Hotmail, Office 365 and now Facebook betting on Office Web Apps

Hotmail, Office 365 and now Facebook betting on Office Web Apps

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At Hotmail, we’re excited about the incredible reception that our customers have given the Office Web Apps. Since rolling out our Office Web Apps integration this summer, we’ve seen millions of people view, share, and edit Office docs right from their Hotmail inbox – over a quarter of a billion docs viewed so far! This same power is coming soon to Office 365 – which delivers the power of cloud productivity to businesses of all sizes.

With more than 350 million documents being shared in Hotmail each month, Hotmail customers have shown us that there is strong demand for managing Office docs online. And with today’s announcement, people will soon be able to view and share Office docs on Facebook. So now, whether you’re in Hotmail, Office 365, or Facebook, you’ve got access to all your Office docs.

Dick Craddock
Group Program Manager, Windows Live Hotmail

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  • langware
    154 Posts

    @Dick Craddock and Hotmail Product Team:

    I just found out about the thread you opened up on reddit (one day only) asking for input on Hotmail. Sorry I missed an opportunity to provide feedback (perhaps you should open similar threads here in the Windows Live Blog and/or in the Windows Live Solutions Center).

    You already have my feedback on four strategic areas for Hotmail's improvement (Hijackings, Availability, Quality, and Account Closure) that were posted here in this thread's comments (on November 15). It appears that you received many other suggestions for improvement from the reddit thread.

    Now that you have customer feedback, what will you do with it? Ignoring the issues that we customers have raised will only result in more Hotmail customers moving to Gmail. How about a new blog post here that summarizes what you have learned (from the reddit thread, from comments here in The Windows Blog, from customer's feedback in the Windows Live Solutions Center, etc), and describes what actions will be taken (and when) to address your customer's feedback (and which issues will not be solved and why)?

  • Keep it simple!!!!!!! why do things change?? I still wish we had MSN GROUPS!

  • winter
    15 Posts

    @Dick Craddock:

    Bugs in Hotmail: (1), now we can add up to 10 password recovery email addresses, cell phone numbers, or Trust PCs to a hotmail account; when an email ID is added, a link is sent to all the email IDs already added (or a text message to cell phone) for confirmation. While this works well for one of my two accounts; for the other, no confirmation is needed, which means I can add any email IDs (even a fake one) to the account. (2), I added four password recovery email addresses to my account, but they were automatically added to the "Sending email from other accounts" list. When I compose an new email, all the addresses can be selected from the drop down menu. Actually I don't want to send email from these password recovery addresses, but there is no way to remove them. On the other hand, when I try to add my work email to my hotmail send as list, it shows I have reached the maximal number allowed.

  • What's really frightening to me (a novice) is that you can do a search at, say, YouTube for "hotmail" or " email," etc. and you'll see tons of results of the "how to hack..." sort.  Same for Gmail and Yahoo (esp. Yahoo with its ho-hum attitude toward security, like lack of full-time SSL).  

    I don't know how many of the tutorials actually work, but it's scary to think there are so many such videos and so many users viewing them.  Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail better have THE BEST security features (and customer service support in the event of an account hijacking) with all those wanna-be hackers out there !

  • langware
    154 Posts


    Start with the Hotmail forum on the Windows Live Solution Center ...

    Search on the word hijack. You'll find many posts from Hotmail users describing how their accounts were hijacked and used to send spam.

    Malware and responding to phishing are indeed possible causes. But if you read the posts, you will see that many Hotmail users (whose accounts have been hijacked) have scanned their computer and found no malware, have not used public computers, and have never responded to phishing.

    My wife's account was hijacked last spring. She uses complex passwords, and practices "safe computing". She runs Norton Internet Security 2011 and keeps it updated. She does not use public computers nor wireless networks to access Hotmail; she only uses her desktop computer. After her account was hijacked, I used seven other scanners (including one from Microsoft), and no malware was found on her computer.

    Other email services also get hijacked. However, that does not mean we Hotmail customers  should accept hijacking as status quo. Be thankful that your Hotmail account (and those of your friends) have never been hijacked, but I can assure you that many many other Hotmail customers have not been as fortunate. In order to set Hotmail apart from its competitors, Microsoft needs to implement strategic actions to significantly reduce the number of Hotmail account hijackings.

  • Nater
    147 Posts

    I know several people who have had Hotmail accounts for several years.  I have had mine since forever.  I've never heard of anyone's account getting hijacked (hacked), so I'm willing to bet some people malware (keyloggers, etc.) on their computers and/or they have input their information into phishing links.  Probably use untrusted PCs as well.  Using dumb and easily guessable passwords is also a cute and easy way to get compromized.

    The way some people complain about this, they act like the Microsoft servers are getting hacked and hackers are getting the passwords off those servers, Lol.  Trust me, it's not going down like that.  Google accounts get "hijacked" as well as Yahoo and AOL accounts.  If you think this is exclusive to one email service, then I don't know what to say...

  • joel7
    12 Posts

    I want to again ask that hotmail make more themes and particularly the orange and gray theme used in the demo video.

  • langware
    154 Posts


    Please note that Hotmail's new options (called "proofs") for using a "Trusted PC" (which also requires Windows Live Essentials), and  the use of a mobile phone, are more applicable for account recovery (AFTER ones account has been hijacked and locked by Microsoft). These new "proofs" do not really help stop the account from being hijacked in the first place.

    Here's a quote (from Dick Craddock's Sept 27 blog) describing the use of these "proofs":

    Today, we are introducing two new kinds of proofs for account recovery.

    * “Trusted PC” is a unique new proof that lets you link your Hotmail account with one or more of your personal computers. Then, if you ever need to regain control of your account by resetting your password, you simply need to be using your computer and we will know you are the legitimate owner.

    * The second new proof option is your cell phone number, where Hotmail will send a secret code via SMS that can be used to reset your password and reclaim your account.

    Notice that Trusted PC can be used to "regain control" of ones account, and that use of a mobile phone can be used to "reclaim" ones account.

    I applaud these new security features, but they are reactive (useful after ones account has been hijacked). I also think that Microsoft needs to implement new pro-active features that will help prevent account hijackings before they occur.

    Time will tell if the recent reactive changes result in a significant reduction in account hijackings, or if additional pro-active changes are necessary. I sincerely hope that Microsoft has additional security enhancements planned to reduce the frequency of account hijackings BEFORE they occur.

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    @ langware:

    Windows Live Hotmail has lots of security features, but a lot of them are optional. So the people who have had their account hacked probably didn't use a trusted PC and/or mobile number.

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    Brilliant! Can you now add Office Web Apps to SkyDrive synced storage, please? And add the ability to upload folders to SkyDrive - I have a folder, with folders inside that, with folders inside that, then files. Could we just be able to upload folders?

    I have a question: my Family Safety managed account doesn't have Web Messenger. Messenger isn't blocked. Is not having Web Messenger normal? Help please, Microsoft?

  • Jeet
    2 Posts

    I have a Query... We are not able to view any word, excel or PP in the browser in India. Whenever, I put the curser on the active live view displays "Download" instead of "View". Please clarify.

  • jvd897
    8 Posts

    Not to be a killjoy, but I have to wonder how many of those "over a quarter of a billion docs viewed so far" are just Hotmail users clicking on an attachment, expecting it to download, and then being surprised when it opens in Office Web Apps instead. This is precisely what happened with my 60-year-old father, who found it very confusing, and who I assume overlooked the announcements about new Hotmail features (on the login page, above the message list, etc), as many users do.

    Background information: for each attachment, Hotmail's download links consist of a file type icon, the filename, and a link saying "Download". For any non-Office attachment, all three of these will download the file normally. But for an Office attachment, the icon and filename are actually links to Office Web Apps, and only the "Download" link downloads the file normally. The way I see it, this is pretty inconsistent, and frustrating since the only way to know the difference between these links beforehand is by mousing over them, which users aren't going to stop to do.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the Office Web Apps are a great feature and a necessary step towards a cloud-based future. But I think it would be better implemented if Office attachments had a separate "Open in Office Web Apps" link, and if the other three download links worked consistently across all file types.

  • langware
    154 Posts

    @Dick Craddock:

    Thank you for integrating Office docs into Hotmail.

    However, based on your customer's posts in the Windows Live Solutions Center (WLSC), Hotmail has several strategic areas that also need your attention. These areas include:

    1. Account Hijackings. The changes announced on Sept 27 were a good first step. However, in the month and a half since those changes were announced, the frequency of hijacking complaints in the WLSC has not significantly decreased. What additional strategic actions will you take to significantly reduce the number of Hotmail account hijackings?

    2. Hotmail Availability. Customers continue to complain about extended outages due to maintenance. Outages measured in days are not uncommon (and I'm sure you would agree that outages measured in days are unacceptable). This is not an infrequent problem ... it occurs many times each month and has literally existed for years. Why hasn't Microsoft utilized well-known high-availability techniques to address this problem?

    3. Hotmail Quality. We customers welcome new functions ... but there are many unsolved bugs and design flaws in the current version of Hotmail. In addition to developing new functions, please put some effort into fixing the existing problems (some of which have been identified for more than a year). I can provide links to WLSC threads that describe these problems if you wish.

    4. Hotmail Account Closure. Many customers have given up in frustration at the above three issues and attempt to close their Hotmail account. This only results in even more frustration when they are told that they must first contact their mobile carrier, or some other Microsoft department, to get linked accounts closed. This often takes weeks ... and during that time the customer's hijacked account continues to be used to send spam. You need to better synchronize your back-end systems and set up a Single Point of Contact for all account closure issues. If other companies or other Microsoft departments must be contacted, then the Single Point of Contact should be able to use synchronized back-end systems to quickly close all linked accounts without having to send your customer to other companies and other Microsoft departments when they request that their Hotmail account be closed.

    We customers appreciate the new functions being added to Hotmail, but please have a look at the complaints being posted in the WLSC. Many of your customer's complaints fall into one of the above categories. Please put some resources into resolving these issues and making Hotmail a better and more user-friendly product.