An update on the changes to the Hotmail sign in page

An update on the changes to the Hotmail sign in page

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One of the wonderful and difficult things about building software for hundreds of millions of customers is that any change you make is an opportunity to either delight or annoy your customers. Sometimes you do both.

Over the past several years, we’ve received a lot of negative feedback on the old user tile login experience, from bugs to design flaws to the fact that it only worked only in IE.

For the recent change to “keep me signed in,” our goal was to simplify the options, ensure consistent behavior across browsers and platforms, and make it faster and easier for you to get straight into your inbox.

While the majority of people seem quite pleased with the change, we’ve heard via the Inside Windows Live blog and other places that some of you liked the user tiles and the “remember me” option and feel that something you loved has been taken away.

Since it’s never our goal to make your life more difficult with the software we build, we took this to heart and, as I mentioned in the comments on my previous post, we’ve been working hard to come up with a response that addresses the core feedback while staying true to our design goals (and not regressing the experience for the people who like the new change).

There were two prominent scenarios we focused on:

  • Individuals and families who use a single PC and juggle multiple accounts, but who don't want to use separate Windows accounts
  • Individuals who use one primary account and want their user name remembered but not their password

The change we’ve made is to add an attribute to the email address input box on our login page. What this means is that if your browser has autocomplete enabled, the form will automatically fill previously entered email addresses for you as you type, or you can hit the down arrow on your keyboard to see the full list and select the account you want.

Depending on which browser you use, this may not be on by default, but it can be enabled simply. In Internet Explorer, for example, this feature is off by default, but it asks you the first time you enter information into a form if you want to enable it. If you would like to enable it in Internet Explorer 9, you can follow these instructions. The process is also simple in Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera.

For most people we talked to, this change should help. Families and individuals with a shared PC will each have their user name remembered, and individuals who use one account but don’t want their password remembered will be happy as well. For security, we chose not to remember passwords for multiple accounts to keep multiple users on the same computer from ending up in each other’s inboxes.

Here’s what the new experience will look like. We’re rolling the change out now, and everyone should be able to use the new experience in the next week. Note that the way we deploy is to an increasing percentage of our front end servers – what this means is that while we’re gradually rolling out, you’ll only see the behavior if you hit one of the upgraded servers. We’ll post an update when we’re 100% rolled out.

New Hotmail sign in page with autocomplete

I do want to thank you all for the feedback and for being patient while we worked through this change. As I talked about in my previous post, we really do try hard to delight everyone with the changes we make to our services. Of course, we sometimes have to make hard choices, and realize that not everyone will always like the choices we make, but our goal is to make your experience better. Any time we hear that we didn’t meet your expectations, we do our best to understand and do better. So, we’ve listened, learned, and come back with a new design that we think addresses most of your feedback and even has a couple new advantages, like working across all browsers. We don’t always get everything right, and we can’t always respond instantly, but we are here, and we are listening.

Thanks.

Eric Doerr
Group Program Manager – Windows Live ID

62 Comments
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  • Knightsky
    17 Posts

    @Eric

    This statement of yours “Since it is never our goal to make your life more difficult with software we build.” I’m having the opposite effect today with the Hotmail sign-in page, a continuous sign in loop (not using the auto complete) , never reaching my Inbox!  So, what happen???

  • kmnok
    4 Posts

    IS this autocomplete feature working?  

    Because --- I have my autocomplete settings enabled, as it always has been.  I'm still being asked if I want to save User id & password on other sites such as Amazon, and my autocomplete still works for Gmail and for Yahoo email addresses and passwords.    If this is supposed to be possible now for Hotmail addresses, I am NOT seeing it!    What's the deal?  Are all servers still not updated???

  • brilaf
    13 Posts

    For those who are not aware. Eric discusses they are putting back the tiles. Another blog started by Eric.

    windowsteamblog.com/.../re-enabling-creation-of-linked-ids.aspx

  • sb_5150
    1 Posts

    Eric, you just don't get it. The solution to the problem your team caused is simple. Give us the tiles back.

    The tiles worked, where the solution you've spent weeks and weeks working on does not.

    Admit you tried, and failed. Put it back and make the masses happy. :-)

  • pwruser
    1 Posts

    I appreciate that Microsoft is willing to admit to a change that did not go down well and then take actions to improve the situation.  Thx.

  • BurJon
    3 Posts

    Yo Eric!  Are you there?  I haven't seen any posts from Microsoft staff in this thread.  The previous thread had a healthy discussion going about ways to improve Windows Live.  I feel neglected =(

  • I always loved multipe titles on login screen...but never knew it has been taken away

    i thought it simply does not work on my machie....

    But at the same time i think it is good too because i saw on many public machine user emails were remembered by mistake....

    which i think they don't want to...

  • @whenenrom : I completely agree with your views. I can understand your frustration and support your views about hotmail and whole Windows Live especially the one ......."It allows more personalization ................ as a user." This shows where Windows Live stands

    and one more para : "I was surprised  touch with their needs. .......emails being sent on mailing lists." The situation is even worse here in India. Hotmail is even behind rediffmail not to say about Gmail (#1) and yahoo(#2).

    Thanks to Windows Live Team.

  • For heavens sake microsoft ,just give the people what they want, me and almost everyone else want the old multiple user sign on screen back for hotmail .. JUST DO IT !!!!!!

  • ^ It depends on how much you want to compromise. I suppose if you were so loyal, that you wouldn't look to other potential email clients to see if they had something better to offer, that this would be one of those compromises that you could say life is simply all about.

    But as others might remember here, I said in the previous blog that I felt discouraged by what I was hearing (and wasn't hearing) back from the team - so I was going to set myself and my partner up on Gmail and check it out for the first time. (Keep in mind, we've been with Hotmail for about 8 years - so it's not like we're fickle about email.) I've got to say, we've really liked the experience. It fully, automatically integrates (you don't have to manually sync it, as was suggested to me for Hotmail) with apps on our Android phones. It allows more personalization to the email client, personal homepage, etc. Like with Hotmail, you can choose between conversation view or conventional viewing of emails. For multiple accounts, its allowance of linking is more convoluted than Hotmail - but I see that MS has removed the availability for people who didn't already have it - which I do. As an alternative, as I know we can do with Hotmail, have email from other accounts put into a different folder ("label") under the same log-in.

    Finally, the log-in? You can enter you username (you don't have to type an email suffix) and password, and auto-complete is enabled. I almost feel as if Hotmail has been moving toward, in some ways, being a little more like Gmail - even by REMOVING some features. But I found that, while that may seem true, Hotmail also doesn't quite offer as much in terms of flexibility, choices, and personalization - which are all the things that make me happy as a user.

    So I was waiting with caution and anticipation for the hinted solution to Hotmail's problem of removing the personalized log-in feature. We were enjoying the new experience with Gmail we were sampling, and were almost afraid that if Hotmail's solution was going to be really cool, that we would be tempted to stick around.

    Well, I can almost say thank you to them, because they made the choice easy. All the hesitation and build-up of not disclosing the solution ahead of time.... for the addition of auto-complete? I mean, yes, that makes it easier - but, as others have said, at the risk of compromising security in other places on your browser. But even that aside, it's just so underwhelming. It really was just throwing a bone at people. An unfortunate byproduct is that you effectively wasted the time and energy of everyone who posted their thoughts (not just here or on the previous blog, but anywhere on the internet) about the problem. At it's best, it's misguided perception of customer's needs - and it's worst, it's a total disregard for them.

    I was surprised to read the statistics on webmail usage in the US. They show a ranking of Hotmail as first, followed by Yahoo, and Gmail, but Gmail trending higher in terms of "active accounts." What I wondered is if those statistics considered the definition of active. In terms of primary email addresses, my list of contacts shows the complete opposite ranking. Turns out that there was research on that, too, and it showed Yahoo in 3rd, with Hotmail & Gmail neck and neck in terms of number of emails being sent on mailing lists. Now I know why the trend: As I said before, I really believe it's the disconnect and lack of understanding of your customers - and the resulting misguided approach to them - that is to blame. Even as you read our comments, somehow you're still becoming more out of touch with their needs. I can tell you for certain that you've fallen out of touch with mine.

    Your lack of transparency is what really digs yourself deep here. You first rolled out changes without notifying your users, so you effectively created a "Poof! It's gone!" situation with your log-in. Then, AS YOU COMMUNICATE with users, saying to them that you goofed with your jarring implementation, you still won't tell them what your proposed solution is. Maybe you would have known that it wouldn't be received well... but maybe you knew that already, and didn't want to hear about it. It just feels disingenuous.

    I can't speak for everyone, but I can see I'm far from alone on this one. The change was so jarring, so inconsiderately executed, that it was enough for me to sample another service - and it takes some effort to migrate everything, and change your address with every other service you use, and notify your personal contacts. But this was all so badly handled, that it was worth it to me. I'm satisfied with how it worked out for me. But you at Windows Live should be mortified that this is what your decision-making and change-implementing is causing to occur.

  • To Eric,

    I also noticed this several weeks ago and was unhappy to say the least. Followed the last thread on this with some amusement, then this one with relief and can only say THANKYOU MS for listening and more importantly, doing something about it. Just turned on auto complete (forms only) and am happy ! Can now select my login details from several on the same drop down and enter my password and away we go. By my reckoning, this means one more mouse click to get to where I was pre-change. I can live with that small compromise, after all that's what life's about, right ?

  • Auroria
    1 Posts

    I agree with Cindyjay, if Microsoft wants to save server space (some few dollars) to get even more profits with paid ignorant selfish Windows Live bloggers (who ruin everything) and doesn't make new changes OPTIONAL is pathetic.

  • @All

    I'm just thinking out loud here.. any thoughts, comments or negative bashings on making our own login page? Lets say someone creates a site that just has a hotmail login page. One that will use the old tile way of saving users. There are a couple concerns of course, namely how and where to save the logins and how to securely post the login to hotmail. Then there is the question would anyone actually use it?

    My thoughts are to post to a secure script (php or language of choice), encrypt post data, use javascript to transfer encrypted data to flash so that flash can save it on the users local machine using a standard shared object. This would be at least more secure than a coookie and no data would be saved on the site.

    I'm sure this vilolates the Hotmail TOS, TOU or Copyrights in some way, so nobody should even try to do this; and I probably shouldn't have even posted this but I just had this thought in my head and I wanted to get it out. So on second thought, no negative bashings, please!

  • jader3rd
    24 Posts

    And this is why (news.cnet.com/.../lose-your-laptop-change-all-passwords-pronto) I my browser doesn't have auto complete turned on.

  • brilaf
    13 Posts

    Well, it's sort of the talk of the town in my area. Everyone at one point is making the point how MS screwed up on this one. At work my expert web guys find it so funny. Actually it's not and very frustrating. Bring back the tiles please MS.

  • I completely agree with @ I_mean : ......At least this feature ................. IE, WP7 is happening. .......

    This completely describes the views of a MS fan and MS attitude towards them. The more we try to love and stick with it, the more it makes us easy to hate.

  • hdam
    1 Posts

    I joined this blog only to tell how disappointed I am with this so called "solution".

    I fully agree with langware, Cindyjay, 7flavor, Zwanzer, sweetjessica, and so many others on this blog.

  • amktk
    8 Posts

    Like others, I have no intention of enabling  autocomplete. We are now bumbling along with a combination of LastPass and other family members continually entering all their information. What a step backwards!

  • langware
    154 Posts

    I agree with Cindyjay (and others) .... I feel frustrated and defeated by Microsoft's solution to the issue of having the sign-in page remember ones email address and supporting multiple accounts.

    It took approximately four weeks (end of June to early August) for Microsoft to enable autocomplete for the email address field. There are many many ways Microsoft could have solved the problem. Granted, many of those ways are not trivial. However, after waiting four weeks, I was hoping that Microsoft was working on a more elegant solution than merely enabling form level autocomplete.

    While there may be some disagreement among us customers as to the degree, I suspect that most of us would agree that enabling form level autocomplete reduces ones security. Thus, the solution we've waited four weeks for requires one to reduce security (to a degree).

    Microsoft claims to listen to us customers. I wonder if anyone from the Hotmail team looks at the posts made in the Hotmail forum of the Windows Live Solution Center. Sorting the Hotmail threads by number of replies, there are currently about 47 threads containing more than 100 replies each. Looking at the titles of those 47 Hotmail threads with high levels of customer replies, approximately 50% of them are about security issues.

    Clearly, customers are telling Microsoft that Hotmail has security issues. Yet, Microsoft's solution to the "remember me" and multiple accounts issues (that took four weeks) basically asks us to reduce our security.

    I just do not think that counts as listening to us customers.

  • Hi, Cindyjay,

    I must admit that I don't feel the same frustration that others here do (since I use my computer at home and use LastPass for email logins) and also don't use my Hotmail account (since I just don't trust it enough for anything).  But if you're certain you want to leave, and if you're concerned about security, are you *really* sure you want to move to Yahoo !?  They *still* haven't implemented full-session SSL and seem bent on providing users with every bell and whistle they can to distract users from seeing that security hole.  And they've even been known to remove user posts (in response to Yahoomail blogposts) which keep asking them to focus on providing that feature.  Just how concerned are they ?  And with my own friend's account having been hacked recently, it makes me all the more glad that I left the big "Y" years ago.  Perhaps at least Gmail (or GMX) would be better options security-wise ??  :-)

  • Well, I sure feel defeated. All the hard work so many have put into not only writing opinions and asking for our old login choices back...... for what? A drop-down list of email with no ability to save passwords. No tiles. No personal icons. MS tells us to use auto-save for forms on one hand, and talks about security and privacy on the other. Feels to me like they're back in the days when folks were just figuring out what possiblities the world-wide-web could offer. And how it might work. Utterly stupid.

    I'm outa here. Had enough. I'm moving on over to my standby Yahoo account. Because I'm mad. Goodbye also to my "premium service" annual fee I paid for my Hotmail account.

    By the way, you think MS might have listened about notifying people of changes to their Hotmail accounts? Did anyone get anything in their inbox telling them about this change? No one in my household did.

    Finally, thanks to all the bloggers out there who were relentless. I trust you know who I mean...... those who were "on it" from the very beginning. You've turned the lights on for so many who were completely in the dark when our features just vanished one day. I wish you all well.

    Adios

  • I_Mean
    24 Posts

    At least this feature is appreaciable but they always come in expense of another great feature. The more I try to love and stick with it, the more it makes me easy to hate. People who don't care about Microsoft and its product they won't even bother to come to this site. That leaves the loyal users to com to this blog and share thier thoughts and expectations. While it it imminent that not all of the users can be pleased and no one expects to happen that either but still most of the time, a majority of the users on this blog seem to be disappointed with the way Microsoft is acting. That could be the reason the dip in IE, WP7 is happening. Personally, the only reason for me to use hotmail is skydrive. I don't like the UI much, half of the home screen is occupied with the big logo of Microsoft and an ad for MSN, I don't think they make any money for Microsoft. They could have organized those thing on the side of the page allowing more space for the hotmail and making look it better and clean. They always make the baseless claim based on their own perception than the reality. When they said their hotmail opens and loads faste, I compared it with yahoomail. Yahoomail is ways faster than hotmail. So, I never trust the word from microsoft altough I use their product.

  • Knightsky
    17 Posts

    Have yet to see the *new change* to the sign in page. From what I have been reading here I know I’m not going to like it. Neither would I recommend any user/customer I know to lower their privacy settings to simplify signing in either!

    I’m only going to test the *new sign in page* in IE 9 (won’t change Fire Fox or IE on the other computers) on 1 isolated computer and Hotmail is the only web site, nowhere else on the web. When done testing, delete autocomplete history and change settings back.

    At this time I only see 1 of 3 choices to best protect myself. It’s not *Privacy* issue only it’s also a *Security* risk. Is to use RoboForm (always logoff), continue type full credentials or dump Hotmail (one less Microsoft site to manual sign in to).

  • 7flavor
    352 Posts

    I just tried the new Hotmail sign-in page in all the major browsers with AutoComplete for forms OFF but AutoComplete for user names and passwords ON. Only Safari manages to save all Hotmail passwords. IE, Firefox, Chrome and Opera all fail to correctly save the credentials when the privacy compromising AutoComplete for forms is off.

  • Bliss
    2 Posts

    I still miss the old tiles....

  • brilaf
    13 Posts

    This should have been a sort of easy fix on the Front-End most likely. Anyways, getting frustrating always entering the password/s (multiple acct), let alone when I forget to check  "remember me". Arrggggg.

  • Deco
    1 Posts

    The simplistic solution functionally works for me ... Thank you.

  • Zwanzer
    26 Posts

    @ Eric Doerr

    You wrote : "we are here, and we are listening"

    If that is right, then what happenend to all the

    - feature requests

    - suggestions for improvement

    - etc

    for the Live Essential Applications since the beginning of 2009 by lots of users in all the Windows Live Solution Centers (not only the english one)?

    I have seen many of them, and NO implementations so far at all.

    Do you call this "listening" ?

    What exactly do you mean with "listening" ? reading and filing (by design) ?

  • @ eric: Please bring back Linked IDs feature, atleast that can compensate (to some extent) the loss of "remember me " option. because you this auto-complete feature is of no use.

  • Also @Eric Doerr when can we expect the Linked IDs to be functional again?

  • I really think that these changes made by @Eric Doerr's team could have been done in a couple hours.. and even more could have re-created the "old sign-in' look and feel using standard cookies.. yes, I know, cookies are not secure but would at least serve a better purpose than the auto-complete.

  • kmnok
    4 Posts

    "...For security, we chose not to remember passwords for multiple accounts."

    hmmm.

    I have yet to encounter one of the enabled servers, so have not experienced the so-called rollout of this minor feature you enabled for us.  If it fails to save my id and passwords for my several accounts, I will be disappointed.  Why all the delay and commentary for such a minor enhancement?   Certainly there was not much to roll out!

    I agree with sweetjessica.  Why all this buildup for such a minor sort of enabling?  Hotmail should have had this all along.  I wonder why it should not work with multiple accounts (?), since the autocomplete feature does work for multiple accounts for Yahoo and Gmail.

  • I'm not using autocomplete, that is a joke for security reasons. I might consider it IF I could only make the email addresses show up without the password, and not ANYTHING else on ANY website I go too.

    I know everyone is thanking you for taking the time to pretend to try and fix the mess that was created when taking what you call the Tiles away.  Also, I don't know who was complaining or why it mattered if it didn't work on other browsers.  Say what you like but I simply don't believe most are happier without the Tiles. I guess I can believe there were probably plenty that have no idea what they were though.

    But like most things, only a very small percent look for blogs like this wondering why something no longer works. Which is really to bad because that's the reason so much stuff that's  screwed up stays the same.

    Anyway, I already pretty much dropped Hotmail, except I have email addresses that are really old. So that is kind of mess and also the one's I paid to get rid of the Ad's. I certainly am not going to use autocomplete though. I might try the desktop version of Roboform and see how that works. But I really didn't want to do that either.

    So, thanks for making a mess of Hotmail, you did well.

  • i just wanted to thank you Eric for continuing to address this issue for almost an entire month. i am thankful for the change to make the sign in page more user friendly for the multiple users in our household.

    it certainly isn't as frustrating as the past month has been! however, like sweetjessica, i am somewhat disappointed...i liked everything about the old sign-in page, including how you could customize it to show your profile picture...it made it fun and personable! we have always had so many options to customize our desktops, our "themes", our layout of our inbox, with chosen colours, font types etc. maybe we are all a little spoiled with having some power to customize all these things...but i really really liked the old sign-in page...but beggars can't be choosers...

    so don't get me wrong...i am grateful that you and your team took the initiative to help make it easier...

  • brilaf
    13 Posts

    @ Eric

    I agree with @sweetjessica. I haven't hit the server yet, but after reading the posts, this is really a joke. In my previous post where I say I oversee web deployments. I can't say how many times we've run into situations, where at first we think no way we can fix this, or implement some work around. We ALWAYS end up finding a way and all this,  to please our customers. I have dealt with quite a few security issues, some easy and some not. In 2010 it took us less than 24 hours to get a fix, test, QA test and deploy a complicated password issue.

    This change and the original explanation really is mind boggling. In my experience, I wouldn't be surprised if it was one person who think they are technical, decided to make a change, just to make a change. Believe me I know. Even though 99% are ok with it, it just takes one person.

    I know this is coming higher up, but haven't they read these posts?

    Believe me there are way more people displeased with this change than these comments posted here.

    As part of the majority above, please bring it back.

    Thanks.

  • jono44
    3 Posts

    Yeah - not happy with the upgrade but it's better than nothing.

    It's still no way as good as the old way but something tells me you guys aren't ever going to concede that you've got it wrong and change it back.

    It all does my head in - I'm not cut out for all this falafal.

  • @Eric Doerr   I feel really disappointed and let down with your solution... I was expecting better and was really pulling for you to come thru in the end. I find this solution completely laughable... after waiting well over 2-3 weeks for your solution and then to only see a simple auto-complete.. I really think you and your team could have done better.

  • JackJ
    3 Posts

    Update:  I now see my full e-mail address in the autocomplete suggestion box.

  • Irritating to say the least...bring back the tiles! or allow us to link accounts this is backwoods and insane.

  • JackJ
    3 Posts

    @Eric Doerr

    I think I have hit a couple of times the upgraded server for the new login page. I understood that when I saw the autocomplete suggestion box appeared. However, the only suggestion there was my e-mail address without the domain name (without @hotmail.com). This is still NOT GOOD, because it won't login until I type the full e-mail address.

    Will wait few more days to try again.

  • GlenC
    6 Posts

    When is the linked IDs going to be working again? You get the "5 account limit" error even when no IDs are linked. Please correct or at least address the change. Thanks!

  • BurJon
    3 Posts

    The ability to get email from multiple accounts in one inbox is something that every email application that I can think of offers, except for (now) Windows Live Hotmail.  That goes for desktop email clients as well as webmail applications.

    Eric, is that ability gone for good or will it be back?  I don't care if you call it "Linked Ids" or whatever, almost everyone wants it.  If it's not coming back, why not?  Is it a technical challenge with Windows Live ID's or some design consideration?

    I doubt that people with multiple Windows Live accounts are going to be happy or even willing to log off and on every time they want to go to each of their accounts.

  • @Zwanzer All I was saying was that, since they don't want to do the tiles anymore, this is better than not having the forms at all. Stop with your rudeness saying I'm being selfish. It works for me and I know it doesn't work for everyone. I liked the tiles too but I think this is better than having to type the email address in everytime. Yes, there can be other solutions but lets keep this discussion professional and directed to the Windows Live team without the attacking of commenters.

  • Typhoon87
    27 Posts

    This does not help a user like myself who intentionally disables autocomplete the first time it asks when setting up a new computer. Please come up with some way to continue using the live sign in assisant. I have mutiple live id's some work related used for MS Lincesing some are personal ect. You have added like 3 clicks every time I want to use a diffrent Live ID.

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    Good changes. :-)

    Can you please explain WHY you have got rid of the amazing Linked IDs feature??!!

  • jader3rd
    24 Posts

    I turn off auto complete. It's prone to fill in details I didn't want filled in. Also, there's the whole problem of the fact that it creates a great target for malware.

    I know of familes who've installed multiple browsers just because of the change to the hotmail login. Each family member uses their own browser.

  • Zwanzer
    26 Posts

    @Lorenzo A.

    The solution should have been meant for computers at home that are used by several members of the family.

    Can you imagine that person A does not want that person B sees what he has been doing on the net ?

    With "Autocomplete FORMS" that kind of privacy does not exist anymore !

    I can imagine that the above does not bother you if you are the absolute only user on your absolute private system.

    But the solution was not made for people like you only.

    Please don't be selfish and think about the others as well.

    This solution is absolutely NOT GOOD.

    There is moreover a much better, a much more logical solution : "Autocomplete UserID & Passwords".

    It beats me why this self-evident solution has not been chosen.

  • @ZWanzer I already have Autocomplete on and use https and my computer isn't accessed by anyone on my private network so I have no security worries.

  • Zwanzer
    26 Posts

    @ Lorenzo A.

    I cannot understand that you are happy with "Turning on AutoComplete for FORMS".

  • I think this is a good compromise. The screen seems clearer and it saves me from typing in my live ID, which is really long.

  • Zwanzer
    26 Posts

    @ Eric Doerr,

    Turning on AutoComplete for "forms" instead of for "user IDs & passwords" is illogical, confusing, and idiotic.

    It clearly shows that MS stubbornly refuses to give us what we would like to have.

    Farewell Microsoft Live.

    Go on like you do right now (neglecting your loyal users) and you will completely disappear from the market scene in no time.

  • @eric: sorry for my last post(that was wrong). This is very bad actually. You guys are removing the actually usable features of Hotmail and making it even worse as compared to other services. I was reading quite a lot on non functioning of Linked IDs or removal of Linked IDs feature on your last post and this post also (@7flavor comments) but could not understand those comments because My Linked IDs were working properly. But that is not the case, My brother asked me how could he setup linked Ids and I explained (as to me it was easy and working) but he could not and when I looked I also found that you have actually removed that feature. This was an absolute shock to me and now I understand what others were talking. This is actually RIDICULOUS on your part to remove that feature which is one of the most usable and excellent.

    Now, what explanation do you have on removal of that feature.

  • @ eric : Thanks for the update. Keep up the hardwork! and make hotmail even better.

  • 7flavor
    352 Posts

    My bad! Even Yahoo! Mail does not seem to have this restriction any more! (It used to last time I checked). Both Gmail and Yahoo! Mail support saving username and password by turning on Auto Complete for passwords. I don't understand what the issue is with Hotmail. Turning on AutoComplete for forms but not for passwords is just idiotic.

  • 7flavor
    352 Posts

    I was one of those who criticized Microsoft for designing the older sign in assistant for IE only and not offering the same experience on other browsers. But that does not mean I disliked the greater functionality IE had. In IE, I always keep AutoComplete on for everything except forms because no browser prompts me what forms to remember. It's either remember all forms or none and as already pointed out, remembering all forms is a massive privacy annoyance. Even the search box in search engines like Bing or Google is a form. So this change still does not address the issue of ease of use while maintaining privacy that the Sign in Assistant offered.

    May I suggest Microsoft to use the PASSWORD autocomplete element for remembering email and password and not the FORM element. Like Gmail does it. Neither Hotmail nor Yahoo! does it today. Remembering user name along with password is not a privacy risk like remembering all the terms in all sorts of forms we enter on the web. When we enter the user name and password on Gmail, the browser mechanisms for remembering the password kick-in, they do NOT in case of Hotmail (or competing services like Yahoo! mail). Using the PASSWORD element will allow the browser to autofill the password on the Live sign-in page giving us the same experience that Windows Live Sign In Assistant gave us. Please consider this. Remembering forms is something I will never do as it will remember what I type in any form field on the web anywhere. Remembering username/password is what I always turn on as it remembers only the sign in fields and passwords of websites.

  • Albert
    94 Posts

    This is what makes you guys great. Not only does it make improving the product a constant, but it involves real consumer interaction and concern. Sure it will be hard to find the right balance of change, and I'm not sure how I personally stand on this particular issue, but you guys have the right mindset nonetheless. Thanks for listening, Eric!

  • langware
    154 Posts

    @Eric,

    I realize that your team needed to develop a solution for all browsers, but my primary browser is Firefox and after reading your description of the solution (i.e., using the browser's autocomplete feature), I found this script for Firefox ...

    userscripts.org/.../92221

    ... that essentially does the same thing as your solution (and this script has been available since Dec 8, 2010).

    Again, I choose not to enable autocomplete for security reasons, but I must admit to being disappointed to find that (were I willing to live with autocomplete enabled) I could have used the above script and not have waited since June 30 for your solution.

  • brilaf
    13 Posts

    @Eric Doerr

    Thanks for the update Eric. I know it's tough to please everyone. I oversee web deployments and I know the issues that arise technically sometimes. Can't wait to see how this one will behave...:)

  • Denial
    2 Posts

    I have been following this issue closely ever since it developed. I am not one to normally post on forums, but I would like to know why there isn't the same level of outrage over the apparent discontinuation of the Linked Ids feature.  

    There has been no official recognition of this and it has only been brought up a few times in the comments.  I have multiple accounts for my business and personal life and I rely on this feature.  It is beyond annoying that I have to sign in and sign out every time I want to check my mail.  I now have to click multiple times and more importantly wait for the internet to load each page each time I want to switch between the accounts.  

    I believe (and this is just my thought process because I have not seen ANY reasoning behind this) that Microsoft wants to force users to start using the new "hotmail alias" feature as a replacement for the Linked Ids because it performs a similar function.  This would be perfectly acceptable if you could transform your various old email accounts into different "aliases"  This does not seem to be the case. They want you to create a "business alias" and a "personal alias" but you have to create NEW email addresses for them!!

    I have had some email addresses for over a decade and I am not about to inform the hundreds of people in my life that I have switched email addresses. It just is not logical to do so.  It is like changing a phone number, you have to notify every single person you know about the changed situation.

    Am I misinterpreting this situation? Are there other people out there that share my frustrations??

  • Individuals who use multiple accounts and save passwords should probably be considering a service like LastPass, since they can use that on multiple computers to take their security with them.

  • Bill_G
    12 Posts

    For almost a week, I have tried in vain to get help with Messenger problems where SOME don't see me as signed in. After trying everything in the "book" in cludint thread the Wilndows Live Help.

    Still no help!

  • langware
    154 Posts

    @Eric Doerr,

    Thank you for your update ...

    Your solution does not address those customers who (for security and privacy reasons) do not wish to have their browser remember their form and search history (i.e., those who have their browser's options set to clear form and search history when the browser closes).

    I realize that you cannot please every user ... in my case I will choose privacy and security (enabling autocomplete can be a security risk) over the convenience of having the sign-on page remember my email address.