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Gmail Takes Largest Webmail Service Crown

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the nsa-scheme-proceeding-as-planned dept.

Google 383

redletterdave writes "After several years of dominance, Microsoft's Web-based email service, Hotmail, has been unseated by Google's significantly younger webmail service, Gmail. Google announced it had about 350 million monthly active users in January; since then, that number has ballooned to 425 million." Remember when people ran their own mail servers?

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FIFO (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501887)

First in, First out. Cya, hotmail.

Dick in dick out (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502083)

We are the slashdot trolls, my (just made, surprise butt fuck) friend.
And we keep on trollin' till the end.

We post goatse [goatse.ru] links.
Natalie portman and hot grits.

No time for lusers (Linux users),
Because FreeGayOS (FreeBSD) rules!

Re:FIFO (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502093)

Replying to undo moderation mistake. Sorry, pal.

'Replying to undo moderation mistake. Sorry, pal.' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502207)

You do know that you have to reply as yourself, and not as AC, in order to undo moderations, right? Sorrysauce, pal.

Re:'Replying to undo moderation mistake. Sorry, pa (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502331)

Last time I checked (maybe a year ago) I think I discovered that posting AC would also undo the moderations, it just wouldn't warn you beforehand.

Re:'Replying to undo moderation mistake. Sorry, pa (2)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502343)

I read that it depends on whether or not you are logged in. You have to log out before posting anonymous. Posting logged-in-anonymous is not good enough.

Re:FIFO (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502293)

Jon "Maddog" Hall comes out [linux-magazine.com] .

The first of what is sure to be a deluge of Free Software comings-out. Tight butts, hard dicks, and splashing cum.

Maybe selection bias (3)

hsmith (818216) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501895)

But maybe 1:100 people I know use hotmail. Simply, no one does. Hell, there are probably more AOL active email addresses in my address book compared to Hotmail.

Re:Maybe selection bias (5, Insightful)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501919)

Actually, the main difference is that AOL is US only, while hotmail had a lot of worldwide users. I must know about 45% hotmail, 45% gmail, and 10% "all the rest". I'm guessing that's pretty much how modern distribution goes as well.

Re:Maybe selection bias (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502061)

AOL isn't US only, though I have no idea why anyone else would use it. As I said in another post here, I have a small business with about 1000 customers, and of my ~40 AOL addresses in my customer list, 2 of them are in the UK.

Re:Maybe selection bias (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502269)

America Online wasn't based in and focused on America? That's news to me. I haven't run across anyone outside the US using an AOL address, even after they left the ISG model and went to the locationless value-add model.

Re:Maybe selection bias (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502325)

America Online wasn't based in and focused on America?

Indeed not [aol.co.uk] . They were a reasonably significant broadband ISP in the UK too, though their decline here has paralelled that in the USA.

Re:Maybe selection bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501927)

For sure. Most of my acquaintances use hotmail. My father, my family, my co-workers, some friends. The more tech-savvy use gmail. The fact of the matter is many people associate the same amount of permanence with email as they do with a phone number, "It's such a pain in the ass to change."

Most people don't understand you can have permanent forwarding of your old account. As well, many people don't like changing interfaces, and with that they don't realize that the evil you know changes as often (or more) than the evil you don't. So essentially it's inertia.

Re:Maybe selection bias (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502273)

Permanent forwarding still means the old account is active and is counted as a user.

At least in the past with Hotmail and yahoo you still had to log in every now and then or the account would be disabled (or even deleted), and the emails wiped..

Re:Maybe selection bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501933)

Gee no shit you have a poor selection sample? Last time I checked, the people in your address book are hardly representative of the world at large.

Re:Maybe selection bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502107)

Perhaps you have a point, but after all, what part of the population matters to you?

Re:Maybe selection bias (4, Insightful)

solarissmoke (2470320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501935)

I'm pretty sure there are hundreds of thousands of Gmail users who have an old and defunct Hotmail account that they forward to their Gmail account (just in case that high-school sweetheart tries to get back in touch). They will be pushing up the Hotmail count, despite the fact that they aren't active users in any sense.

Re:Maybe selection bias (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502095)

Can you forward your Hotmail to your Gmail? I haven't even tried, I know Yahoo won't let you.

Re:Maybe selection bias (4, Informative)

solarissmoke (2470320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502135)

You can set up Gmail to access your Hotmail account via POP3.

Re:Maybe selection bias (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502335)

Judging by my own defunct hotmail account, I wouldn't want to do that. So much spam.

Re:Maybe selection bias (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502439)

yep I am sure there are, just as there will also be a ton of gmail users forwarding their email off to other providers.

Re:Maybe selection bias (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501975)

I saw them fairly often about five years ago, when I was working at the university bookstore. They had raffles-cum-newsletter signups with old-fashioned cards, and I was the poor schmuck who got to punch them into the database. Lots of FirstnameLastYearofbirth @hotmail and @yahoo, but very few gmail accounts.

I stopped using my hotmail account before Microsoft bought it, back when frames were still considered a bright idea. At this point my Gmail address is a magnet for spam and idiots using it to sign up for services, so I've moved to using my web host's e-mail service. I'd consider running my own server, if I didn't suspect that my ISP tries to prevent that sort of thing.

Re:Maybe selection bias (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502047)

Perhaps when IPv6 comes out self-hosting will be more of an option again. ISPs charge a pretty penny if you want to have a static IP.

Re:Maybe selection bias (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502235)

They do? Not everywhere I guess ... a static IPv4 address is a $5/month add-on for my current home DSL plan. And even without paying that, my IPv6 address is static (or rather, the /56 prefix they assign me is static).

But despite that I still don't really want to go to the trouble of self hosting - buying a cheap domain and using free Google Apps for mail works great and gives me high reliability while still letting me fully control my own mail.

Re:Maybe selection bias (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501983)

I disagree with this. I've been running a very small internet business for a few years now, and have about 1000 customers so far; out of those 1000, about 150 have hotmail.com addresses, while only about 40 have aol.com addresses. The customers aren't really computer experts either, so it's a crowd where I'm not surprised to have AOL users, but still, there's lots more hotmail users. In fact, there's actually more hotmail users than Yahoo users, of which there's about 120. Not surprisingly, Gmail tops the list, at over 230. The rest is things like comcast.net (a little over 30, close to the aol.com number in fact), roadrunner.com, etc. along with some business email addresses and various other ISPs, large and small.

Re:Maybe selection bias (5, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501997)

I'm surprised Hotmail just lost its crown. It has millions of spam accounts on there.

Either their spam detection just got better, or the spammers themselves are leaving Hotmail because no one takes Hotmail seriously anymore.

Re:Maybe selection bias (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502033)

Maybe nobody had a spare Gmail invite to send those people so they had to stay on hotmail lol.

Re:Maybe selection bias (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502181)

Nah, Hotmail was THE webmail service in the late 90s to early 2000s when the internet was growing very fast, and thus I think most people have or had a Hotmail address around here. Not in the US so 'AOL' never existed.

In the 2001-2005 period when I was at university easily 2/3rds of people used a Hotmail address (and the remainder used their ISP-provided email address). Now it's a lot lot less as Gmail has pretty much taken over. I still use my Hotmail address, but only as a 'throwaway' address for website signups and where you need to enter an email in a field to continue etc. I use Google Apps/Gmail with my own domain for my primary address.

Own email server (4, Insightful)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501911)

Remember when people ran their own mail servers?

I do, because I still run my own, as plenty of power-users do. Of course, the masses never ran their own e-mail servers, even before webmail, they just used POP3 or IMAP.

Re:Own email server (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501939)

Oh lots of people probably would still run their own, even on their home internet connections if they could. Unfortunately, most ISP's no longer allow people to run servers.

Re:Own email server (2)

i286NiNJA (2558547) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501963)

Just sign up for a vpn account with prq, they give you straight unfirewalled vpn with it's own static IP address.

Re:Own email server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502009)

When you can get a VPS for less than $20/mo, I don't really see "my ISP won't let me" being a problem. And I've never had a DSL provider tell me I couldn't run servers. Hell, I've never had a cable provider actually raise a fuss about the TOS when I ran them anyway.

I don't run my own because between spam filters, user management, virus scanning, and etc... I just can't be bothered when it's so much easier to just point to Google Apps.

Re:Own email server (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502075)

$20/month isn't exactly cheap. A Netflix membership costs less than half of that, and most people probably don't pay more than 2.5 times that ($50) for internet service. Heck, you can get web hosting for $4/month these days easily. With the crappy economy, everyone's looking to cut costs, and $20/month really isn't pocket change, for something that you really don't need to do when free email accounts are so easy to get.

Re:Own email server (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502131)

I pay 15USD for a VPS in USA. Meanwhile, internet here (Argentina, third-world-ish), costs me about 100USD a month.

Internet actually gets expensiver as you distance yourself from first-world countries.

Re:Own email server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502147)

I don't run my own because between spam filters, user management, virus scanning, and etc... I just can't be bothered when it's so much easier to just point to Google Apps.

This.

Re:Own email server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502175)

My cable provider filters SMTP, http, https, and 8080.

Re:Own email server (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502117)

Actually, ISP don't allow nor disallow it. The issue is you need a static IP (to receive mail). Even if you manage to get around that (low TTL on DNS, constantly updating data), and most large e-mail providers (google/hotmail/yahoo) will bounce emails from dynamically-allocated IP addresses. The issue is still not ISP side, but rather large-email-host-side.

Re:Own email server (1)

siliconx (68422) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502379)

Actually, many ISP's do not allow it:

Optimum Online:

        Users may not run any type of server on the system. This includes but is not limited to FTP, IRC, SMTP, POP, HTTP, SOCKS, SQUID, DNS or any multi-user forums;

Verizon:

You also may not exceed the bandwidth usage limitations that Verizon may establish from time to time for the Service, or use the Service to host any type of server.

Comcast:

use or run dedicated, stand-alone equipment or servers from the Premises that provide network
content or any other services to anyone outside of your Premises local area network (“Premises
LAN”), also commonly referred to as public services or servers. Examples of prohibited
equipment and servers include, but are not limited to, email, Web hosting, file sharing, and proxy
services and servers;

Re:Own email server (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501989)

Remember when people ran their own mail servers?

I do, because I still run my own, as plenty of power-users do. Of course, the masses never ran their own e-mail servers, even before webmail, they just used POP3 or IMAP.

I run my own mail server, but I still dump most of my mail into a Gmail account since their spam filtering works better than any open source alternatives I've found. I spent a lot of time training Spamassassin's bayesian filter, and though it was pretty good, I finally figured out that Gmail is just easier. Thousands of other users are training their filters and I've found that few spams make it through, and few hams are flagged as spams.

But I have a few email addresses only known to family and close friends that I don't forward on to Gmail - I don't think Google needs to know *everything* about my life.

Re:Own email server (4, Informative)

qxcv (2422318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502111)

I do, because I still run my own, as plenty of power-users do. Of course, the masses never ran their own e-mail servers, even before webmail, they just used POP3 or IMAP.

I don't. Google Apps is free for 50 users, almost never goes down, configures itself automatically and does a better job of protecting my data than I could. I don't even use the web interface, I just hook my mail client up to it and away it goes. "Fire and forget".

Re:Own email server (3, Informative)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502253)

Yeah, I used to run my own email server. And I would spend hours a week dealing with spam. And I made it a rule to spend an equal amount of time trying to prevent future spam, tweaking rule sets, blacklists, whitelists, filters... After having the same email address for nearly 20 years the amount of spam was truly astounding.

Now I just pipe it through Google Apps For Your Domain. Weekly time spent dealing with spam: 5 seconds. Sure, it doesn't have all the advantages of running your own, but I get hours back in my week, which is priceless.

Re:Own email server (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502387)

I run my own. Always did. There, in the living room rack, under the TV. As natural as a mailbox streetside.

Re:Own email server (1)

le.zap (2628263) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502463)

Remember when people ran their own mail servers?

I do too. Been running my own since 1987.

Spam good for big business (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501925)

The main thing services like Gmail bring to email is well-maintained spam filtering, in exchange for general loss of control, privacy invasion, and advertising spewing into email. The unthrottled torrent of spam is great for keeping those services in business. Otherwise running something like Postfix is relatively low hassle, not especially worse than a web server (people still do run those). Spammers of the world, Google and Microsoft thank you for those billions in spam advertising revenue.

Re:Spam good for big business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502197)

Agreed on the downsides of gmail.

Thing is, there are other ways to avoid spam. I've been spam free with no filtering since the mid 1990s (got my first spam in maybe 1991, and decided that was fucked up). I got a new email, only gave it to friends. For anything else, I use a throw-away account.

That has worked remarkably well. I haven't received a single piece of spam in all that time, and no, I don't filter nor does my provider (I turned it off). Works a treat. I'm actually surprised when I hear people talk about spam these days - I had totally forgotten about it.

Re:Spam good for big business (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502385)

Your provider still filters even though you turned it off. There are multiple levels of filtering at major providers with the most basic filtering happening before it hits the controls to which you have access. They're filtering out viruses, mail from known spam sources, etc. before it goes through any heuristic analysis, white/black lists, customer preferences, etc. The last big provider I worked with called the first level of filtering "the gateway filter".

You may think you're raw-dogging it but the only way to do that for sure is to run your own mail server.

POP3 access. (5, Insightful)

zippo01 (688802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501943)

I just remember back in the day how hard it was to POP3 Hotmail. So I never used it. I have several GMAIL accounts for several years, that I use fetchmail on and then host on a private IMAP server. But to be honest i can't remember the last time I received or sent ligitament email to a hotmail address.

Re:POP3 access. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502059)

ligitament

What is that word? Did you mean "legitimate"?

Re:POP3 access. (1)

zippo01 (688802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502399)

Indeed I did mean legitimate... Thanks for pointing out my only weakness, for all to laugh and giggle at. My self confidence is like -1 right now. Thinks... :-p

Hotmail was great... (4, Insightful)

Zemran (3101) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501955)

... before Microsoft bought it. It used to run on Unix and was a good reliable service. Then it was bought up and run down and now it is rubbish. Gmail is getting better every week. I use docs to collaborate with people on things and even though I know most of them copy and paste the finished article into Word before they print it, that facility is fantastic. My calendar etc. and spreadsheets, I could go on (POP3 etc.) but my point is that while one keeps getting more useful the other is stagnant. Why would anyone choose to use Hotmail unless they are already known to be there?

Re:Hotmail was great... (2, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502019)

Gmail is NOT "getting better every week". It hit its peak about a year or so ago, before they forced this idiotic new UI change on us.

Re:Hotmail was great... (3, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502091)

Gmail is NOT "getting better every week". It hit its peak about a year or so ago, before they forced this idiotic new UI change on us.

Just wanted to second this. If I could go back to the way it was a year ago I'd be happy. I'm also tired of the Gmail Labs kludges that add functionality and break something somewhere else. (like the preview pane that makes it so I can no longer see the 'recent activity' at the bottom of the screen.)

I wouldn't be offended if they took what they know about it now and did a rewrite, thoughtfully including a number of the features from Labs. Do a little streamlining, reduce some of the bloat, all that jazz. Oh well, I can dream.

Re:Hotmail was great... (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502219)

It was Larry Page's decision, and his alone. He demanded they completely re-design everything. I think it's akin to a dog spraying everything he comes across with the scent of any other animal on it; he's gotta put his mark on it somehow, even though he has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Re:Hotmail was great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502125)

It's not a matter of whether it runs better or not, because clearly it can't, it has no legs! The real issue here is layout. Most people seem to prefer Yahoo's mail layout because it's old-school and is pretty much the only thing Yahoo has going for them these days. Hotmail is pitiful at organizing anything and Google's label system isn't working out as well as they had hoped for the masses. Personally I'm a folder kind of person and I like to see my mail first instead of social events that I don't care about.

Re:Hotmail was great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502215)

About Folders - agreed. Have you tried Thunderbird? It has pretty good folder support, good filtering and auto-filing into folders based on rules, and best of all, it runs on your own box.

Gmail is getting better every week? (1)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502155)

Gmail is getting better every week.

Too bad I still have a freaking 25MB attachment size limit [google.com] , which makes that ~10GB allotment fairly insignificant.

I'm not sure if this is a Gmail-specific issue, but I'd like to be able to send more than just PDF documents, ya know?

Re:Gmail is getting better every week? (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502205)

And Larry Page letting the Google UX guys (the 18-20 year olds with 0 years experience and just a bunch of grand art classes and prototype drawings under their belts) redesign GMail (while completely ignoring 20 years of UX best practices). That didn't help either.

Re:Gmail is getting better every week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502407)

Sigh....Old people and their desire for green screen UI and UX. The new design is infinity better than the old eyesore programmer art design.

Re:Hotmail was great... (1)

The Great Pretender (975978) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502301)

So you're dinging Hotmail because it doesn't have a decent Office suite, not because it's a shitty webmail service? Then you skip the actual POP3 etc. argument. Weak

Yeah, I remember. It was a pain. (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501957)

Remember when people ran their own mail servers?

Yeah, I do. I also remember relay rape and all that fun stuff when you didn't have your mail server configured just right and a spammer would take it over and you'd get a nastygram from your provider.

--
BMO - Lumber Cartel member #2501

Re:Yeah, I remember. It was a pain. (5, Informative)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502161)

Yeah, nowadays spammers have a much easier job, they just send you "trojan.zip", and say "here's your photos from tokyo last night". People still download it and and run it.

As long as people unwilling to use their brain exists, spammers will always find a way to exploit them.

Re:Yeah, I remember. It was a pain. (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502393)

>People still download it and and run it.

That. I gave up spamfighting as a hobby when the spammers stopped looking for open relays and went to just hijacking broadband connections and botnets. It's one thing when you could fire off a postmaster@example.com and cross your fingers that it would get read and an account nuked or a relay closed, but something entirely when a spammer's got his load spread among 1,000 (or tens or hundreds of thousand) broadband Wintel toybox machines.

--
BMO

And, by /just right/, do you mean..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502185)

when you didn't have your mail server configured just right and a spammer would take it over

You neglected to authenticate SMTP clients? Who's fault is that?

Re:And, by /just right/, do you mean..? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502353)

>implying what I wrote must mean it was I in particular that had a misconfigured sendmail.
>implying that it was hard to have a misconfigured sendmail.
>implying my days of participation in NANAE back in 1998 as a freelance spamfighter (as a hobby, everybody needs one.) wasn't the basis of my previous message
>doesn't recognise the lumber cartel reference, which comes from NANAE.
>implying.

Yeah well, whatever.

--
BMO

Re:And, by /just right/, do you mean..? (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502455)

Wait, Sendmail? Hell, no wonder you had trouble. You, sir, have my deepest sympathies.

(from a happy mail admin using Postfix)

Re:Yeah, I remember. It was a pain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502425)

So, you proclaimed to your girlfriend that you were a 2x4 and to sudden dismay you was a 1x1?

Classic interface? (0, Offtopic)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501959)

I'd still pay $5000 to continue using the classic interface, even if just on my business apps account. Call me old fashioned (or blame me for preferring a UI that isn't garbage). I mean Google effectively pulled a Ribbon on us. I thought they were better than that.

Re:Classic interface? (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502027)

Unfortunately, not many entities are better than that these days. Royally fucking up perfectly-good UIs is all the rage right now.

Re:Classic interface? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502239)

I think Thunderbird is pretty good UI wise. Of course UI is in the eye of the beholder, but if you haven't tried it, it's worth a shot.

Re:Classic interface? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502365)

Has its UI changed significantly in the last couple of years? If not, expect the worst; some "UI designer" is going to decide that its UI is "too old" and "too unlike mobile device UIs" and that it needs to be "improved" and "simplified".

Re:Classic interface? (0)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502071)

How is a comment about GMail's interface in a discussion about GMail "off topic." Some people just shouldn't get mod points.

Re:Classic interface? (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502171)

Because there isn't a -1 I disagree with you.

Re:Classic interface? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502109)

The change led me to native email clients and I haven't looked back.

android (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501967)

I dunno, maybe the fact of requiring a gmail account to setup an android phone has something to do with it maybe?

Re:android (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502177)

I dunno, maybe the fact of requiring a gmail account to setup an android phone has something to do with it maybe?

Same deal with Hotmail and MSN chat, isn't it?

I know a lot of people that still use MSN chat for some reason.

Re:android (2)

Vylen (800165) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502315)

It used to be that way, but now you just need a Windows Live ID to use MSN Messenger.

A Live ID can be attached to any email - doesn't need to be Hotmail.

That said, I still use my Hotmail address for Messenger... just legacy purposes ;)

Re:android (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502355)

I signed up for an MSN Messenger account back in 2002 or early 2003 using my .edu address at the college I had just started at. Admittedly, it wasn't an obvious process to set it up, as I recall, since they did try to make it as difficult as possible to use an outside e-mail address, but the option has been there for probably a decade or more.

Re:android (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502263)

Having never used an Android phone, I am interested in this statement - do you actually need a Gmail account to setup an Android phone? Or do you just need a Google ID (which is understandable - but my understanding was a Google ID can be tied to any old email address and doesn't necessarily have to have a Gmail account attached)...

Re:android (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502361)

You need neither. You can set up an Android phone without any ties to Google whatsoever.

Re:android (4, Interesting)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502405)

do you actually need a Gmail account to setup an Android phone?

A basic Google Account can be used to configure the phone but will fail if the user then tries to use the Android Market functionality; the Market requires a Gmail account.

There is a long, long thread on Google's "support" forum about this dating back to somewhere in 2009, but still no fix!

On a basic level the phone will work fine without any form of Google account, you just won't be able to use features such as sync or the Market. I do find the latter to be quite limiting, particularly when some vendors ( such as Amazon ) don't even provide a download of their own app from their own site but insist on directing the user to the Market. I had to ask a friend to send me a copy of the Kindle APK!

Hotmail? They're still around? (1)

gishzida (591028) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501979)

Haven't used Hotmail since '98 or '99... after they made some funky rules about usage... I got tired of having to re-enable my account [and kill the viruses]... For a while I had my own mail server but when I got the invite to gmail in '01 I put my request in on the domain beta and moved my domain. Smooth sailin' ever since. Who needs Hotmail?

Re:Hotmail? They're still around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502037)

I haven't used Hotmail since I reported a spammer (and CC'd the spammer) and Hotmail closed MY account. This was not too long after MS took over. They wouldn't even tell me why my account was closed "for privacy reasons". Hi. It's my account. Pretty sure nothing I learn about myself is going to be too shocking to me.

I -still- run my own mailserver (2)

sanermind (512885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501985)

I still run my own mail server... Don't forget that under the stored communications act the government can get any emails stored by a third party for more than 6 months with no need for a warrant.

Re:I -still- run my own mailserver (2)

gishzida (591028) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502209)

Your point being? If "They" want you "They" will have you... boiled, fried, stewed, with or without a warrant...

Or have you forgotten The little rooms the NSA keeps on the backbones sniffing and sorting all the traffic. They don't need your server -- they already have it.

  noia + noia = paranoia.

I moved my mail to Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502021)

I have three domains, and I just moved the mail hosting from Network Solutions to Google, which is free and provides 10x the space per mailbox. (At Netsol, I had 2500 mailboxes available, at 1gig each; I would rather have 25 mailboxes at 100 gig each, but you can't do that.) Now I have all my mail out in the cloud (and locally cached, of course), which is another form of back should disaster strike. I might start storing documents on Google Drive for the same reasons.

Next, I have to move the domains themselves to another place, like hover.

Net-net, I'll have lower cost and better service.

It takes a little getting used to Google's labels instead of traditional folders, but I'm coming around.

Re:I moved my mail to Google (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502113)

You won't have better service with Hover. I haven't tried their domain services, but I have used their email services, and they're famous for having week-long outages.

Gmail's labels are easy; think of them like folders, except that you can put a single email into multiple folders. They even have hierarchies set up now, so your labels can be nested like: Work, Work/CompanyA, Work/CompanyB, Work/CompanyA/CustomerA, etc.

Still run my own... (2)

BobandMax (95054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502049)

...but have two Gmail accounts for other purposes. I have a TW Business Class account for QOS and trading response. It comes with a static IP and no server restrictions. When my neighbors complain about slow evening and weekend speed, I bob my head up and down and make sympathetic noises. I never see any problem but certainly do pay for it.

Several acquaintances still have Hotmail addresses but a quick scan of my address book only found three. I guess it is diminishing. It seems like they were a lot more common a few year ago.

Gmail defeated Exchange, not Hotmail (5, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502079)

Hotmail didn't even deserve the level of use it had: it was competing with AOL, and had the kind of ubiquitous "auto-installed with your computer as as default, and we'll keep trying to re-install it" that AOL used to have. Both services attempted to replace the rest of your desktop and were unusable without very specific clients.

Google's approach of working well, inside your normal web browsers, has been extremely effective. They've also been vastly more reliable than almost any in-house mail server for a lot of reasons: they were able to effectively implement basic spam filtering, they're big enough to survive denial of service attacks, and their distributed and well scaled architectures survive disasters most mail servers can only imagine being able to cope with. Also, they've avoided the religious wars about supported clients and usage models by keeping their systems off-site and their services well defined. The Exchange OWA, and the dozens of "plug-ins" connected to it to support other email clients, have driven people directly to GMail.

Hotmail, and Exchange, _never_ worked well with non-Microsoft clients, whether browsers or IMAP access. Google always did, Google always actually published and followed their API's so other people could integrate with it, and Microsoft _never_ published or followed their own API's. What little Microsoft published was always incomplete when it was not a blatant lie.

Google's use of and investment in open standards paid off.

I have about 20 diff emails doing different things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502099)

Two of which are gmail and yes, I'm of "those" that hosts some of my own email accounts. :P

How many are 'bots? (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502101)

Google announced it had about 350 million monthly active users in January.

Of which a sizable fraction are spambots. [xgcmedia.com]

centralization = danger (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502105)

Centralization of almost every service onto just a few commercial services is dangerous to the future openness and non-censored nature of the internet. We just haven't seen it yet on a big enough scale. It's too much all in one place.

The original purpose of the internet was very much the opposite of centralization, and it was that way for many years with great success... but for some reason, everyone suddenly decided to give a single company access to all their private, financial, and even medical conversations, web browsing, and more.

Still a Fastmail user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502119)

I'm still a Fastmail user. It's a drop in the bucket as it were, but the technology and abilities of Fastmail accounts rivals that of any other provider I've personally used and I've about tried them all.

There is a rumor of Facebook being interested in acquiring Opera, who own Fastmail. One thing about Fastmail I love is you do not have to have cookies enabled to use it. That should be standard.

there's a middle ground too (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502149)

On one end is running your own mail server. On the other is using gmail.

In the middle, there's using the email you ISP gives you (damn near every single ISP, big or small, supplies POP3) and running a local mail client. This works really well, and it avoids the problems of Gmail snooping all your mail and selling keywords to the ad men. Also avoids the trubbs of the "all eggs in one basket" type.

GMail Classic (0)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502179)

What happened to it? Best interface ever -- gone forever :(. That's what I signed up for, not this GMail w/ Ribbon 2.0 thing.

http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/ [google.com] -- "Everything your business needs." Yep, even a mail program that has mandatory usability downgrades at no charge!

I pay for hotmail (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502189)

and I'm not ashamed to say it. The pay service ( I think its still 20 a year) has very good spam detection and its online gui is quite similar to a desktop client. I primarily use gmail, but I still do hop back into hotmail for password resets or to look up old receipts.

Not surprised about Google - Yahoo is made of fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502255)

Meanwhile, the Yahoo! webmail service has sunk to the depths of of the abyss.

From an email administrator's perspective, Yahoo has become one of the more prolific spam sources once you subtract the big spam-friendly hosting services (and you know the ones I'm talking about if you run an SMTP server). Years ago Yahoo seemed indifferent to spammers on its already pretty terrible commercial hosting services, but at least you could report the spam to Yahoo's abuse address. Meanwhile only a moderate amount originated from its free email services, certainly not much more than from other free email providers.

Oh how times have changed! As far as I can tell, the only users of Yahoo's email service are Nigerian scammers, officials of the UN/Microsoft lottery, spambots, and your great aunt Ethel who grudgingly switched to Yahoo eight years ago after you took away her modem and she muttered something about AOL and her "cold dead hands." Unfortunately, your great aunt Ethel only sends email three times a month, and the others send about 500 messages/day, which has had a predictable effect on the ratio of (spam) / ("Obama is sending death panels to hunt me down" aka "ham" or at least as close as it gets from Aunt Ethel).

Seriously, sometimes I go weeks without seeing any legit mail from Yahoo, but not for any lack of delivery attempts. Sure, AOL and Hotmail still send email, but at least AOL has the decency to mark its spam as spam before it arrives, and not much comes in from Hotmail. Even less from Google. Given this situation, I'm forced to conclude that something is seriously wrong with Yahoo.

A small clue to the situation is revealed by Yahoo's recent policy to not even pretend to accept abuse notification. It used to be you'd report abuse and nothing would happen. Now you're told that Yahoo only accepts abuse reports in "abuse reporting format," except that no software anywhere actually produces reports in MARF format, let alone any email clients, and there's little evidence that even if you were to follow the RFC and write your own MARF generator that Yahoo would actually accept the report (and some anecdotal evidence to think they wouldn't), and many reasons to think it would just shitcan 'em even if you did waste your time doing this AND against all odds it accepted them for delivery.

The easiest explanation in my mind is that Yahoo knows it's circling the drain, and in order to keep up appearances for dumb investors that it's not in a long death spiral, it fired everyone who either knew what they were doing or cared. Brilliant! Save money by firing your abuse department. I mean, spam filtering isn't a novel concept at this point, and other services somehow keep from deluging the rest of the Internet with firehoses of crap, but nope, not Yahoo.

And no, I'm not the only one to notice this, so I'm not at all surprised that users are giving up on it. I mean, the problem is sufficiently acute that it must be affecting general mail deliverability for Yahoo users as characteristically indignant admins throw up their arms and conclude that nothing of value will be lost, and that there's little reason to put up with assholes who can't be bothered to accept abuse notifications while sending mountains of rancid spam. If it isn't, I hope it will soon because this is ****ing ridiculous.

So yeah, Google has email service that, besides being likely to be delivered, doesn't suck in all sorts of other ways that Yahoo does from a user perspective...or so I've gathered secondhand since I sure as Hell don't use Yahoo myself.

That sound you hear is me tapping my fingers waiting for Yahoo to finish dying already. I know, it could take a while. Yeah, yeah, even AOL still has a couple of greenish gray fingers wiggling from the grave, but come on already...

Re:Not surprised about Google - Yahoo is made of f (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502445)

I use Yahoo daily. Works great. Spam free. Been using it for about 15 years. Sounds like you're a pissed off gadfly.

Gmail: simple, clean and functional (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502363)

Gmail's interface is addictively clean and at the same time functional and powerful. Once you've tried Gmail, it's unlikely you'll go back to Hotmail or Yahoo Mail.

When I look at Hotmail I now feel like stabbing myself in the eyes. Sorry, but Gmail has spoiled me.

Most users, but not most storage space (1)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502383)

While gmail used to be the storage space king, it has been unseated by other services which offer "unlimited" space (such as yahoo). Of course, it remains to be seen how unlimited these services really are in practice... but what I know is that I am already struggling with space with my current e-mail provider which offers me 10GB, and that does not incite me to move to gmail. Wasn't it space the main factor that made people adopt gmail in the first place ?
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