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?


  1. One of my issues with Hotmail is that the contacts I saved years ago have changed: I saved them with first and last name, then Hotmail changed that feature and only identified them with nicknames, so I reorganized and added nicknames. Now, the nicknames are gone, and Hotmail no longer has any name information on my oldest contacts. Of course, most of those are people I never plan to contact again, but I still have a bunch of email addresses saved without any idea whose they are.

  2. My issue with Hotmail is the prevalence of annoying, ugly, distracting banner ads on the side of the page.

    And they don't do threaded conversations.

  3. I had gmail before Derek did. I love the way they do everything the same way I love the way the iphone does visual voicemail so I don't have to call in to my answering machine and listen to the entire messages. It's simply better.

  4. I didn't mention the banner ads because I never see them (Firefox "Adblock" add-on).

    Next, someone will ask me why I'm using Firefox when Chrome is so much faster. =)