Skip to comments.Microsoft replacing Hotmail with its new Outlook product
Posted on 08/04/2012 10:36:54 PM PDT by Cronos
Are you a Hotmail user? Microsoft announced a new email service that will replace Hotmail, a product that boasts 325 million customers. Further, the company hopes to woo new users away from Gmail, which is now the most popular email service.
Microsoft named the new product Outlook, after its existing email for business users. Thats right, the one youve probably been using at the office.
There was a perception gap with Hotmail from tech enthusiasts and youth, Windows Live general manager Brian Hall told VentureBeat, a highly regarded tech website. Many of them wouldnt take a second look at Hotmail and they would say, I dont feel comfortable having this next to my name. Halls sentiment is easy to understand in an online world where emails labeled hot can be risky.
People understand Outlook is mail from Microsoft, so we thought this branding made sense, Hall said.
Web-based email was first introduced with Hotmail in 1996. Back then, it was novel to have a personal email address you could keep for life one that was separate from your business or Internet service provider.
Eight years later, Google introduced Gmail, which included 1 GB of storage and inbox search. And while Gmail and other webmail services have added some features since then, not much has changed in webmail over the last few years.
While the new Outlook has many of the more modern features that Microsoft has built into Hotmail, such as the ability to clean up your inbox by sweeping unwanted emails out of the way, the new service does much more. For some, the social media integration may be overwhelming, but most will find the spare layout refreshing and the spam tools effective.
Its worth a try. Microsoft has made a preview version available for download at www.outlook.com.
Alternately, if you have a Hotmail account, you can log in and then select Upgrade.
If youre starting fresh, youll be asked for the usual information, including name, phone number (used to send you a one-time passcode in case you forget your password) and an alternate email address or a security question.
For better security, choose a 12-character password. Microsoft suggests you forward your Gmail or other account messages to your new Outlook account, but Id wait until you settle on a primary email account, especially if youre a Yahoo user the company charges $20 a year for forwarding.
With your new @outlook.com account, youll receive free Word, Excel, and Power-Point web apps built in, along with 7 GB of cloud storage.
Microsoft says your personal conversations arent used for ads a direct jab at Google that does use email to serve up ads that relate to your messages. Outlook is designed to be used on a PC, Mac, phone, and tablet, so that your account syncs across all of the devices you might use for email.
Your inbox will feel familiar. However, to reveal new features, hover your mouse over the word Outlook in the upper left corner of the window and then click on the down arrow that appears. Voila! You can now explore People, Calendar and SkyDrive (Microsofts online storage and syncing center).
People is the place to connect other networks that youve joined with your new Outlook account. The advantage to doing this is that youll be able to see all of your updates in one place without jumping from one site to another.
You can connect to Face-book, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and soon, Skype. And remember, the social connections are entirely optional and can be reversed if you find you dont like them.
Calendar and SkyDrive have not yet been updated from Hotmail. For now, youll have to hit the back arrow to return to Outlook. Ill skip these sections until theyve received their makeovers.
Returning to email, Microsoft has included handy categories for classifying your messages, such as bills, documents, family, important and photos, along with the ability to make up your own. You can opt to add any of your categories to the Quick View menu found under the standard folders.
One very welcome feature is Unsubscribe that appears on the bottom of every newsletter email you receive. Microsoft estimated that about half of emails in a typical users inbox are newsletters, so if its time for a clean-up, you can do it in one click.
I’m perfectly happy with my hotmail account that I’ve been using since 1998. I don’t need to always be “upgrading” to something “better.”
Will all the messages, contacts and what not in my hotmail account be automatically saved to the new Outlook service? If not, this will suck.
Its user interface, both old and new, is lousy. For instance, the inbox listing only uses about two thirds of the vertical pixels available on my monitor to list messages (for those of you in Rio Linda, the purpose of an inbox listing is to list the messages in the inbox the more the better).
I also use indiatimes.com for semi-junk. It's cool in that the URL isn't an obvious web mail account. The ads are sometimes interesting.
I use Gmail for my main account. It has a spam filter to die for. And it's just ... easy.
You're probably OK there. I clicked to switch the the new interface just for fun I have tons of stuff stored on Hotmail, but absolutely nothing important and I noticed no significant change just a slightly less busy UI.
MS would be in deep doo-doo if their change stranded existing Hotmail users. I would just laugh. But many users would be screwed blue and royally tatooed!
While I hate to say this, IMO Hotmail would still be big if Microsoft had not gotten hold of it. They messed it up with their typical control freak mentality.
IMO, Microsoft lost their way back with the Netscape debacle. They need to get back to "build a BETTER mouse trap" ideology instead of "we are going to have the ONLY mouse trap", which is not going to happen.
One “account” I use is mailinator.com. It is a completely open account, so anyone can just check anyone else’s email without passwords, but it is great for making up a temporary email account name to log onto a site. For example if you need an email to read a full article, just make up a mailinator name, give it, look for any confirmation email there and then forget you ever had the account. The also keep a pool of other domain names for those sites than reject mailinator addresses.
I’m glad I have my own domain. I pity folks who have to change their e-mail address every few years. And business cards, all your friends’ address books, letterheads, etc., etc....
my outlook still show the ugly links to MSM and Live at the top left. Anyone know how to get those removed
Re: Mailinator...ditto that. It’s a great and free service.
I'll have to give them a try.
A lot of times, when I hit a registration box, I have no idea if I have an account, so I attempt to register with my Hotmail address. Half the time I get in with no problem. Sometimes, I get in and get redirected to one of those account profile pages. This is usually because I first registered years ago from a totally different computer, browser, ISP, etc., and they've long since expanded their notion of a user beyond just a name and password. So, I have to make up additional personal details, such as zip code, birth date, etc. As if they are important enough to need a user base with such details. They fail to realize that the only reason I'm back is that they happened to score high in a Google SERP.
What really annoys me is these sites that want you to fill out a survey about the quality of the site. You only just landed there because of a SERP, and they want you to fill out a survey about your user experience?? What morons!
And if you use Firefox with Gmail SMTP you will never see any ads.
Yep, I’ve had my own domain for a few years. It’s my primary email while Gmail is used for anything that might draw spam.
Their assumption that Hotmail will approach the reputation of Outlook. With Ballmer’s track record, that is less likely than that Outlook will approach the reputation of Hotmail.
Gmail gives me 10 gig of storage and it's searchable, but their folder setup is really primitive so there's not really an easy way to organize emails.
But I'm tired of their information digging like they own my life and everything in it and I just borrow the information from them from time to time.
I'm thinking of mail.com. They have a system so that you can connect up a dozen email accounts all in one. You can also get a vanity address system. My email over there is firstname.lastname@example.org. They got like 40 different email addresses like the usa.com that can be used. but they ARE pretty heavy on the advertising.
Hotmail has more users than every other webmail product, despite everyone claiming that they never use theirs.
6 million people signed up to use Outlook on its first day.
Conclusion: Hotmail is dead, and was always a terrible product?
Just more typical Microsoft bashing.
Another way to steal information about us so they can do more and send more ADS.
Replacing one overly complex, nearly obsolete thing with another is always a show-stopper.
Outlook is a client software, not an email system.
I had a hotmail address once. For thirty days. It had been deleted when I went back around day 35, and never bothered with it afterward.