Well, Microsoft has gone and done it. They've forced me to drop my Hotmail account.
Microsoft, which is one of the few high-tech companies to have weathered the previous recession with its profitability intact, has been ramping up a premium version of Hotmail for the past couple of months, now. "Premium", it would seem, is defined as, "give us $30 a year, and we won't take away the privileges you've become accustomed to these past few years."
Should it surprise me that Microsoft has adopted a drug pusher mentality? Lure people in with free stuff and then put the screws to them when they actually start to use the service. What's the matter? Advertising revenues drying up?
The stripping away of the old free services happened slowly, perhaps to lull users into a false sense of security. Limit mailbox sizes to about 2 Mb (want 30 Mb? Pay us $30 per year). Limit message sizes to about 1 Mb (want 1.5 Mb? Pay us $30 pear year). Now, however, Microsoft is stripping away Hotmail's ability to capture mail from POP mailboxes; you know, the ONE thing that makes a Hotmail account remotely useful by allowing you to access your home e-mail account on the road from any net-connected computer? Those of us who want to use this one reason for Hotmail to exist now have to pay $30 per year for the privilege.
I try not to swear on this Blog. After all, I never know who's reading. But, now, I can't help it. I say "F--- You, Microsoft, and your stupid Hotmail too." Your attempts to turn me upside-down and shake the change out of my pockets has made me even more determined to see that you get not one red cent out of me. Pbbbbt!
- Users! Want a free substitute for Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Paint? Download OpenOffice 1.0
- Users! Want a free substitute for the invasive and ubiquitous Internet Explorer? Download Mozilla 1.0
- Users! Want a free substitute for Microsoft Outlook and the Outlook Express newsreader? Use Mozilla's e-mail and newsreader.
There are your choices in front of you. Who says the market economy doesn't work?
In happier news, I have my new glasses! It's a pity I don't have a digital camera to snap a picture of me, but people tell me that I look good. The frames are smaller and the lenses are Nikon high-index plastic, which are supposed to be scratch resistent and shatterproof. My vision seems much clearer, and it's so nice not to have to look past that intrusive smear of crazy glue. Still, this time I'm wiser, and I'm keeping my damaged glasses as backup, should disaster strike. And I also have a glasses case which I will take with me to protect my glasses whenever I need to take them off.
R.J. Anderson is now the proud mother of a baby boy after a labour which must have been a record for its brevity. Mind you, I think she deserves it, after reading the tales of her first son's delivery. Congratulations Rebecca and Horst!