24th June 2009
I am constantly baffled by the number of people who still use Hotmail.
I accept that in 1999, if you wanted to be able to access your email from the Internet, Hotmail was the best option, but that was 1999!
Gmail is now 5 years old and since day 1, Gmail has linked emails into conversation threads, eliminated spam and given its users huge amounts of storage space.
For me, these are 3 killer features! But Google hasn't stopped there, they have made smaller improvements such as themes, the ability to play mp3 attachments, view pdfs, add labels (like tags) to conversations rather than organising into folders, POP access and SSL by default etc. These are all alongside the customary reliability and speed of other Google products.
On top of these serious features, Gmail labs offers some less commonly requested functions. Such as a huge number of different Smiley emoticons, YouTube previews within emails and also games such as Snake.
These features put Gmail ahead of the competition. Personally, I could not go back to putting emails in folders rather than tagging them and am unsure how anyone keeps track of emails when they are not grouped into conversation threads. I would urge anyone who still uses Hotmail to give Gmail a try.
To sign up for Gmail, simply just visit http://www.gmail.com
Switching your email over is straight forward. It can be done in 2 ways.
Select 'Options' then 'More options...' from the toolbar of Windows Live Hotmail.
Click on the link to 'Send automated vacation replies' under the 'Manage your account' section.
Now, just type your desired message underneath.
"Hi, I have recently stopped using Hotmail to use the Spam-Free email system 'Gmail'. Please send all future email to "MY-NEW-NAME@gmail.com" and update your contact list. Thanks!"
Then click 'Save'.
Trueswitch are a service who, for $19.99, will copy your emails to your new email provider, notify your contacts of the change, foreward your new emails then cancel your old email account.
According to TechCrunch, Google are to team up with TrueSwitch to allow all users switch from other providers to Gmail for free. As yet, this feature is not available to everybody.
When it is available it will be located in: Settings > Account > Import
So what are you waiting for? Give Gmail a try!