Microsoft's Hotmail has gone largely untouched since the mid-90s when the Redmond giant swallowed it whole via acquisition. Which means that seeing the @hotmail.com signature has been shorthand for "I'm about to read an e-mail from someone who has been cryogenically frozen for the past decade."
Say what you will about Hotmail, but that is one bad-ass looking carrier pigeon.
But thanks to a major overhaul, Slate tech correspondent Farhad Manjoo says Hotmail may have finally found a way to shed its image as the preferred e-mail client for the old and infirmed:
I've been using a pre-release version of the service for a couple of weeks now, and I'm a huge fan. The new Hotmail is fast, well-designed, and adds a host of features that bring it up to par with other e-mail services, including Gmail. Indeed, it has several features that I wish Gmail included. I'm not switching over yet--I've got six years' of archived mail in Gmail, and I still consider it the best e-mail system on the planet. But that may be just a matter of taste and familiarity. I consider the new Hotmail a very close second, but the more I use it, the more I like it--and I bet loads of people will believe the new version surpasses every other e-mail system around.Great. Now if it could only find a way to quit paying cities to use GMail, Microsoft might really have something.