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Hotmail Gmail

Hotmail Gmail logos Hotmail Gmail: these two popular webmail services belong arch rivals Microsoft and Google, respectively. Hotmail Gmail analogies are closed to ending there, though: Hotmail mirrors the functionality of traditional desktop email clients like Outlook Express or Outlook, while Gmail pushes the concept of virtual email folders to the limit. This tutorial will go over Hotmail Gmail similarities and differences. A separate tutorial already explains how to forward your Hotmail emails to Gmail (or any other email provider). Let's get started with our Hotmail-Gmail side-by-side comparisons.

Hotmail, Gmail: opposite ends of the same coin

Before anything else, we should indicate that this tutorial is subjective to an extent, and does not imply that one webmail service is "better" than the other. In a Hotmail-Gmail contest for users though, there are, we think, clear distinctions that make Gmail more valuable for some users, and Hotmail for another. (This tutorial overwhelmingly focuses on email management because remaining Hotmail-Gmail differences are mostly a question of habit and taste than anything else.)

Hotmail-Gmail email "folders"

The first clear Hotmail Gmail distinction is how your emails are organized - both Hotmail and Gmail let you file your emails and find them later on in "folders", but what happens behind the scenes is radically different.

Hotmail Gmail folders This screenshot shows the same standard "email folders" in Hotmail and Gmail: while physically similar looking, these links and folders behave very differently behind the scenes: these Gmail links are the closest thing you will find to email folders in Gmail; all other "folders" Gmail lets you create are in fact filters, or dynamic folders, whose content is updated in real time. For Hotmail users, the closest to a dynamic folder is the "search" folder that appears when you search your Hotmail inbox.

In Gmail, an email can belong to multiple categories (virtual folders), while in Hotmail, an email can only be in one folder at a time. Think of Hotmail folders as folders like the ones you create on your computer, and think of Gmail folders as "tags" - a file (email) can only be inside one folder at a time (Hotmail approach), but a file can have multiple tags, or keywords, associated with it (Gmail approach).

Hotmail-Gmail usability match-up

Hotmail vs. Gmail on the user-friendliness score: while the following is a subjective statement, we feel reasonable to say that Gmail is designed for efficiency and "power users", while Hotmail is a more user-friendly webmail service appealing to a broader audience. This notwithstanding, the Hotmail-Gmail gap in user count has considerably diminished since Gmail was first launched in 2004. Even if Gmail was first available only on an invitation basis for over two years, it still managed to rank a solid third in the webmail providers "war" - Gmail is currently the third most popular webmail provider with about 150 million users (most common guesstimate), following Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail, each of which is generally thought to have just under twice that amount of users. (Hotmail-Gmail-Yahoo! Mail user stats are difficult to establish, let alone verify, since the true measure of each free webmail service's success is the active user count, as opposed to the total number of users.)

From an organizational standpoint, Gmail's approach to email management makes sense; on the other, it can be (initially) puzzling, and so-called average users will probably feel more at ease with Hotmail's traditional folders.

Hotmail Gmail: use of technology

The new Hotmail has radically revamped its interface and the technology behind it: but Gmail, since its inception, made the best use of the latest technologies in web development, truly pushing the envelope in terms of interactivity, to even a greater extent than Yahoo! Mail did in its latest incarnation.

This factor alone helps give Gmail the edge over Hotmail when it comes to responsiveness: notice how little time, for example, it takes you to reply to an email in Gmail, compared to the time it takes you to perform the same action in Hotmail. We won't bore you with the technical reasons behind this and other instances where Gmail is a lot faster than Hotmail: suffice it to say that, especially on a slow internet connection, Gmail will feel quite snappier than Hotmail.

Email search: the great Hotmail Gmail equalizer

The ability to search your entire inbox for emails in both Hotmail and Gmail renders the argument for or against virtual folders somewhat mute, since the greatest advantage of virtual folders à la Gmail (and limitation of traditional folders à la Hotmail) is the ability to make emails appear in multiple places, in order to find them later, or in different relevant contexts.

Gmail still has the advantage over Hotmail when it comes to locating an email in context: an email folder (or tag, as far as Gmail goes), represents a mental context in which you stored your email - as mentioned earlier, an email can very conceivably belong to several contexts. Well, Windows Live Hotmail will only let you file emails in a single context.

This concludes our Hotmail Gmail tutorial, and friendly match-up; both email services are free, and our remarks hopefully helped you get an informed perspective of some what we saw as the salient features. Go try Hotmail or Gmail for yourself, and give it a few days before dropping one or the other - how you use email and your personal tastes will dictate your choice of Hotmail over Gmail, or the reverse: there are no "right" answers.

Hotmail Tutorial The new Hotmail Hotmail.com Create a Hotmail account Hotmail sign in Hotmail sign out Read your Emails Read your emails Show images and content Download attachments Delete email messages Delete all emails from a person Unsubscribe from mailing lists Mark emails as Unread / Read Hotmail Instant Actions Unflag / Flag email messages Hotmail Quick Views Compose & Send Emails Hotmail email Reply to emails Forward emails Compose a new message Formatting emails Send attachments File attachment size limits Add pictures to your emails Create a signature Sending emails Send mail from other accounts Send plain text emails Change importance of emails Select multiple emails Spam & Junk Mail Filtering Mark spam email as junk mail Spam and junk mail settings Block email senders Unblock email senders Report phishing scam emails Standard Hotmail Folders The standard folders Hotmail Inbox Hotmail Junk folder Hotmail Drafts folder Hotmail Sent folder Hotmail Deleted folder Show or hide email folders Custom Hotmail Folders Create a new folder Rename a folder Empty a folder Delete a folder Mark an entire folder as "Read" Hotmail Contacts Hotmail Contacts Add a sender as contact Create a new contact Edit contacts' information Delete a contact Remove duplicate contacts Import contacts into Hotmail Export Hotmail contacts Contact categories Copy / transfer Hotmail contacts Add picture to contacts Block emails from non contacts Add Safe Senders to Hotmail Hotmail Tips and Tricks Hotmail Tips View email headers X-Originating-IP Show / hide basic headers View emails full screen Check for new emails Print email messages Hotmail Help Add another email account Check another email account Sort your emails Find emails with "Search Tool" Create email filters Automated vacation replies Use Hotmail as default email Hotmail account start date Configure Hotmail Settings Customize Hotmail Options Hotmail Login Hotmail accountCheck last Hotmail accessChange "From" name in emails Change password Reset your Hotmail password Change security question Forward emails to other account Skip "Hotmail Today" Change Reply-to email address Disable sent email confirmation Show conversations / threads Disable conversation grouping Disable photo / video previews Change Hotmail language Hotmail.com in English Hotmail.com en Español Change country setting Change birthday / birth date Keyboard Shortcuts Delete your Hotmail account Reading Pane Settings Change Theme Switch back to the old Hotmail Save / delete sent messages Change Hotmail address Change profile picture Change Hotmail account Other Products & Services Hotmail Messenger Hotmail Messenger Download Hotmail Plus Cancel Hotmail Plus Hotmail Customer Service Hotmail Live Hotmail Kids Set Hotmail as homepage in IE Hotmail as homepage in Firefox POP & Mail Server Settings POP3 settings IMAP Settings Incoming Mail Server Setup Hotmail on iPhone Hotmail Outlook settings You've reached the daily limit Outlook Connector Hotmail Gmail Hotmail Yahoo!
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