Video Email: Hotmail Releases HTML5 Acceptance in the Inbox

Last Updated July 20th, 2011

Great news! Hotmail has been upgrading and using HTML5 to leverage more function into their services and inbox features. With Hotmail holding down Microsoft’s web-based email services – claiming 17% of market share against the other larger ISP’s (Gmail and Yahoo!) it’s wonderful to see a technology push that helps video into the inbox. BombBomb is especially excited to see email marketers already banging on the new updates and testing video in the inbox.


Litmus tested today with BombBomb (thank you Justine and team) that showed BombBomb partially working in the inbox, Captain Inbox looked it, Campaign Monitor sniffed at it, and a few others have dabbled. We almost popped the bubbly and bought Ferraris, but there was still something missing from the features needed to play the video – all of the controls.


We looked at it a bit and found this:

HTML5 coded needed to control the video

video width=”480″ height=”270″ poster=”” controls=”controls” id=”79235fb9-373d-bd00-c2e0-4d3ce5fcbe08″ >

What Hotmail delivers

 video width=”480″ height=”270″ poster=” It’s gone id=”ecx79235fb9-373d-bd00-c2e0-4d3ce5fcbe08″>


What the Video Email Heck?

Further research into Hotmail’s HTML5 adoption showed that there’s really no mention of “video” per-se in their outreach to intrigued followers. While having an HTML5 capable inbox does lend itself to leveraging video they removed one of the major tags for usability in regard to having video in the email. Why? (Looking at you Microsoft)


What seems to be most appropriate for Microsoft’s affinity for HTML5 is what they ARE talking about:


Usability updates and easier user migration from competitors


Updating SkyDrive with HTML5 to make it faster and more robust


HTML5 driven “Offline Storage”

  • ” The Softies are working on an HTML5 version of Hotmail with something that few people understand the consequences of: offline storage,” my contact said. “They are planning on replacing the Windows Live Mail client with it.”


This appears to be a race between Gmail and Hotmail for a better inbox performance for their users.


Making Hotmail 10x faster – “Instant Email”

After the HTML5 addition to SkyDrive, Microsoft testing showed this:

Hotmail Performance

Open message Dec ’10 – 3.3 seconds, June ’11 – 0.18 seconds

Delete message Dec ’10 – 3.1 seconds, June ’11 – 0.14 seconds

Compose new message Dec ’10 – 4.3 seconds, June ’11 – 0.20 seconds



HTML5 is a smaller part of a bigger initiative


Conclusion: Video in Hotmail

It’s possible, but underwhelming at best right now.


Throw us a bone Hotmail! I use Outlook, work with a Toshiba laptop, I ‘ve had a Hotmail addy forever, but since iOS just passed you up in email client usage this could get you back. We may even reduce the amount of iDevice images on our website if you all could formally release something about how “friggin’ awesome” video in Hotmail is.


In the end, it’s a great step in the right direction for email geeks, interactive marketers, ISP’s and ultimately the user. We just need to be patient and cross our fingers that an announcement from Microsoft comes sooner-than-later about having a more full-featured video in the inbox solution.


Until then; stay thirsty my friends.

Try BombBomb Free for 14 Days.

Viva la Email.


Ethan Beute

Ethan Beute | About The Author

Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, co-author of Rehumanize Your Business, and host of The Customer Experience Podcast, Ethan collects and tells stories of clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion with simple, personal videos. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Fresh air & clean water.