This blogger is based in Edinburgh and is very busy with his day job. As a result I never get to go to blogger events hosted in London – but I do sometimes get sent photos of what I missed. Microsoft’s “roleplaying event” to highlight the latest upgrade to Hotmail is one such example. Mind you; having studied the photos and read through what happened – this was a LARP, at the most, so perhaps my d20s would have remained in my pocket even if I had flown down.
Now, I did know Microsoft had a cunning plan. Econsultancy had already written Hotmail declares war on newsletters and gone on to discuss “graymail”. They define graymail as bacn; email you might have wanted once, but not now – and newsletters and deals are a prime example of this.
Steps in the battle against graymail include; a new automated newsletter category to filter incoming newsletters (care of Smartscreen), a new unsubscribe feature – and that’s kinda handy because too often unsubscribe features in true spam are nothing but a trick to help confirm your email address, priority flags (if only Blackberry introduced these, please!) and a scheduled cleanup service.
It looks like these new features are well placed. Litmus created an infographic that does a great job at putting Microsoft’s stats into something visual.
But what about the blogger event? Well. It turns out the LARP cast the bloggers as secret agents. The group didn’t get to clash with gobbos but did get to charge around a treasure hunt. This blogger bets the clues were designed to highlight the features of new Hotmail that hadn’t been highlighted in the previous graymail news stories.
Certainly, the Hotmail enhancements highlighted as the take away from the day included Messenger Chat in Hotmail – which can include your Facebook friends, Office Web Apps – so you can open Word, Excel or PPT attachments without leaving the inbox and the Sweep feature which lets you create move rules, in seconds, from any given sender.
These are the features that help Hotmail do battle in the Cloud. If Microsoft supply jetpacks to bloggers for their next event; I’ll be impressed.
I missed the event but cheekily asked for photographs so I could see what everyone else got up to. I wonder if the secret agents knew they were being shadowed by someone with a camera? That’s right. I wasn’t there in person – but I sent a spy along!