service, opens the door to the Microsoft ecosystem (just as many other Microsoft properties can). But the fact that it is email with hundreds of millions of users, it can be the easiest door to the ecosystem.

We explained why we recommend the Android App. Android versions prior to 4.0 didn't fully or correctly implement EAS and therefore caused issues with Hotmail. The app provides a fuller experience for those folks. We also mentioned in the video that folks with Android 4.0 and above can use the native EAS implementation and it should work fine for email, contacts and calendar (though always subject to the OEM's implementation of Android, as you surely know).

On competition, it's absolutely true. We don't deny it. In fact, you can read more about it at http://www.anotherlookathotmail.com.

We don't push Windows Live Custom Domains for small businesses. We said that it's a great option for folks like us that like to have their own vanity domain, it's great for folks that have their own business (one-man shops and the like). In fact, with the exception of email hosting, we don't overlap with Office 365. There is a pretty clear value prop for that product that goes way above and beyond what Hotmail can offer with a vanity domain.

Here's us not avoiding the fact that "Microsoft Outlook 2011 for Mac doesn't support Hotmail sync" - it doesn't support EAS for Hotmail and you have to connect through POP. That's why we said the best experience for OSX users is via the Web and that's where Hotmail provides the fullest experience for anyone.

If for some reason the answers to your points weren't clear in the video, I hope I've been able to clear up those points now.

gregalto said,
Got my popcorn, sitting down to watch this!

+1.

It's stuff like this that makes me adore Microsoft so much, even though I've chosen the Apple ecosystem, I'm still a fan of Microsoft, too, I just happen to put the most of my money elsewhere.

Appreciate this video tons, that's gonna be a good watch!

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

+1.

It's stuff like this that makes me adore Microsoft so much, even though I've chosen the Apple ecosystem, I'm still a fan of Microsoft, too, I just happen to put the most of my money elsewhere.

Appreciate this video tons, that's gonna be a good watch!

GS:mac

It's ok, you can install windows on your mac so everyone is happy.

E:win

Enron said,

It's ok, you can install windows on your mac so everyone is happy.

E:win


I already have Windows on my Mac lol
I use it pretty much only for gaming though.

GS:mac