Gmail vs. Hotmail – The Art of Seduction

Sometimes I notice things. Yeah, I’m clever that way. Compare and contrast. How are these things different? Sesame Street has got nothing on me.

I’ve been using Google’s Gmail web-based email for some time. (Even though I plan to dump it when I get off my ass for privacy reasons.) To support my anonymous blogging habit, though, I started using Microsoft’s Hotmail web-based email, too. I like keeping my real and fake worlds separate.

It wasn’t too long until I noticed a few subtle differences.

Hotmail knows me so well. “Seduce any girl in 60 seconds, especially ones that look like porn stars.” I’ll take 24 cases of whatever this is selling, please.

Yeah, I do plan to minimize my use of Google in as many ways as possible. It’s not that I have any particular reason to distrust them that much. I just think they know too much about me, and no good (at least for me) can come of that. It makes our relationship too unbalanced. Accidents can happen, and I can imagine them dropping a dime on me to make a buck. So why willingly hand over the ability to do just that on a silver platter?

That said, they do have benefits. For one thing, Google is decidedly not Microsoft. The latter is a pretty bad example of a technology company, in my humble opinion. I like to call that corporation “Macrocost.” Once upon a time I planned a Macrocost parody of the shitty Microsoft website home page. But I was too lazy and it never happened. I call Microsoft “bad” because they squeeze every penny, go “proprietary” in the name of greed (wreaking much havoc on the internet and computing in general), and generally pump up software that is extremely flawed. My PC did the blue screen of death all the time. My Mac goes months without a single problem.

Microsoft, though, proves at least one thing. Pumping out shit can still be profitable.

Since I use both Google and Microsoft for web-based email, I thought I’d share my critique of the experience.

Key points:

  • Interface Design: Ugly
  • Can’t click on things until advertising loads
  • Page/advertising loads agonizingly slow
  • Advertising is tailored to my needs so accurately it’s scary (see inset image, right)
  • I’ve never been able to figure out how to filter my incoming email to folders for my priority peeps

Google Gmail

Where is the ad? I highlighted it in red so it wouldn’t be completely invisible.

Key points:

  • Interface Design: Beautiful with many interesting themes to choose from
  • Can click things any time you want
  • Pages load super fast
  • Advertising is very low key – just a single text link
  • Has all the features I think I need

That’s about it for this post. I just can’t pass up any opportunity to bash on Microsoft, I guess. I really just wanted to share that offensive ad from Hotmail. Can you imagine checking your email at work and your boss looks over and sees that on your screen? (Not that I give a shit but some of you might.)

What else do you expect from Microsoft besides keeping it classy and real?

Next week I’ll compare Microsoft Office with the “Notes” text editor on the iPod and prove how the latter offers a far more impressive suite of tools for productivity.

6 responses

  1. I’ve been using Gmail more and more the past few months. The advantage for me of using it is that like most people, I guess, I have multiple email addresses for different purposes. Instead of logging on to different accounts to check for emails, I have set Gmail up to fetch mail from these accounts. When I’m at work then I can use gmail to check if I have received any email to my home email addresses. I find this feature incredibly useful.

    I’m still a relative novice in respect to Gmail. Although I’ve been using it for a few months I’ve only just started learning how to set up filters to organise incoming mail. I can see me using it more and more in the future though. It is already well on it’s way to being the one Email client to rule the others, for me at least 😆

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    1. I have to agree, even though I still plan to stop using it soon. The program is extremely elegant and powerful for a web-based app. The Microsoft product is laughable by comparison, yet they are the ones trying to cash in the most. That’s the Microsoft paradox.

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  2. I think hotmail has you pegged. I read so much here about picking up that I’m sure it just carries over into your email.

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    1. You’re right, of course. Hotmail knows me better than I could ever possibly know myself. I imagine in the next 3-5 years the companies that offer these web-based email services will being trying to sell us psychological profiles based on analyzing our emails. Scary!

      Or maybe they’ll blackmail us instead.

      Dear Tom,

      We know all about your cross-dressing and we can prove it. Click the button to make a “donation” today. Act fast to avoid embarrassment to you and those you love.

      Sincerely,

      The Hotmail Team

      Like

  3. My former CFO had Microsoft pegged: C+ grade product, A+ grade marketing. It’s been interesting to watch MSFT try and work their way out of the whole they dug themselves by missing the boat on the internet and clinging to the desktop-software model. They’ve been trying to play catch-up for more than a decade and their stuff always just seems a little tone-deaf to what people are looking for in a product.

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    1. Yes! That’s exactly what I was trying to say. 🙂

      It’s simple, really. There is reduced profitability in writing excellent code. It is much more profitable to put in less effort that appears to be good (and better than it actually is) and marketing it well.

      As a web jockey, I handcraft all of my code in the USA. I painstakingly make sure whatever flavor is used, the HTML is compliant and stuff. While replacing cookie cutter crap for which some asshole charged a local business $7,000. And it’s total shit. I come in and spend tons more time for one-tenth the money. Yes, my problem is I try to do my best. That is my curse.

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