A few months ago I made the conscious decision to stop checking my Hotmail account because Microsoft had tied it to their Passport user-authentication servers, and I knew they were using cookies to track me. Then I read this article about Microsoft having trouble upgrading the interface to their Hotmail service and I was intrigued enough to go see what changes they’d made. (I figured I could always just delete my MS-centric/Passport cookies afterwards.) Holy crap, did Microsoft screw up the Hotmail interface. Gone is the very nicely-designed (and quite usable) interface that took advantage of minimalist HTML design. In its place is a WinXP-inspired monstrosity with HUGE tabs and way, way, too much blue. The worst thing about the whole experience, though, was that since I hadn’t used my Hotmail account in more than 60 days, I had to re-activate it. And guess what? Yup, all of my old mail was gone. Poof! My folders were there, but every single one of them is empty. Over three years of email (mostly online store/travel order receipts, etc.) gone, just like that. If this is an example of Microsoft’s upcoming “Web Services” I am not impressed. For free Web-based email, I’m sticking to Yahoo Mail. Yes, I know that Yahoo also drops cookies and tracks their users, but Yahoo doesn’t have grandiose plans to tie their profile/personal data-acquisition system into an operating system and client-side applications (yet).
Howard Greenstein isn’t impressed either, and he used to work at Microsoft. [via Talking Moose]
WebZine NYC2001 is today at Noon. I’m gonna try to drag my ass out of bed to make it. No promises. Noon? Hmmm….
Network Solutions (VeriSign) is up to more monopolistic tricks. Apparently, they are claiming that other domain name registrars are “slamming” domain owners and transferring domains without the owner’s knowledge. Despite no solid proof that this is happening, they are using this excuse as an opportunity to change their domain transfer process, making it incrediby difficult to transfer a domain away from them to a competing and more competent/trustworthy registrar. In NetSol’s new process, you have only five day to receive an authorization letter from them, get it notarized, and mail it back or your transfer request is cancelled. This is a direct competitive attack by NetSol against their competition in the domain registrar space. Unfortunately, the people that lose out the most by these actions are the consumers and domain owners who have to deal with the incredible headaches caused by NetSol’s inane policies and processes. If NetSol was competent at all regarding the domain registration services they provide, domain owners wouldn’t be trying so badly to transfer their domains to a competing registrar service.
Well, so much for the separation of Church and State. Hey Bush (er, GOP puppet), are you gonna wipe your ass with the Constitution next?
Posted by Cameron Barrett at July 21, 2001 05:40 PM