Windows Live Mail Has a Philosophy?

    April 29, 2006

As I go around Microsoft I ask teams “are you just gonna sell your participants/partners/users/customers down the river or are you gonna stand up for them?”

Especially when someone is offering you money to do something anti-user?

This week when I was interviewing the Hotmail Windows Live Mail team they told me about a decision they had made to reduce the number of advertisments on their service from two to one.

Omar Shahine detailed this decision, and other things (he works on this team).

We are afraid to tell you is just how much money is left on the table by this decision, but it’s a HUGE pile. More money than I would imagine (turns out that putting two ads on a page is very profitable). Why? Because we’re scared of making shareholders even more skittish than they already are (our expenses are up and leaving many millions of dollars on the table doesn’t seem like a smart decision, does it?)

But, this decision makes me happy. Ecstatic, actually. It means that the product teams have been given the green light to make the best-of-breed experiences for our customers and users.

The Windows Live Mail team just got a philosophy. Companies that have pro-participant philosophies, especially in the advertising age, will end up with bigger audiences and more profit in the end.

I tell ya, just got a whole lot easier for me to evangelize.

Does this matter? Windows Live Mail has 200 million unique accounts that have been signed into in the past 30 days. They block more than a billion spam messages every day. This is one of the most used Web Services in the world.

Their new site design is working really well for me. Much nicer than the existing Hotmail.

I love this team.

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Robert Scoble is the founder of the Scobleizer blog. He works as’s Vice President of Media Development.

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