It was a long road, lots of research, lots of development, a private beta and two years of public beta… and now Windows Live Hotmail is officially out of beta. I want to give a huge congrats to the team and I must say I kind of wish I could have been there. I must admit, after having been there for the first two years of the process (and for six years total), I felt kind of sad seeing all the great pictures of the team posted on today’s blog entry.
Though I’m sad I missed the end run, I don’t regret my move to Ireland one bit. Congratulations guys on a fantastic release!
Earlier this spring Leah and I sat down with a videographer to talk about Live.com I’m such a geek and I could go on for hours talking about the stuff we do… I give a ton of credit to the editor and interviewer to be able to get something useful out of my endlessly meandering, spastic attention-span geek talk. We talked for a long time. It was really a ton of fun and they did some cool stuff making a virtual office with a few little bits you can click on (yep, you can find a picture of me with my mommy).
Check out the Inside site.
Check out what Nicole from the messenger team had to say about it (she has a promising career as a fact checker).
Several weeks back Ina Fried from c|net came to campus and interviewed a bunch of people. Her piece is now up on c|net news.com. It’s a good read to give folks a little glimpse into the team.
Ina spent the majority of the day with people around campus and a lunch in a conference room with some of us “old folks” from Hotmail. I’m not that old… really, honest. I wasn’t even “acquired” with Hotmail. I just have shown a decided lack of vision and stuck with the team for the past six years. Demonstrating the power of the sound-byte, I was only with her for the lunch part but ended up with my own side bar. As a result I’m now working on growing a mullet.
Hey Warhol. is this going to be deducted from my fifteen minutes?
According to Reuters, a Chinese Journalist, Li Yuanlong was charged with Subversion for sending e-mails via a Hotmail account. The indictment did not come, however, with help from Microsoft. The wife of the journalist was told by Chinese officials that her husband was arrested for e-mails sent via a Hotmail account, but it is unclear how the Chinese officials came by the information they used to charge Yuanlong. Unlike the case where Yahoo was accused of handing over a dissident’s information to Chinese officials, Microsoft and Hotmail were not the source of the information leading to the arrest.
On a related note, this freedom of speech issue keeps coming back in the news and each time the articles point out that MS closed a Space (blog) last year at the request of the Chinese government. The reports always fail to mention, however, that the MSN Spaces team hated that action and built a solution… Spaces now has adjusted their filtering so it is dependent on the country of the user (see MC’s post for more detail), allowing them to adjust the filtering to align more closely to local standards.
The story Reuters published yesterday did not have details from Microsoft at the time of publishing. A follow up story today clarifies the MS position with comments from a Microsoft spokesperson.