Friday, July 29, 2011

You're interventioning me?

My friend Jason sent me one of them newfangled Gmail intervention e-mails. It was hilarious. And yet, I'm sticking with Hotmail.

I told him so, and he asked what it is that makes me like Hotmail. I went a little overboard in my response:

What I prefer about Hotmail:
1) Junk e-mail:  I get to approve or deny all my junk e-mail. I never miss a thing.
2) Keyboard shortcuts:  Hotmail uses most of the keyboard shortcuts now that Outlook uses.  I use Outlook for work, so it's an easy transition.
3) Folders:  Gmail has labels and archiving, and that system is more robust in theory, but it's a different system, and it requires more clicks than the folder system.  My brain knows how to store everything in folders on my computer, and it wants to do that for e-mails, too.  Computers are always going to work with folders, so there's no reason to slow myself down by having to remember two different systems.
4) Legacy, (from an IT definition):  I have all my contacts here, and more importantly, all my contacts have me here. (Yes, I know you can use POP3 settings with Gmail to receive and send e-mail from other addresses, but then I have to use the Gmail interface.)
5) Chat: It doesn't try to link me to a chat account.  I hate chat programs.
6) Speed:  Now that all Google sites are linked to Google+, it's actually slower than Hotmail.  I'm removing as my home page for the same reason.  Hello, blank page.
7) The interface: To me, Hotmail looks and feels the way an e-mail program should.

What Gmail does better:
1) Grouping conversations (minimal value to me)
2) Attachments (Hotmail used to be awful, but recently improved to being only a step behind Gmail)
3) Searching
4) Saving drafts
5) Undo send (I'm pretty careful about what I send, so this has minimal value)

Where they're equal:
1) Storage.  They both give me more storage than I'll ever use.

Why I'll probably never switch fully to Gmail:
1) Habit: I forget to check my Gmail account for months at a time.
2) My username: My Gmail username is much longer than my Hotmail username (all the good ones were taken), so logging in is a more annoying process.
3) Video chat and other features: Gmail offers lots of amazing features that I don’t care about at all, and will never use. So many of these are the "selling" features, and they don't sell me.

What do you think?