The latest iteration of Microsoft’s email service is currently live for just 50 million accounts worldwide, despite the company having started the rollout process a month ago. However, the software giant says that the slow pace at which it is introducing Windows Live Hotmail Wave 4
to customers is perfectly normal. “The Hotmail rollout continues to go along smoothly and we’re right on track with our release plan, having now upgraded nearly 50 million accounts on several different clusters,” revealed Windows Live product manager Mike Schackwitz
Of course, with a service the size of Hotmail, Microsoft cannot afford to let anything go wrong just by rushing a release. The gradual introduction of the major new version of Hotmail ensures that the impact to end users will be minimal, in the eventuality that issues appear.
“We go slowly at first in order to give our engineers an opportunity to study the operational characteristics of the new software in all the different environments. That’s true of every release,” Schackwitz added. At the same time, the PM emphasized that the new features introduced into Hotmail Wave 4 require additional work from the software giant.
In this regard, the roll out process of Windows Live Hotmail Wave 4 might take longer compared to previous releases or upgrades. “In order to turn on the new features in Hotmail – features like conversation threads, QuickViews, and Filters – we need to build new indexes in the storage system for your email. These new indexes allow Hotmail to instantly show you mail from your contacts, or show you messages that contain photos, or let you organize your email by conversation,” he explained.
The Redmond company has already deployed software designed to build the indexes mentioned above from the messages that users have in their inboxes. This process is limited by the speed at which the solution can read and write data on hard drives in the datacenter Microsoft has set up for Windows Live Hotmail Wave 4
But the promise from Schackwitz is that “when the indexing process is complete, we’ll be turning on the new Hotmail for all our users.”Follow me on Twitter @MariusOiaga.