Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Hotmail Rant

Crapmail=HotmailI don’t rant that often, but this time I have a bone to pick with Microsoft and plan to use my little “soap box on the web” to do it. If you don’t like listening to people whine, please disregard this post.

Honestly, I don’t use Hotmail that often. I’ve had it for a long time, so I check it about once every month or so to make sure I haven’t missed a random email from some long-lost friend. I catch one about every 6 months and tell them about my new email address.

What I have more of a beef about is the fact that they just deleted everything without any warning. 30 days of inactivity is NOT long. People are often inactive for longer amounts of time than that using web applications (email or otherwise).

The following email I sent to the Hotmail staff says it all. It probably won’t be read by that faceless organization, but at least I get to pretend that it might.

Dear Faceless Hotmail Staff,

I really cannot believe that because I didn’t log into my account for 30 days that you just up and deleted every last message in my email account. What if I was in the hospital for 30 days, maybe out of the country and not able to get online?

My account has been active with you for over 10 years now, archived messages and all are now gone. Thank you for deleting my digital email history with no warning. This policy is absolutely the worst one I have seen in years.

Do you ever stop to think why people hate Microsoft? It stems from the arrogance you carry to make arbitrary decisions that end up affecting millions of people’s lives – not even stopping to think of the ramifications. I’ve never been one of those Microsoft-haters, thank you for giving me a kick in the nuts down that road.

There’s a reason why people are flocking to Google and Yahoo, they know they won’t get treated like trash.

I’m flabbergasted by your arrogance and amazed at your stupidity.

So, not only does Hotmail offer a shoddier service than almost every other email provider on the web, they also treat you like crap. Save yourself the headaches and use Gmail or Yahoo Mail.

< /end rant>


  1. *BG*, need a Gmail account… ? I installed MSN-Messenger yesterday because a friend of mine can’t use skype video with WIN2K. Such a crappy programm with lots of cheap ads popping all over, argh!

  2. Whoever is in charge of hotmail is a muppet. Just be glad you got out before they conned you into test Windows Mail Live beta or whatever it is called. They made hotmail even worse if you can believe that. I ranted on hotmail a few months back, karibu yahoo.

  3. I feel your pain Hash and absolutely sympathize.

    They did the same thing to me back in 2001 and I stopped using them.

    If you need a gmail invite, let me know.


  4. Thanks for putting up with the rant and the offer of the Gmail accounts. I actually have one already though. The Hotmail account was used only because I had had it for so long. Remember in the dark ages of the Net, back when Hotmail was one of the only free services with a whopping 2Mb limit? Yes, that’s when I started with them.

  5. Right on brother!
    Completely agree with you 😉

  6. go gmail. need an invite?

  7. I wouldnt go near yahoo, even if they were offering virgins as part of the sign up process.
    Yahoo has even less care for people and even love putting people in jail


    stay with gmail, be happy

  8. I understand that ten years ago there was no other options and it really sucks that they did this. But why expect them to change. I am becoming more and more satisfied that the more people microsoft trashes then the less likely they will be around in ten years. Go Mac! Go Google! Go Open Source! And take notes on what not to do if you ever reach the top of the food chain.

  9. You know how hard it is to convince anyone of how bad Hotmail actually is? I’ll need to show this to my Mbuzi who’s using Hotmail and only opened up a 2nd account on Gmail when I begged her to do so. Arghh….I’ll need to show this post to her.

    30 days? Ohh…let me check my kiku..address on hotmail DE.

  10. In defense of Hotmail, but first with some disclaimers…

    1. I have accounts many places, and although I don’t think it’s “open to the public” the new Yahoo! Mail which is, hands down, the best web based email tool out there. Gmail is great but not as good.

    2. A lot of flexibility afforded other web based email sites is not available for Micro$oft because of the sheer number of users they already have on hotmail. Stuff like 2GB storage etc…

    3. As a web based service, hotmail is nowhere near as good. Here’s something that pissed me off recently. Every once in a while I decide to forgive Hotmail and clean stuff up since I’ve had my account for so long. So this one time I was trying to organize things and found out there is a limit to the number of email filters you can use. Now that is crap.

    The big but here is that Hotmail has an excellent fat client in Microsoft Outlook. Downloading mail, synchronization, offline storage – it’s very, very good. Ironic to see this conversation since yesterday I was doing clean up and was able to get through deleting more than 3,000 emails in less than an hour.

    I’ve always wondered why Google and Yahoo! farm out their fat client support to products like Thunderbird, Outlook Express and other POP clients. Why not write a slick tool like Outlook which has support for contacts, journals, scheduling, etc… and have it synch with your web based mail service?

    I’m sure there are hard problems to solve, mainly along the lines of security. But I don’t think that synchronization would be *that* hard.

    Well, that’s my $0.02.

  11. Sounds like a mixture of pros & cons David. It’s like they either do something very well, or totally suck at it.

    I had thought about your point #2 above, and I just can’t believe that with the cost of hard drive space now that Microsoft can’t afford to up give more space away. I understand that they have millions of customers, but they also have billions of dollars. If they want to be competitive, they have to up the ante.

  12. David

    Nice post in defence of Microsoft Outlook but you missed a major minus for this fat client – all the other product are free, Outlook is not.

    Also, sometimes, in fact, most of the time, all people want to do at their email service is . . . read email.

    Would you believe that many people do not use an electronic scheduler/journal and do not care much for their contact lists as long as they can get their contacts when they need them and there is some kind of predictive pull up when they are entering them ( which all the email services do now with AJAX I think where they pull up matching contacts as you type ).

    Sometimes, I think that too much functionality may be the problem.


  13. That is precisely the kind of crass stupidity that makes a mockery of all of Microsoft’s attempts to clear its name.

    Hotmail has nuked all my emails so many times i’m not even sure why i keep the account anymore, and sentimentality is fast losing currency.

    When the yahoo beta goes live gmail will be surprised at how quickly many people will decamp. They’ve done a better gmail than gmail!!!

    @David — promising 2 GB for each user does not mean that you actually have to allocate 2 GB whenever somone registers. You can start with allocating 100 or even 20 MB and up that whenever someone hits 50% of the current allocation

    Also, I don’t buy the outlook argument. What use is it for you if you are on the road sans your laptop?

  14. Here’s my Hotmail Update on my letter to the Hotmail staff:

    This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

    Delivery to the following recipients failed.


    Thank goodness. I was afraid I was wrong and that Microsoft actually cared about its customers.

  15. Hotmail sucks. One day they simply deleted all my mails. Thankfully it is not my primary address.

    Only it is much faster

  16. Personally I have nothing to rant about. E-mail accounts are simply that. I have my important contacts stored on multiple devices and notebooks to avoid such predicaments. Contact lists and all those other ‘features’ on email accounts are just for convinience.

    And in any case, if you clicked the “I Agree” button when you created the hotmail account then I dont see why you should blame Microsoft for implementing their policies. I’m not saying St.Peter should let them through the pearly gates but they’re not Damien either.

  17. I copied your message and sent it to hotmail. I have experienced the same. After i was one of the hotmail first customers, and having tons of mails with tons of pictures, documents etc. they deleted all of that information without a warning. Let’s see how they’ll reply to my message. I guess in the same way…delete it.

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