Hotmail users are offered storage space that’s practically unlimited, like Gmail. But are they really a match to Gmail?
A "Special" Feature
Hotmail includes an additional feature to help you “sweep” stuff out of your inbox and into the trash, which is interesting. There's also another prominent delete button. It appears that they are reluctant to allow disk space to be used up.
There's some promotional material on this here.
The link teaches you how to “get rid of unwanted email”. Compare this with Gmail: “Who needs to delete when you have so much storage?!”
On the positive side, the sweep feature can be used to move lots of email at once to a folder other than trash too. But, the manner in which the trash folder is emphasized is noteworthy, as well as the way they started out with this feature, when they allowed moving only to the trash.
Why is Microsoft Trying to Save Disk Space?
Let’s look at the history of Hotmail’s storage space. Storage space is not easy to come by, and the competition from Google is growing. Hotmail’s storage was a meagre 2 MB around the year 2000, and this was low compared to the competition at the time. They suddenly increased it to 250 MB around 2004, in order to counter Google’s massive 1 GB offering, something never imagined by consumers at the time.
Microsoft strived on, and now decided to make Hotmail's storage limit a continually increasing one, which is again exactly on the lines of Google. Not only that, they’ve been trying to adopt other Gmail features: chat, docs and a usable calendar.
However, Microsoft still hasn't come very close to match Google's success.
What Could Microsoft do Differently?
Microsoft needs to innovate, like they did in their early days. They started out with the innovative idea of having a desktop computer in every home, and emerged highly successful. But now, Microsoft appears to be in the business of re-inventing things already present.
Here’s a small list:
- Bing, a copy of Google
- Live Spaces, a copy of social networking sites
- Hotmail improvements - copy of Gmail improvements
- Office 365 - a copy of Google Docs
If Microsoft wants to stay ahead, they must start innovating. Xbox, along with Kinect, created from their research division, is a fine example, though a few may argue it was an imitation of Nintendo Wii. What is notable though, is the role of the research division in this offering.
Take a look at their amazing XBox sales - they can definitely do better in other areas if they come up with unique ideas that make them stand out from the rest.