Have you ever worked incredibly hard to improve a product only to discover that the people who use it didn't want it to change? Coca-Cola discovered that back in 1985, when the company tried to create an even better tasting soda. This year, Microsoft came to that realization when it was working on a redesign of Windows Live Mail. A recent article by CNET Networks' News.com explains: "Too Hotmail to handle."
Here's a snippet from the article:
"Microsoft had been tinkering with Windows Live Mail for months, but testers still weren't happy. The program was too slow to load, too different and, well, just not like the old Hotmail it was intended to replace. It was a painful realization for the more than 100 managers and developers on the project. In banking on a snazzy Web 2.0 application to try to catch up to rivals Yahoo and Google, Microsoft had dramatically overshot its audience."
"On Monday, Microsoft took the beta tag off the Hotmail redesign, and its classic mode took center stage. The full version with its Outlook-like look and feel is still there for those who want it, but it's not the default interface."
Want to see Windows Live Hotmail with your own eyes? View these image galleries:
For more information about Windows Live Hotmail, check out these additional news sources:
- Microsoft Launches New Hotmail (PC World)
- Microsoft delivers Hotmail upgrade (InfoWorld | IDG News Service)
- Microsoft Windows Live Hotmail Fact Sheet (Computing News)
- Windows Live Hotmail Launches Worldwide in 36 Languages (IT News Online)
Even though Windows Live Hotmail's default interface looks a lot like the old Hotmail, its modern engine has the ability to support multiple interfaces. Still, some people question whether Hotmail will ever move beyond its reputation as the e-mail program for the technologically challenged. Do you use Hotmail? Why or why not? If not, which Web mail program do you use?
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Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.