By Internet time-scale this is very old news: the Hotmail team is working on a new product, some people have already gotten a glimpse via the mail beta.
“Mail beta,” you say, “what’s that?”
It’s quite simple… it’s a beta of a new mail product. True to Microsoft form we’ve given our new baby a name that tells exactly what it is (think: “Word”, “Project” or “Streets & Trips”). We leave it to those renegades on the Mac team to come up with names like “Entourage”.
A while ago (Imran can tell you just how big of a while) we decided we needed to start fresh. Hotmail was built to scale to hundreds of millions of two megabyte e-mail accounts, and it does that very, very well. Hotmail is also built to work with web browsers most geeks would consider dinosaurs. We realized the landscape was changing and we decided to do something about it.
For the past year my job has been primarily one of a project manager. I attended meetings, tracked dependencies and watched documents grow and shrink. While this is a simplification of what I did (and in no way a slam on the role) it wasn’t what I enjoy most: working on the application interface. Starting in mid-July Omar took over the project management duties (working with dev and others he’s put together a pretty slick combination of SCRUM and traditional processes… he’s putting us into overdrive) and I got the chance to return to the customer-facing side of the world.
That brings me back to the start of this post: the mail beta. To go along with this mail beta we created a team space to keep interested parties abreast of our goings-on. Hop on over there and check it out.