Tag Archives: Microsoft

Hotmail is still hot (and promoting Sweep)

11 Oct

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Last year, according to Litmus, Hotmail had a 17% market share and was ahead of Gmail and Yahoo (but behind Outlook). This is according to their Email client usage worldwide study conducted on 250 million users. We (in the tech industry) tend to sometimes forget that Hotmail is still big.

Sweep, New email product built into Hotmail

The new Hotmail is supposed to be “faster than ever”, includes the creation of sub-folders, just like Gmail, and they’ve stepped up their security through additional encryption.

Lastly, some Hotmail features and built-in capabilities are actually interesting. They not only offer free online storage for documents and photos through Skydrive (boy do they know how to name a product! this name is strong!), but they are also heavily pushing ‘Sweep’ these days. Sweep is a tool to organize the inbox and minimize the clutter. Love this ad on their login page. It’s actually 3-dimensional even though it’s simple.

Go Hotmail! (and go Microsoft!)

The mystery of company acquisitions in the high tech world

11 Jun

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Seeing the acquisitions in the high tech world can sometimes be puzzling. But there is almost always a very simple explanation and it’s almost always the same one: companies buy their competitors. Not so much cause they want to integrate the product with theirs; they just buy them so that it’s no longer a threat.

Sometimes acquisitions are obvious as a company would buy a very immediate competitor: Adobe bought Macromedia, in the email deliverability and email reputation space, Return Path acquired Habeas,  or sometimes, they are less obvious, for example Google purchased blogspot, Yahoo purchased MyblogLog.

The sad part about it is that these decisions never include a plan to integrate the products well, streamline or improve the user experience…it’s never anything like that. In fact, pretty often, and mostly when the products are B2C web products, the company that is purchased ends up being a cumbersome piece in the purchaser’s web offer, a piece that doesn’t seem like it belongs there.

And some acquisitions make no sense whatsoever: for example Adobe acquired Omniture. I don’t think I will ever be able to make sense of that one…