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I tried switching to Hotmail from Gmail...

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Stokkolm    335

Ever since Google changed their privacy policy, I've been thinking about moving to Microsoft's online offerings. I tried switching to Hotmail for a week and I must say, it hasn't been a good experience. Not that Hotmail is bad, but it's kinda like when I tried Android after having an iPhone for over a year, it's just not as good. Here's a short list of the main problems I have with Hotmail compared to Gmail:

Recieving Email from another Account

I've had my gmail account for several years and I'm currently using 56% of the storage space allotted. I setup Hotmail to pull in my emails from Google and at first it was going fine, but after an hour or so, it stopped pulling in additional ones. It may have pulled in about 1/10th of the total emails in my gmail account. Not only that, but new emails that come into my gmail inbox aren't being propogated in Hotmail at all.

User Interface

Hotmail feels like a work in progress rather than a complete email offering. They are trying to make Hotmail feel like Outlook and I think that's my biggest issue with it. Outlook's interface works fine for a desktop email program, but it doesn't translate so well to Hotmail's web interface. There are so many options above the email pane that could be combined into a drop down menu, such as Reply, Reply All, Forward, etc...

While sending an email isn't too bad, replying to an email is horrid compared to the experience on Gmail. Where Gmail has a reply box ready and waiting for you under the message, Hotmail makes you click Reply and then loads an entirely new page for you to type your reply in to. This may be a bit anal, but it's about the experience and the experience isn't as good.

Gmail has beautiful themes, I especially like the Mountain theme. Hotmail has very cheesy themes that seem like they added them only because they "had to".

I do like the ability to right click on my Junk folder and empty it without having to actually open the junk folder first, same goes for the Trash folder.

Conclusion

While most of the issues I have with Hotmail are minor, they are severe enough, to me at least, to stick with Gmail for the time being. I really wish Hotmail was as polished as Gmail, because I would really prefer using it, but sadly it is not. I will, however, continue to monitor the progress of the Hotmail experience and maybe someday in the future I will make the switch for good!

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Simon-    492

You are not supposed to take Neowin's front page trolling literally.

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Stokkolm    335

Actually, it had nothing to do with Neowin's front page post. I've been feeling this way about Google for quite some time.

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Boeing 787    15

Don't worry Google is in the process of destroying Gmail with new look that will have you running to Hotmail.

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threetonesun    1,204

If you want a nice UI for your e-mail account, iCloud is pretty good.

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ybrett23    39

Don't worry Google is in the process of destroying Gmail with new look that will have you running to Hotmail.

i have to agree with the way gmail is looking nowadays,

but that saying , i dont think i would ever go back to hotmail, to me it just doesn't seem professional to have a @hotmail email address.

but thats just my opinion

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jakem1    1,610

With the exception of the trouble you had copying your emails none of your problems seem insurmountable. I'm sure you'd get used to Hotmail's UI if you gave it a try.

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+InsaneNutter    1,353

Hotmail is miles ahead of Gmail in the user interface department in my opinion. I find Gmail to be annoying and nothing where i would expect to find it. Hotmail just works for me.

As a Windows Live Messenger User i like how i can use that directly from my inbox. I know you can use Google Talk from your Gmail inbox, however no one i know uses that, everyone is on Windows Live.

I guess its what ever works best for you, Ive had Hotmail since 1999 and found no reason to switch. Nice webmail interface, works perfectly with a desktop email client and push email works great.

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oceanmotion    13

i have to agree with the way gmail is looking nowadays,

but that saying , i dont think i would ever go back to hotmail, to me it just doesn't seem professional to have a @hotmail email address.

but thats just my opinion

I've never understood this. @hotmail @live @yahoo is no more professional or unprofessional than @gmail. Sure, the name before might come into play but as long as that is sensible and not offensive people shouldn't worry about it. Do you think people years ago before gmail got laughed at for using hotmail and yahoo and impacted their job prospects or even now. Of course not. Yes, Gmail pushed things forward and was somewhat cooler at the start but it's just like the rest now.

@OP

Fair comments. I would like themes for Hotmail similar to the full page Gmail ones or at least allow more customisation.

Don't see much of an issue with the reply email part though. Full page seems better than two seperate parts when writing and replying to the original email.

Have you tried pulling your content down to something like Thunderbird or another client to see if it's just a hotmail issue. 56% of storage space is quite a lot. Something like that will take time and I imagine it won't get the new stuff until it's finished.

I quite like the Hotmail UI. Yeah, work in progress but it seems quite fucntional and clear, Text options make it straightforward and quicker for people rather than more drop downs hiding stuff you use regularly. Not cluttered.

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Rudy    457

I use Hotmail because I've had my account since 1997....I would rather use gmail (mostly for IMAP) but it's too complicated to switch now :/

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Vice    1,593

My problem with Microsoft recently is that they put too much emphasis on integrating the interface to the underlining code base.

Any other company like Google builds the underpinnings of a product separate to the user interface. They provide frameworks so that any interface can seamlessly sit atop a strong foundation. So over the years they can make things look better and do radical interface changes without sacrificing a single feature.

Microsoft however seems to go "ok we need a new interface, better recode the whole entire thing" and then you constantly get products that feel unfinished that lack tons of functions that the previous version had. Like hotmail.

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Rigby    1,577

I'm still using Yahoo Mail myself. :laugh:

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Shaun N.    569
I use Hotmail because I've had my account since 1997....I would rather use gmail (mostly for IMAP) but it's too complicated to switch now :/

Go into Gmail settings and there is an option to import mail and contacts from another account.

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+Human.Online    8,529

I'm someone who switched the other way: Hotmail -> Gmail

Bear in mind I had used Hotmail since like 1998... I much prefer gMail. Easier to find mails, better interface, quicker, better integration.

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Stokkolm    335

With the exception of the trouble you had copying your emails none of your problems seem insurmountable. I'm sure you'd get used to Hotmail's UI if you gave it a try.

You're correct, they aren't insurmountable, but when you're used to doing things a certain way, I guess it's just hard to get used to not having the convenience you're used to. Gmail's UI is miles ahead of Hotmails.

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Rudy    457

Go into Gmail settings and there is an option to import mail and contacts from another account.

Copying mail is fine my biggest problem is that all my accounts are tied to my hotmail and every one I know has my hotmail too.....just seems so complicated :/

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smooth_criminal1990    75

I use Hotmail because I've had my account since 1997....I would rather use gmail (mostly for IMAP) but it's too complicated to switch now :/

I have a similar problem, and am actually migrating to my own personal server. If it helps, you can get Exchange connectivity to Hotmail from mobile devices (if you didn't know already): http://www.redmondpie.com/hotmail-push-email-exchange-activesync/

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Vice    1,593

Copying mail is fine my biggest problem is that all my accounts are tied to my hotmail and every one I know has my hotmail too.....just seems so complicated :/

Does hotmail not offer an option to forward your mail to another account? Gmail offers that and I used that feature when moving to a new account.

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Rudy    457

I have a similar problem, and am actually migrating to my own personal server. If it helps, you can get Exchange connectivity to Hotmail from mobile devices (if you didn't know already): http://www.redmondpi...nge-activesync/

I do that with my iPhone, my ONLY gripe with Hotmail right now is that I can't do that from my computer :angry:

Does hotmail not offer an option to forward your mail to another account? Gmail offers that and I used that feature when moving to a new account.

It probably does, but then I'll have some accounts associated with my Hotmail and the new accounts I create will be with my gmail :/ and then you never remember which one you use etc etc I know I'm being picky here lol

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Shaun N.    569

Does hotmail not offer an option to forward your mail to another account? Gmail offers that and I used that feature when moving to a new account.

I had mine forwarding to Gmail for ages, when I had all of my 3rd party accounts moved over to gmail and I was happy that the only mail missing on my gmail was all the spam I then closed my hotmail account.

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Vice    1,593

I do that with my iPhone, my ONLY gripe with Hotmail right now is that I can't do that from my computer :angry:

It probably does, but then I'll have some accounts associated with my Hotmail and the new accounts I create will be with my gmail :/ and then you never remember which one you use etc etc I know I'm being picky here lol

Well it's pretty simple really, You set up the forwarding then only use your Gmail account. Then any emails you get from services that are sent to your hotmail you login to that websites control panel and change the email. Then in a year from now you'll be switched over for all the regular mail you receive and any of your old friends who email you out of the blue will still have their email sent to you because you leave the forwarding setup.

That is how I did it about a year ago and it has all worked fine for me. I'm enjoying IMAP :p

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Rudy    457

That is how I did it about a year ago and it has all worked fine for me. I'm enjoying IMAP :p

Ahhhh stop teasing me! LOL IMAP (or lack of Exchange support from Hotmail) is pretty much the only reason I want to switch. I only want to deal with the web interface when I'm away from my computer or phone

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FMH    717

This may be a bit anal, but it's about the experience and the experience isn't as good.

Umm... what?

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Calum    819
i have to agree with the way gmail is looking nowadays, but that saying , i dont think i would ever go back to hotmail, to me it just doesn't seem professional to have a @hotmail email address. but thats just my opinion

Microsoft offer '@live' addresses now, for all of their services, including Hotmail :) '@live' doesn't sound particularly unprofessional, to me?it's on the same level as '@gmail'. I have my own personal domain with an email address, and I use Windows Live Admin Center for Windows Live Hotmail with that email address. I feel that such email addresses sound more professional than what any webmail service offers :)

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Calum    819
I quite like the Hotmail UI. Yeah, work in progress but it seems quite fucntional and clear, Text options make it straightforward and quicker for people rather than more drop downs hiding stuff you use regularly. Not cluttered.

I quite dislike the current Hotmail design; it feels awkward, cluttered, and outdated. I much prefer Gmail's new design, which is interesting because I'd always previously disliked how Gmail looked. Google have greatly impressed me with their latest design decisions. I use Hotmail, but I am hoping that Microsoft update the website design to a beautiful Metro-inspired one.

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