Hotmail was revolutionary when it debuted in 1996—but now it’s “old. Really old,” writes Farhad Manjoo. With this summer’s “fantastic new upgrade,” however, Hotmail is once again a player—even up to par with Manjoo’s beloved Gmail. His favorite feature: “Quick view” buttons let you easily sort your inbox messages (see, for example, only shipping notices, only e-mails with attachments, or only e-mails from contacts).
Sure, you could set that up in Gmail, but the new Hotmail offers that feature—and others, like a “Sweep” function that allows you to easily filter messages—by default. It also offers the choice between standard view and a Gmail-like conversation view, has a handy preview pane Gmail doesn’t offer, and lets you send up to 10 GB of attachments. The only problem? The huge ads. “Come on, Microsoft,” Manjoo concludes on Slate. “Aren’t banner ads so 1996?”