Two web applications which I use on a regular basis have been officially revamped and relaunched - Windows Live Hotmail and Google Analytics. The first is the classic free web mail programme which, according to Microsoft has around 280 million users. The latter is a great set of free tools that let you monitor the traffic to a website, so that you can learn more about your visitors and the type of content that's proving tobe attractive.

I didn't participate in the Windows Live Mail beta, but have seen plenty of demos of the new layout which gives the online application the Outlook work over. Inline instant messaging and 2GB of storage sounds good to me. There's a good outline of the new features on ZDNet. Unfortuntely, the upgrade doesn't appear to be on offer yet for my classic Hotmail account. I presume existing Hotmail users outside the US may have to wait for the upgrade. This was certainly the case when Microsoft bumped up the storage allowance with Hotmail to 1GB - the lag between the US getting the increase and our part of the world was considerable.

Trying to upgrade through MSN I get the following message:

Sorry, but it looks like you won't be able to participate in Windows Live Hotmail at this time.
This might be because:
Your account is with one of our partners and has additional features that Windows Live Hotmail doesn’t support yet
Windows Live Hotmail isn’t available in your area at this time
You have a parentally controlled account
Your Windows Live ID indicates you're under 13

As an aside, here's an interview I did in 2002 with Sabeer "Mr Hotmail" Bhatia, the founder of Hotmail, which he sold to Microsoft and made a killing on. He's a super star in India!

The new Google Analytics interface looks much more user-friendly and sophisticated, according to the demo on the website. There's an interesting news story on its development here, where Google Analytics boss Brett Crosby reveals the thinking behind the revamp:

"Server logs have made their way from the machine room to the boardroom. Web site usage data isn't just for IT administrators; it has become critical business intelligence."

But again, some of us are going to have to wait to gain access to it. The Google Analytics FAQ reads:

Many accounts already have access to the new version. If your account does not yet have access, you won't have to wait long. Over the next several weeks, we will be migrating all existing Analytics accounts to the new Google Analytics interface. You will be notified by email once your account has been migrated. For a minimum of one month, you will have access to both the original interface and the new interface. During the migration, you should experience no interruption in service and you'll be able to see all of your data regardless of which interface you use. For a sneak peek at the new Google Analytics, take a look at the following resources:

Flash demo: http://www.google.com/analytics/media/report_tour/feature_tour.html

Features page: http://www.google.com/analytics/features.html

Google Analytics blog: http://analytics.blogspot.com

I guess it would be churlish to complain when both services are delivered to millions of people for free. I look forward to checking out both applications in detail when my accounts are upgraded.

1 comment:

G7 said...

I've been on the new hotmail for about a year... just go to the options and change your location to Australia and then they allow you to sign up.

I don't think much of it - it just doesn't have to feel of gmail or the options of Outlook. the worst of both worlds (but a lot better than the old hotmail). Works fine in Firefox as well.