Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Adventure 24

CoolHotmail - The Revolution Begins

There have been a host of exciting innovations ever since the Internet became popular in India in the late '90s. Propelled by the dot com boom, the internet truly became the harbinger of an egalitarian society, with the tastes of almost every section of society being reflected in some website or the other. There were and are several portals to cater to every taste possible ranging from friendly chat rooms which promoted the free flow of ideas to the contest portals which made sure that everyone could win exciting prizes by exploiting their general knowledge and/or analytical prowess. This post describes the unique features of one such innovation that promises to take the business of free email into the next dimension.

Sabeer Bhatia's success with Hotmail was a milestone for Internet entrepreneurs the world over. Today, Microsoft has ensured that Hotmail shall at last enter the new millennium, with a distinctly jazzy new avatar called CoolHotmail. Actually now it basically ensures that no two peoples can be having the same bloody email ID. Its a real cool thing, bcoz, basically its gonna give us individuality, na? The funda behind this concept is basically so that guyz n gurlz can reflect their ideaz n tastes thru their distinctive email address. Lets check out d features...it's like...real kewl...

What if ur a cool guy? or wanna be known as a sizzling gal? Don't worry dear...CoolHotmail provides real good variety of addresses, which, basically, cover all aspects of the current yo generation culture. Lets say, for example, ur name is Raj, and basically ur a Shah Rukh fan. U take care to emulate all his mannerisms, including the latest style that can be seen in Pepsi ad. Basically, u wanna ID that will reflect ur true allegiance to the Shah Rukhian School of thought. Not to worry, all u need to do is create the ID raj_1986@clubsrk.in. Simple na? Lets explore more...

Ur basically from...lets say...Delhi, ok? And ur based in Bangalore, where ur basically into IT job, like SQL, PL/SQL, Struts and etc. U really miss those malls of GK, the magic of Friday night at Priya or simply the thrills of travelling by Blueline buses. Basically, South India is is quite boring. How do you bond with like-minded people? Now its real easy man, with the ID of kunal_chikna@delhirocks.com, ur sure to hit the dance floor as easily as you update a row using Oracle Forms!

Ladies not to worry. U have not been ignored my Microsoft. Imagine urself to be name is Silpa, and ur real sizzling. Ur in fact in the mood for some timepass with , say rahul_1986@clubsrk.in. U wanna draw his attention, and now u need a catchy email ID rite? not to worry - may we suggest silpa_2hot4u@iamsizzling.in? Yeah, that should basically keep all d guyz real suspensed na?

There are plenty of other really exciting domain names to choose from. Imagine the the kind of mileage that yeddyurappa@bornleader.co.in would derive while applying for a managerial post that looks for out-of-the-box thinking. Or the kind of macho man image that is conjured up by the thought of prasad.bidapa@rugbyrocks.in. The camaraderie between varun_iitjee4355@dpsonline.in and nitesh_kotaguy@dpsonline.in would be instant, with Nitesh getting valuable tips on how to crack that really tough Irodov problem.

With the revolutionary concept of CoolHotmail, Microsoft has managed to get a hand to the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The opportunities are immense. The email address of an individual speaks volumes about her personality, likes, dislikes, cultural background, etc. This eliminates the need for sophisticated algorithms like the ones used by Gmail to direct relevant text-based ads to the user, after parsing their mail. Using the domain-indicates-specific-keywords-for-advertising approach, Microsoft as managed to kill two birds with one stone. Now, apart from eliminating the need for high-level research into algorithms to decide what ads the reader must receive, they also address the security concerns inherent to the controversial approaches followed by Google.

CoolHotmail still leaves a lot to be desired though. The choice of domain names leaves a lot of people disappointed. How about registering a few choices for Kannada superstars Upendra and Dr. Rajkumar? Why have the fans of Dev Saab and Mithun da been ignored? There should be special domains for CAT aspirants, GRE candidates, Beer addicts and people who love table tennis and carom. Also, why are there no domains called thiruvananthapuramrocks.in or iliveinkolhapur.com? There seems to be a general bias towards some states that Microsoft seriously needs to redress, failing which it could lose a large chunk of potential users.

Summing it up, CoolHotmail seems to be the idea of the future. Wonder how long it takes for competitors like Gmail, Indiatimes, Rediffmail and Yahoo to join the race for the coolest and snazziest domains, and give Microsoft a real run for their money.