We have been quite critical of Hotmail here on TNWmicrosoft over the years as we find the service to be feature-light, hard to navigate, and slow.
Microsoft is working on those issues it seems, and while today’s updates to Hotmail will not sway many Gmail users to the platform, they do represent a noticeable, positive upgrade to the product.
What has Microsoft built into Hotmail? A plethora of keyboard shortcuts from Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Outlook. The idea appears to be that no matter what you currently use, Microsoft wants you to feel at home in Hotmail:
Hotmail also supports many of the keyboard shortcuts that you’re used to in Outlook, such as Ctrl+N for a new message, and Ctrl+Enter to send a message. And if you’re one of the millions of people who’ve recently switched from Yahoo! Mail or Gmail to Hotmail, we’ve also made popular shortcuts from those email services work in Hotmail. So # (from Gmail) can be used to delete a message and N (from Yahoo! Mail) will create a new message. You can see a full list of Hotmail keyboard shortcuts here. To switch your inbox from using standard Hotmail shortcuts to Gmail or Yahoo! shortcuts, go to the keyboard shortcuts options page from your inbox.
Hotmail also released improved right-click menus on emails to allow for simple forwarding, replying, and so forth. A small change, but one that will help heavy Hotmail users save time.
The Microsoft email team also touted recent performance tweaks that they claim are speeding up the Hotmail experience: “And as some of you may have noticed, we’ve started rolling out speed improvements that combine smart programming with the best of HTML5 to make your inbox super fast. We’ll tell you more about this in the coming days.”
And finally, changes have at last been made to draft saving in regards to the back button on your browser.
A good crop of updates, but we can’t help but feel that Hotmail does not need small, incremental changes, but a total refresh to be competitive.