Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Does Anyone Even Use Hotmail Anymore?

I understand that the free Hotmail e-mail service has been giving some trouble today, leaving a reported 300 million North American users without access to their accounts. I am surprised that many people still use Hotmail.

Not that there's anything wrong with the e-mail service: I still have an ancient Hotmail account that I remember to check once a month, if that. It serves as a repository for newsletters and half-spam/half-interesting stuff that I might want to read one day. I used to use it simply as a portal to connect to the MSN Messenger instant messaging service, but with new social networking sites like Facebook, who needs it?

Not to mention that every ISP offers e-mail accounts with its service, along with Webmail access that lets you check your messages remotely (a colleague of mine didn't even know that such services were available until today!) So why bother with Hotmail?

The answer is because it's reliable, and, especially for techno-phobes, familiar. It's a great back-up account if something goes wrong with your ISP-related one; or you're unable to access your "regular" account from another country. I honestly can't remember a time when the Hotmail service was ever seriously "down" other than for regular maintenance, or maybe for a short period of time. But judging from the amount of press today's issue has been garnering, something has simply gone awry. Hopefully it's fixed sometime soon.

Sidenote: Right before publishing this news item at 4:30 p.m., I checked my own Hotmail account, and I was able to access it just fine.

12 comments:

Robert Clark said...

While yes, internet service providers do hand out their free e-mail addresses, there is still much to be said about hotmail.

My own theory as to why it remains so prevalent is the widening net of Wifi signals we are living in. As that expands and the tendency for people to live on their laptops increases, so will our reliance on hotmail, gmail and yahoo.

It's simply convenient and all too often preferable to using the internet service provider e-mails provided to us.

Lee_D said...

As it happens, the people I know with Hotmail are the same people who barrage me with forwards of lame jokes, semi-obscene photoshopped pictures, chain letters, and personality quizzes.

Coincidence? I don't know.

Anonymous said...

I like Hotmail,mostly because if my computer crashes. I don't have to worry about losing email.I have tried gmail and AOL I won't even say how I feel about AOL mail.I just like how Live Mail has done so well to work with the rest of my computer use.My only second choice would be Apple's Dot Mac service. But it's too expensive just for the mail!

Steve Lafreniere said...

It's simple. One of the main reasons that people own hotmail (and Yahoo and Gmail) accounts is so they don't have to keep updating (read: annoying) all their friends and contacts every time they change ISPs. I know that as I've moved throughout the country over the last 15 years, I've evolved from AOL through Earthlink, RoadRunner, and sundry local ISPs. Finally five years ago I got a hotmail account, and stopped changing email addresses.

Bob said...

Steve said what I was going to say. I've changed ISPs three times in the past ten years, but I keep Hotmail as my primary account so I don't have to keep telling my friends to update their contact lists. I can only recall two problems with Hotmail in that time, and neither lasted more than a day. Plus, it's fast and I like its spam filters.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing me up to speed on this

JB

Anonymous said...

I've been a hotmail user for 10 years. Hotmail and other internet based mail providers (yahoo, gmail) offer alot more features than most IPS web-portal access. Many ISP's in my area, have very basic web-portals with no address book, no sent items, just basic. Hotmail is great if you need to access data or information, contacts, etc on the go. Its also really easy to check and use with smart phones and blackberry's, with you can't say for all ISP's.

Anonymous said...

Same here, I have an e-mail account from my ISP, but I use hotmail because it doesn't change when I change ISP's, which I have many times. I also like yahoo's but I have had my hotmail e-mail account since before MS took over. Wow, I didn't realize it'd been that long!

Marketnews - Christine Persaud said...

Thanks for all the insight, guys. I typically always have my laptop with me when traveling, which makes checking my ISP e-mail through Outlook easy. If I'm using a portable device, I'll just add the e-mail settings to it. If I need to just read e-mails when I'm away, my ISP has a webmail program; or there are free ones online like http://www.mail2web.com.

Come to think of it, I haven't changed ISPs for YEARS; but I do admit that Hotmail is that tried and true old friend that you can ALWAYS count on and go back to with 100% guarantee that you can access it from anywhere.

robert said...

I don't like anything about Microsoft,especially Hotmail,but I have to add,I am an Apple customer and I switched to gmail and I've never had a problem with it.

Ian said...

My hotmail account usage has definitely decreased significantly due to the growth of Facebook. In fact, my network channels have grown through it, and I find people more responsive via Facebook...it's just a better user experience.

jdragon said...

I've switched over to gmail and yahoo. Pretty soon I will also use .mac