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.