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Windows Live Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better performance, huge amounts of storage, de-dupe of contacts, message forwarding, Out of Office and much more

You can tell from the title the favourite things I have found testing the latest version of Hotmail - well it is now public - we start rolling these features and more out over the Hotmail clusters.  For more information look at the Ellie Powers-Boyle blog post Your mail is here, come and get it!: August: Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better.performance.  Obviously if you are a Office Live customer then you will also see these changes coming to you.  For the international of us, I have called "Vacation Replies" Out of Office - you know what I mean then :-)

13 August

August: Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better performance

We went out of beta in May, and we’re already releasing something new. Today, these new features will begin to roll our gradually to all our customers over the next few weeks, so if you don’t immediately see them, be patient, they’re coming!

It’s a fun time to be working on Hotmail. We already did a ton of work to get the basics ready to get out of beta, so now we’ve been able to add some more of the extras that our more advanced users have been asking for. We’re continuing to collect feedback and using it to guide which areas of the product to improve next. Thanks to all of you who were beta testers, have clicked the “feedback” link in Hotmail, or leave constructive comments on the blog. We’re listening!

Performance: We’ve been hearing you loud and clear across the world: speed is one of the most important aspects of a web-based email service. We’ve spent more time in this release identifying what parts of the product are slowest and fixing those. We hope that you notice an improvement when this update is released to your account, and we’ll continue our work on performance in future releases.

Quality of Service: Our last release went quite smoothly, and we’ve been continuing to monitor the live site to make sure that we’re providing e-mail that is reliable – you always want to be able to get to your mail, and we hear you!

More storage! Just when you were wondering how you’d ever fill up 2 or 4 GB of mail, we’ve given you more storage. Free users will get 5 GB and paid users will get 10 GB of Hotmail storage.

Mail retention changes: We’ll be increasing the amount of time that we leave messages in your junk and deleted items folders over the next few months.

Contacts de-duplication: Do you have five different entries for the same person in your Contacts? Yeah, me too, but not anymore. We’re the first webmail service to roll out “contacts de-duplication”. If you get a message from “Steve Kafka” and click “add contact” but there’s already a Steve Kafka, we’ll let you know and let you add Steve’s other e-mail address to your existing “Steve Kafka” contact entry. We’re just trying to be smarter to make your life easier and faster. There’s also a wizard you can run to clean up your existing duplicate contacts.

Show content more easily: Hotmail blocks images and links in messages from unknown senders for your protection from spammers and phishing scams. Now you can click directly on the gray square or link to decide if you want to show content in a message. (It’s still not a good idea to show content, especially images, in messages from spammers. Just loading the images in a spam lets them know that you’re reading their e-mails.)

Spam-fighting: We’ve made it possible to report phishing attacks like those fake bank notices or fraudsters who want your checking account number so they can supposedly make a deposit. Just click “report phishing” if you think you’ve found a dangerous scam. In the junk folder, click “not junk” to help train our filters. Every mail you report does help make our spam filter smarter, but fighting spam takes constant vigilance. Spammers always find a new trick whenever we thwart their old tricks.

Right-to-left languages: Support for Hebrew and Arabic is now out of beta! If you speak these languages or want to see Hotmail in a totally new way, go to Options and change your language. We fixed a lot of bugs for users of Hebrew and Arabic, so we hope the whole UI works better for you now.

More space for your email, a.k.a. smaller header: We heard you asking for more space for your mail, so we shrunk the header in this update.

Forwarding messages: You can now forward mail from your Hotmail account to other accounts. For now, if you have a free account, you can only forward your mail to other Hotmail accounts. (Paid accounts get more choices.) This is great idea if you have a few different addresses and want to consolidate your mail.

Cobranding: This is what we call showing the logo of an organization for whom we are hosting email. Hotmail is currently hosting e-mail for universities (and a few ISPs) around the world, so we show their logos in Hotmail.

Accepting meeting requests: If you receive a meeting request, such as one sent from Outlook, you can now click “accept” and have it added to your Calendar. This had existed for years in MSN Hotmail, and we’re adding it to Windows Live Hotmail now.

Vacation replies: Now Hotmail can automatically tell your friends why you haven’t written them back in a few weeks.

Classic version jump to page: In the classic version, we’ve made it easier to jump to different pages of mail. This will be very handy as you grow into your new 5 GB or 10 GB account.

And finally... Drumroll please… we know this is going to be a big hit with a lot of you out there in blog land. I hope you remember this as the Hotmail team listening to what you want. J

You can turn off the Today page (if you want to). If you’d rather see your inbox immediately upon login, you have the option to turn off the page of MSN news (called the Today page). The choice is yours. J

- Ellie Powers-Boyle, program manager

ttfn

David


Posted Tue, Aug 14 2007 10:23 AM by David Overton

Comments

Dale Ingram wrote re: Windows Live Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better performance, huge amounts of storage, de-dupe of contacts, message forwarding, Out of Office and much more
on Thu, Aug 30 2007 7:59 AM

Hi David

I'd like to know how to activate the Holiday Message/Out of Office feature. Where is it and how does it work?

Dale, London UK

Dale Ingram wrote re: Windows Live Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better performance, huge amounts of storage, de-dupe of contacts, message forwarding, Out of Office and much more
on Thu, Aug 30 2007 8:08 AM

I've found it in Options. Sorry to bother you. Please can you make sure my email address doesn't get published anywhere??

Thanks!

David Overton wrote re: Windows Live Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better performance, huge amounts of storage, de-dupe of contacts, message forwarding, Out of Office and much more
on Thu, Aug 30 2007 8:26 AM

Dale,

your e-mail addressed will not be shown unless you put it as your url.  So no, your e-mail will not be shared :-)

ttfn

David

Steve Wilson wrote re: Windows Live Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better performance, huge amounts of storage, de-dupe of contacts, message forwarding, Out of Office and much more
on Sun, Sep 16 2007 10:35 PM

Unfortunately Full headers has been removed making reporting of Spoof emails to appropriate people impossible.

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