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January 19, 2007

Hotmail Cruelty

Categories Microsoft 

Recently a coworker asked me to help her send an e-mail attachment to her daughter using Microsoft Hotmail.  After we sent the message I said, "There now you should also have the attachment in your 'Sent Mail' folder."  But when we looked, the sent mail folder was empty.  It turns out Hotmail does not automatically save sent messages.  Instead there's a checkbox in the compose message screen to "Copy Message in Sent Folder."   Worst of all there is no account setting to "Always save my messages to Sent Folder," instead the user must click the checkbox each time.   How could they be so cruel?

I could tear into them more, but honestly, this just makes me sad.  At least it looks like Microsoft will make it easy for Hotmail users to migrate to their new e-mail service, "Windows Live Mail," which does automatically save sent mail.  Ok, maybe just a little more tearing...

Lets do some math, shall we? 

Ok about 30 million Hotmail users that's a good place to start.  Let's assume on average each user wants to save 2 sent messages a day.  And lastly that it takes users 1/4 of a second to remember to click the checkbox and actually click it.

30,000,000 users × 2 messages × .25 seconds = 15 MILLION SECONDS or 41,666 HOURS PER DAY

So Hotmail users roughly waste a collective 41,666 hours clicking a stupid checkbox every day.  And in a year (let's say just 250 days), that's over 10 million hours.  Ugg...  Let's all hope that "Windows Live Mail" is great.

Why would Microsoft do this in the first place?  Server spaces shouldn't be an issue as Hotmail gives users 1GB of space (which is half of what you get from Yahoo! Mail, or Google Gmail).  And even if a user did fill up her allotted space, the system could instruct the user to delete some old sent mail.  Also, the compose message page doesn't have ads, so they're not trying to make users look at ads longer (which would be evil, but logical).  The only conclusion I can come up with is that Microsoft hates users.  They want them to suffer.  They have no sympathy for the 30+ million Hotmail users who must click the same checkbox over and over again.  Not even enough sympathy to just make it an account setting, as opposed to ditching the option completely and always saving sent messages like every other e-mail service I've ever used.


Maybe they shouldn't have to be sympathetic toward people who are dumb enough to still use hotmail...

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