Of course, it did not implement it first, which is, after all, what counts.

That is the crux of the story coming from Download Squad. The people at Microsoft Research would have us believe that all the work was done long ago on this “new” technology. It may have been, but then what were they waiting for? The release being held up for almost any reason makes absolutely no sense.

Much has been said about Gmail’s new priority inbox — all of it good! — but it turns out that Microsoft Research has been working on similar technology since the 1990s.
Not only is there a slew of research papers detailing how the technology works (it sounds very similar to Gmail’s priority inbox), but Microsoft also has a bunch of well-targeted patents filed as far back as 1999!
Is this just another case of Microsoft being beaten to the market? Back in 2007 Microsoft Research released the Outlook Mobile Manager which seems to forward prioritized email to your mobile device. TechFlash also points out that some of the announced updates for Hotmail sound like they use the same Microsoft Research technology. I think this is more a case of Gmail simply being more nimble than Hotmail; a case of Google being less bogged down by bureaucracy and conservatism. I fully expect Hotmail will receive the same (or better) priority inbox technology in the next few months.

Or not. As I said, what could be the reason for holding this in abeyance? Try as I might, I cannot think of one. Microsoft needs to worry less about priority mail and more about getting the mail to its users. There are times of day during the week when mail cannot be retrieved, period. If there was such as thing as emergency e-mail, that might take care of it, but when you can’t get to it at all, it is a real pain.

I know that is yet another reason why I use the offline mail route with Windows Live Mail or Outlook (depending on machine)…if you need to get at something archived, you can, while trying to do this with webmail cannot be done.

And once Hotmail has a priority inbox, I can’t imagine Microsoft will continue to let Gmail use the same technology — especially if Google offers the priority inbox to its business and enterprise Google Apps customers. But at the same time, I can’t believe Google would spend time developing and implementing a service only to have it quashed by Microsoft. I wonder how this one will play out…

We will have a fight of some kind, it is almost certain. But while some continue to put all of their eggs in one basket, I have an account with Google, several with Hotmail, one with my ISP [Verizon] and one with GMX. I highly recommend GMX, both for their mail regularity and for the interface, which I like as well as Gmail, and you can do webmail, POP3, or IMAP.

I suppose I’ll use the priority feature of Hotmail, if I ever need to, but I really don’t see that day, as when something is a priority with me, I use the phone – its very nature indicates higher priority than something that can so easily be ignored, letting the messages pile up without ever doing anything, or really being bothered by something.

At least the phone makes you want to answer it or shut it off.


Quote of the Day:
Recommend to your children virtue; that alone can make them happy, not gold.
–Ludwig van Beethoven