My renewed interest in Microsoft Live appears well-timed has just announced a bunch of new stuff for its Hotmail product.
A lot of attention has been given to the increase in storage, but I kind of yawn over that one. Were it not for Google recently announcing plans to try and charge for storage this wouldn’t have grabbed much attention, given that Yahoo and AOL! are both giving away unlimited storage.
A few bloggers are expecting Google to bend on this one. I’m not so sure. What was neat about the Google announcement is that there is a clear indicator that there are behind-the-scenes integration happening and for me thats more exciting then any storage limits. After all, how many people have actually got anywhere near there storage capacities.
Google I think is clearly thinking bigger picture. When you start talking file and image storage, you can’t go giving away free unlimited storage because people will actually use it. Quite frankly, I have no qualms paying for the right online products. I pay for Smugmug because its by far my favourite online photo sharing site and we pay for the Premium edition of Google Apps. I just want great products.
Which brings us to what I consider the most important of the Hotmail announcements – performance. Across the Windows Live ‘suite’ and I use that terms loosely, Microsoft’s offering have just been too slow. It’s just the one thing you can’t do when your doing online apps and I’ve had similiar problems with some of the Zoho offerings. It’s the one thing Google does well.
So anyway that Microsoft can speed up the new AJAX apps will be a good start to gaining back some ground.
Interestingly, most Hotmail users I know are still on the classic version. On the Internet, speed is king!
Recommended related reading at Read/Write Web talking about Live integration.