Now with 5GB

I’ve been a Hotmail user for quite a long time already, long time before I started working at Microsoft. I always found it easy to have this email address that was not linked to your internet provider (remember de ‘free’ dial-up services etc) and later on it became even easier when I got to use Messenger.

Now when thinking about Hotmail about 3 years ago that wasn’t all that good anymore. With the coming of Gmail it became more clear than ever that Hotmail needed work…. and a lot of it. The old interface, advertising, 25MB storage vs Gmail’s 1GB,…

But today we are 3 years further down the line, Gmail has close to 3GB of inbox (and you can buy more if you want) en is still in beta and Hotmail has been renewed completely. The backend, the interface it’s all new. Drag&drop, rightclick, … are only few of the new things and this week they announced some other new updates and some pretty cool ones as well:

  • More storage: Hotmail users will get 5GB of inbox for free and 10GB for the paying Hotmail Plus accounts
  • Contacts de-duplication: This will run each time you try to add a contact but there’s also a wizzard to clean up your existing contacts
  • Forwarding messages: You can forward your account to another Hotmail account if you have more accounts and want to handle things easily, this also works to non-Hotmail accounts if you’re a Hotmail Plus user
  • OOF: Hotmail now as an Out of Office as well, to your contacts only if you wish
  • Turn of the today page: I want to go straight to my inbox so I like that one as well

Remember as well that Hotmail is available on mobile as well for quite a long time ( , and that there’s a desktop client in which you can sync all your Hotmail and other webmail accounts as well, called Windows Live Mail. I use the desktop client and mobile version quite a lot myself.

If you only remember Hotmail from ‘back in the days’ then I think you should check it out again:

And yes, for the xxth time, I work for Microsoft.



  1. The “turn off the today page” option is hidden so well, that I haven’t found it so far ;-)

  2. Bart says:

    Hotmail still lacks many features in comparison with Gmail, like POP access. Also Gmail’s interface is much much better than Hotmail. I’m using both and working in Hotmail isn’t such a nice experience. I hate it when Hotmail blocks a message and displays the ‘Mark as safe’ & ‘Mark as unsafe’ links. I also hate their little clicking sounds when parts of the site are loaded.

    If I run out of diskspace I’m more willing to buy some more GBs at Gmail instead of switching over to Hotmail.

    Also MSN Spaces is horrible. Did you ever manage to view a photo album without glitches?

    I don’t understand that Microsoft continues making these kind of mistakes.

  3. Michael says:

    I think Live Hotmail is great, but it needs just a few more things:

    1. address (shorter and more attractive than
    2. Windows Live Calendar to finally be featured in, and go up above the scales of Google Calendar and iCal.
    3. Integration of Web Messenger
    4. Load up faster.

    That’s about all it needs to succeed.

    @Bart: Hotmail only blocks messages if they might contain something dangerous like pop-ups, or something that could be downloaded to your computer. Although a few times, it has been wrong.

    I don’t even see why anyone ever needs to go beyond 2-3 GB, unless you really have that much spam or contacts. Or you could try deleting old e-mails.

    MSN Spaces died, like a year ago. I agree, it wasn’t cool either. It’s been replaced by Live Spaces which is perfect if you want to simply blog. The only thing bad about photos, is that they’re compressed. That’s all.

  4. Kris Hoet says:

    @ Tamara: You will only see this option in the general options menu once your account has been upgraded. This should happen in the next few days as they are rolling out the new features to all Windows Live Hotmail users now.

    @ Bart: I understand your comment on the Gmail interface although I’m personally not a big fan of it. In Outlook you can also get your email in a ‘conversation view’ and I don’t use it there either. If you work on a pc, I’d love to find out your opinion about the desktop version I talked about, or the Outlook Connector that let’s you sync Hotmail into your Outlook.

    About Live Spaces, I haven’t seen these glitches for a while but I’ll take your word for it. Performance is one of the key elements the product team keeps working on.

    @ Michael: Some of the things are coming in the coming months so keep looking out for them. They are definitely good suggestions.

  5. Bart says:

    Sorry guys but Live Spaces is as bad as MSN Spaces. The slideshow still has loads of glitches.

    Outlook isn’t something to be proud of either. Ok, it has many users, but it just sucks. Try to set your background colour with a hexdec value! Try to import an external HTML mail… Do a search, it takes ages… If images are blocked you can’t unblock them if the HTML mail only contains background images.

    I’m not a Microsoft hater, but there is still room for improvements!

  6. Kris Hoet says:

    Bart – I know you’re not a Microsoft hater and I’m glad you give this feedback our products. I don’t know much about the tech parts of Outlook but I’ll pass on the message. On search though, I have a different experience so I was hoping you could get me some more info. Which version of Outlook (or Office) do you use?

    About Live Spaces, that is indeed the same product as MSN Spaces that got rebranded with the Windows Live launch although it has obviously evolved since then. I will ask our product manager if this is still a common problem as I haven’t experienced that in a while myself.

    Again thanks for the feedback.

  7. brad says:

    I got 2 emails with pics, why does hotmail say mark as safe with one and not with the other. How can i add pics to emails that will diplay automatically like in the second email i recieved. i dint have to click mark as safe

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