Microsoft Replaces Hotmail With Outlook.com
Microsoft says Outlook.com will make it easier to organise messages and interact with social networks
Microsoft is ditching its Hotmail webmail service in favour of Outlook.com, claiming it will be easier to organise inboxes and interact with contacts on social networks.
Outlook.com will “re-imagine” webmail, according to Microsoft, offering the most radical changes to its user since Hotmail was first introduced in 1996, adding that email is becoming less and less useful as inboxes become cluttered with newsletters and other updates.
The preview of Outlook.com is being launched today, with users able to move over to the new service by clicking ‘upgrade’ in the options menu of their Hotmail account.
“You already know Outlook via the Outlook desktop application-for PCs and Macs-as the world’s most popular application for reading email, managing a calendar, and connecting to people,” said Microsoft in a blog post. “And you may have used the Outlook Web App connected to Exchange Server in your organization. Now, in addition to a desktop application and a service for businesses, we’re offering Outlook as a personal email service – Outlook.com.”
Outlook.com has been designed “cloud-first” so that mail is accessible on PCs, tablets and smartphones and using ActiveSync to share calendars and contacts across devices.
A new user interface has 60 percent fewer pixels and there are 30 percent more messages visible in the inbox, while there are no display adverts or large search boxes. Emails are sorted automatically, with messages from contacts, newsletters and social updates all separated.
Social integration is a key feature of the new service and Outlook.com will connect with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and eventually Skype, the Microsoft-owned VoIP application. It also worked with the Outlook desktop application and attachments can be added through Microsoft Office Web Apps.
Microsoft promises that users will be in control over what personal information is shared and to which networks. Once upgraded, users will still be able to receive and send emails on their @hotmail.com, @live.com and @msn.com addresses in addition to their new @outlook.com address.
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