business, consumer experience, technologies

Dear Hotmail, I’m leaving you

Quicker than "hotmail"?
Quicker than “hotmail”?

Dear Hotmail (or “Outlook” as you tiringly insist on being called these days),

It’s over, we’re through, I’m leaving you.

In a funny kind of way, and despite the pain you’ve caused me in recent times, this still hurts.  But I guess we should be brave and admit it’s the end of the road.

You’ve been changing too much, too soon. With each change we’ve been drifting further apart.  You leave me hanging around for ages after I click a message, after I click Compose, after I click Send, after I basically give you any command.  I don’t know where I stand anymore.  You make me wait so long for EVERYTHING.  It makes me insanely, irrationally mad.  It’s not healthy.

Perhaps you’ve been influenced by your new friends. You’re trying to keep everyone happy and it doesn’t really work.  It might be what happens when there are so many stakeholders, so many advertisers, so many people to satisfy; you forget the people who actually use the product day-to-day.  Others make the same mistake easily enough, others will make it again.  The highest priority is seemingly always: do what makes you the most money.

Although I do appreciate that you are a beast of a product to manage for those poor Microsoft folks.  Email, eh?  Who knew how or if or where it would evolve to?  Who knows where it’s going now?  Is it dying out or not?  Perhaps there might have been an argument for tougher technical regulations, setting a limit for what advertisers could do, which wouldn’t interfere with usability.

Even so, the lag on supposedly simple clicks, and just finding a log-in page link still seems incredibly hard.

We’ve been together for so long.  These last few years: ok, fair enough, maybe I haven’t given you as much love.  Yes, there have been other accounts, I’ll admit. You’ve been a repository for low priority stuff – much of it adverts and spam – but stuff I’m still interested at looking at and keeping in touch with, from time to time. Occasionally there are relevant offers.  (Not the penis enlargement ads.  Don’t get snarky).

You were always my first and biggest email account, the account through which I’ve ordered tickets and made travel arrangements for many years.  As such I might always look fondly upon you. We have countless mutual accounts – flight operators, online vendors, forgotten social communities, current social communities.  (I’m in the process of switching your association with the ones I remember, sorry).

This will probably mean that I have to sign up to loads of accounts again, and lose touch with a few brands – some of whom I might never have engaged with again anyway, but some of whom I probably will.  There will be more laborious sign-up processes requiring yet more usernames and passwords – that lingering, inane, archaic 21st Century dependency.

Linking through social accounts is one answer – smoothly employed by new writing platform Medium, but it’s still not ideal and is surely an intermediary stage before something better comes along.  Let’s hope it does, in the same way better email accounts came along.

Attempts to bounce you to new accounts seems inconsistent. And now you’re turning off the ability to link between accounts.  I don’t know why.  That’s the final straw.

As my oldest email account, I use you to communicate with my oldest friends and family.  This has to change now and messages will probably go awry.  You’ve caused so much unnecessary upheaval.  Do you even give a damn?

Bye then, Hotmail.  You can keep all my stacks of embarrassing history.  Just please don’t do anything nasty with it, ok?  I’d appreciate that.  Anyway, it’s been a blast, thanks for the memories.  I hope you keep your new friends happy.

Mark


If you’d like a parting shot, tweet @mawkins