Microsoft formally launches Windows Live Hotmail this week, rolling out the new Web-based e-mail service to customers who are not already using it in beta mode. Nearly 20 million e-mail accounts are already using the new version, which has been in testing for the past two years. The balance of the 280 million active Hotmail accounts are invited to start using the successor to Microsoft’s hugely popular email service right now.
Since Hotmail initially debuted, Microsoft has faced an onslaught of competition from companies such as Google and Yahoo in the category Web-based e-mail.
What’s new in the latest version? Hotmail now feels more like a desktop e-mail program. Users can drag and drop messages into folders and view e-mail contents in a separate window.
Microsoft intends to make money from display advertising in Windows Live Hotmail. [24×7]
ZenZui Wows at WSA’s Tech “Idol”
Last weeks’s annual investment forum sponsored by the WSA, the Washington state technology-industry trade organization, brought together more than 19 startups to hit the right note while pitching their ideas to a judging panel of venture capitalists.
Competing on the strength of their new business concept, market approach and presentation, the art of making the VC deal can resembles a high tech version of American Idol as judges made up of VCs and local executives score each company.
Winner of the “Best Sales Pitch” and “Best and Brightest” was ZenZui, a Seattle company whose technology was recently spun out of Microsoft and is creating a new way to find content on a cellphone.
With only 10 minutes to make a persuasive presentation, co-founder John SanGiovanni managed to synthesize what seemed like 45 minutes of hard facts into his solo. Other winners for best funding and sales pitches included: FlowPlay, RIPL, Bag Borrow or Steal, Attenex and Mobile Semiconductor. [24×7]
Visual Perception Analysis Bows with
A new visual perception analysis from Visual Perception Analysis from Engine Interactive is helping clients to evaluate both information architecture, and the relational structure of the display of any online presence — whether it be a website, online advertising campaign or search campaign — determining whether the right information is in the right place with respect to preferred user and brand goals.
Based on years of research and the empirical study of how users visually process information, VPA modeling techniques can be applied throughout the life cycle of a project. For example, Isolating evaluates the amount of competing noise in the display by calculating how visually available a given element is on the page. Risk Profiling empirically evaluates the relative ease of access to site information and features in a matrix format that shows relative accessibility. [24×7]