Let me warn you I'm in a bit of an ornery mood today. So when I learned Microsoft is coming out with a refresh of Hotmail this week, you can understand I was less than enthused. Every time Microsoft refreshes a product, the technology press gets all excited about it as though it actually matters. Remember the Zune HD. It was going to blow the MP3 market away, only it never sold very well. Bing was supposed to change the search landscape, only Google still controls most of the same marketshare it had when Bing was launched last year. This week's model is Hotmail.
Over the next several days we are going to have to endure article after article explaining all of the wonderful reasons we should be using Hotmail, only nobody will because there is no impetus to switch. Google and Microsoft will exchange insults and next week it will all be forgotten.
Zune, Ya Right?
I remember when I posted something about the Zune release last year on Facebook. I got a snarky comment from a friend who basically said nobody really cares about the Zune. Turns out, he was one hundred percent correct. Nobody cared. We read about it for a few days and then about 12 people bought one. Oh ya and iPods and iPhones continued to sell like proverbial hot cakes. Nothing changed.
Bing? Tell Me Another One
Then there was Bing. Publishers thought they might even have a competitor for Google, but it's been a year and nothing has really changed in consumer search. Sure, Bing gained some marketshare (mostly from Yahoo!), but most people are still using Google because no matter how good Bing might have been, there was no real reason for them to change.
Hotmail? Just Another Brick in the Wall
I know, I'm particularly cynical today, but Hotmail? Really? When was the last time you saw a Hotmail account. It was probably in that Spam email for generic erectile dysfunction drugs that found its way into your inbox this morning. I know the numbers say they are more popular than Gmail, but I'm not buying it, sorry. My own particular form of networking tells me that it's 95 percent Gmail, 5 percent Yahoo!, zero percent everyone else. Hotmail could have fantastic features, and maybe it does. It could change online email as we know it, but it won't matter. Next week, it will all be forgotten and we will still be using Gmail.
Maybe this time we can just forget about the little Microsoft hype show and move along, but unfortunately, we have to put up with it for a few days, whether we like it or not until there's something else to talk about.