Hotmail Wave 4 update: Still under one percent of users have the beta bits

Hotmail Wave 4 update: Still under one percent of users have the beta bits

Summary: Two weeks ago, when Microsoft began rolling out the new beta of Windows Live Wave 4 Hotmail, officials said to expect it to take a number of weeks. But it looks like it may take longer than originally expected, based on a June 29 blog post to the Windows Live Team blog.

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Two weeks ago, when Microsoft began rolling out the new beta of Windows Live Wave 4 Hotmail, officials said to expect it to take a number of weeks. But it looks like it may take longer than originally expected to make it to the 360 million global Windows Live Hotmail users, based on a June 29 blog post to the Windows Live Team blog.

From today's update from Windows Live Program Manager Mike Schackwitz :

"Right now, a few million customers have the new Hotmail – less than 1% of our customer base. We roll out new software slowly at first in order to give our engineers a chance to study the new software running at scale with real customers. When we roll out new software, we typically find a few things that we want to tweak before going out more broadly. Most of these things are actually invisible to our customers – they usually have to do with our ability to monitor the site or make the rollout itself go more smoothly.

"This time was no exception, and we have made a few minor changes to the way Hotmail works “under the hood” in order to make the rollout go even more smoothly for the remaining 99% of our customers.

"This week, we will put the new Hotmail onto a few additional clusters that have slightly different characteristics (different hardware, different mix of customers), which will help us learn even more. We expect that we’ll make a few other tweaks as we learn.

"After that, the release will really pick up speed, and we’ll start to put the new software on more and more clusters. Of course, we have hundreds of clusters and we want to make sure everything goes smoothly, so it will still take a few weeks to finish."

Microsoft is expected to roll out the final version of its various Windows Live Wave 4 services before the end of calendar 2010. According to leaks earlier this week, Windows Live Wave 5, as of right now, is timed to coincide with Windows 8, meaning it should hit some time in 2012.

Topics: Software, Browser, Collaboration, Operating Systems, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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14 comments
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  • With good reason too

    The beta bits that were released <i>barely</i> deserve the name. Various UI quirks, and a deadbeat Messenger are leaving a bad taste in my mouth right now. <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/sad.gif" alt="sad"><br><br>Is anyone else having problems with Messenger 'disconnecting' every 5 seconds (Literally)?
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Hotmail Wave 4 update: Still under one percent of users have the beta bits

      @NStalnecker The Beta MSN I have has been fine, it has not disconnected once, the wave 4 beta software overall needs some cleaning up but I would say its pretty good overall. But isnt Mary talking more about the roll out of the wave 4 web services/content?
      GP101
      • RE: Hotmail Wave 4 update: Still under one percent of users have the beta bits

        @groovepoit@...

        ... I believe you are right. Haha.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Messenger beta disconnecting

      Yes, I was having that issue last week. But this week, it seems to be working... I thought it was just my Internet connection. I didn't see others saying they were having the issue (until you)... MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
    • RE: Hotmail Wave 4 update: Still under one percent of users have the beta bits

      @NStalnecker..at least you were able to get the damn thing installed. I keep getting errors installing it and I had removed the old version before installing the updated one. Not losing any sleep over a beta though.
      jeff@...
  • Not "beta bits"

    If I'm right, Hotmail is "final" code, not "beta bits". The "beta bits" DOES apply to the Live Essentials Microsoft released recently.
    jhanford
    • beta or not beta

      I've asked MS if this is the beta or final of Hotmail but didn't get an answer. It seems the WL team doesn't like using the word "beta"... but I think it's still useful to say whether something is in final form or not (even if it will be regularly updated, like services are). MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • RE: Hotmail Wave 4 update: Still under one percent of users have the beta bits

        @Mary Jo Foley I think that the term "beta" and "final" have new meanings in the world of web services and that there is no standard for how they are to be used.<br><br>I have been involved in roll outs like this involving 300,000 users and we did it the exact same way Microsoft is doing this. Starting slow saved our butts more than once.

        BTW, thanks for the update. I was just getting ready to start Binging around to find out what the holdup was.
        chieftom
    • Hotmail sucks

      @jhanford Who uses Hotmail.. I thought everybody is using Gmail... most people prefer it, anyway.
      prof123
  • Can't wait to see how they've further ruined Hotmail

    Another in-your-face banner please!
    klumper
    • RE: Hotmail Wave 4 update: Still under one percent of users have the beta bits

      @klumper Dude, its a FREE service. At least MS gives you the option of buying an upgrade to Windows Live Hotmail Plus and get ride of all the ads across the whole Windows Live enviroment for $19 a year. http://www.gowindowslive.com/hotmailplus/en-us/default.aspx
      chieftom
  • RE: Hotmail Wave 4 update: Still under one percent of users have the beta bits

    I am one of the guinea pigs Hotmail decided to try this new "upgrade" (what a joke) on. It is cram packed with useless graphics, links, and features I will never use, but which make it incredibly slow to load. Once it does, it doesn't work. It freezes up (sometimes locking up my entire computer), overlaps screens, and usually simply does nothing at all when you click on a tab. And I am not alone. Check out this link to the thread about this catastrophe on Hotmail's forum:

    http://windowslivehelp.com/thread.aspx?threadid=d50ae605-589c-4d24-a464-24bdd4c891b3&page=1

    All of us have begged them to give us back our old version, which actually WORKED, but the few employees who have responded simply regurgitate robotic responses, such as "Have you optimized your browser?" in exactly the same words with everyone they respond to. It is obvious they are not even reading our posts, and are just cutting and pasting the same response over and over. They don't give a s**t about us, they just want us to have to upgrade our systems to something THEY sell. Which is a joke, because even people with the latest versions of Windows, Internet Explorer, and any other system you can think of, are having these problems. Time to switch to another email provider...
    Cyrak6
  • RE: Hotmail Wave 4 update: Still under one percent of users have the beta bits

    Well, unfortunately now, most people seem to have been victimized by this horrible, useless, slow, tiny-font, so-called "upgrade". This new garbage version of hotmail is an absolute disgrace and is replete with silly, stupid, unneccesary social networking linking and loads of other crap added on. Which I do NOT want.

    There is a HUGE number of people who can't gain proper access to emails, can't upload attachments, can't display pictures properly, can't even READ their emails because of the insanely small font (which you cannot change, unless you change your browser settings thereby impacting every single webpage you read!), can't access their contacts, are bombarded with msn messenger, etc.

    No one was given the OPTION of having this crap upgrade, or having the OPTION of selecting specific items/so-called "features" of the upgrade, and no one was given the OPTION of opting-out of the upgrade. As it stands, there are so many complaints about this HORRIBLE new version and a deluge of requests to revert back to the old version. And guess what? You cannot go back to the old version. There is, again, NO OPTION!

    This new hotmail STINKS!

    GIVE ME BACK MY OLD HOTMAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    lelalacc
  • RE: Hotmail Wave 4 update: Still under one percent of users have the beta bits

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