What Do You Mean My Address Book Is Full?!?

For many years, I’ve been a paying customer for Hotmail.  Now this isn’t as big a benefit as it used to be, but still, I like the service I get, and usually don’t have any issues.  Tonight, after sending an email, I tried to use the “Add Contact” feature, and was denied.  Instead of the expected result, I got the following:


This prompted me to check how many contacts I’ve got squirreled away.  Evidently, I’ve accumulated 999 contacts.  While I admit that it’s a lot, every one of those contacts was added for a reason, and now Windows Live Hotmail is telling me that I have to purge something if I want to continue adding contacts.

Now I’m in total agreement that my Address Book could use some serious spring cleaning, but I don’t like being forced into it.  Besides that, my current “Mailbox Usage” is resting at 6% of 4GB used.  This is not a space issue.  This is an arbitrary limit that was placed on Hotmail.  My question is: What is the functional or business requirement that caused them to set this limit at 999?  Basically, this tells power users and communicators that if they have more than 999 legitimate contacts, then Hotmail isn’t good enough for them.