The Windows Live team has published a post yesterday describing how and why every gmail user should consider giving hotmail another look.
As many people out there, I first had a hotmail account (back in 1998 if I remember well), and I still have it. Then, in what, 2005?, gmail came with its slick and fast interface, Google was still all fresh and new (and kind) a the time, so just like everyone else, I felt quite happy to receive my invitation…
Things went well during a couple of years, until recently when a few events worth mentioning happened:
- Microsoft updated hotmail! At some point in time, I feel lazy right now to check exactly when, it seems the Microsoft finally remembered that hotmail actually existed. Kind of the same thing happened with IE7 at some point if you ask me. And update after update, they finally improved the beast, making it fast, and at some point, more usable than gmail. Just take these recent new features that, among other things, allow users to “mark as read” in one click. I love those. Gmail asks me 3 clicks to achieve this simple task.
- Gmail suddenly had ads. While Google explains no one reads the emails (except sometimes of course), and while these ads are quite discrete, they still feel uncomfortable to me. I don’t like to see ads directly related to content I write in my emails, period.
- Create a Hotmail account. If you don’t already have one, you need to create a Hotmail account. The best way to do this is to get a new email address either @hotmail.com or @live.com. Or, if you already have an email address you want to keep using, you can keep using it and sign up here. You don’t have to use our domain.
- Import your old messages from Gmail. You’ll probably want to keep your old email and contacts so we’ve made it simple to bring them in. TrueSwitch is an easy tool which will import your email and contacts and forward any new email to Hotmail for 90 days. Go to the TrueSwitch site and follow the steps there. When you sign back in to Hotmail, you’ll notice that it’s beginning to import your emails (this could take a few hours if you have a lot of emails to bring over).
- Connect your Gmail account. This step is optional, but if you want to make sure you receive future messages from Gmail, you can have Hotmail automatically get all new emails that are sent to your old Gmail account. These are the steps to connect your accounts:
a. In your inbox, click Options and then More options.
b. Click Sending/receiving email from other accounts.
c. Click Add an email account.
d. Provide your Gmail account details.
And more reasons to switch:
- Hotmail & Facebook work well together. You can update your Facebook status, chat with Facebook friends, view their updates, and comment right from your Hotmail inbox. You can’t do this from Gmail.
- You can easily share lots of photos and large attachments. Hotmail lets you share hundreds of photos or other files in one message using the integrated online storage from SkyDrive. You can’t do this in Gmail.
- Hotmail works great with Office. Using the Office Web Apps, Hotmail lets you view and edit Office docs for free right in your inbox. Gmail doesn’t work well with Office.
- Hotmail lets you get a handle on graymail. With customizable categories and scheduled sweeps, you can quickly clean up things like newsletters, social updates, and daily deals so you only see the mail that really matters to you. Gmail doesn’t have Sweep.
And, some reasons not to switch here on this interesting post from the LiveSide guys.