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Microsoft Launches New Email Service Called Outlook to Replace Hotmail

Andi Miftachul - 1 August 2012

Microsoft today launched a brand new email service to replace its aging one, Hotmail. The company decided to use the name Outlook which had previously been used as the name for its email software. It's as if Microsoft is signifying the change from desktop-based to web-based business.

Instead of updating Hotmailm which according to Engadget has had a bad reputation even for Microsoft, it launched Outlook.com. The ad-laden interface of Hotmail, including video ads, will not appear on Outlook. The new site offers a more modern and of course, cleaner interface.

CNet calls Outlook's interface Windows 8-like, from the font to the People Hub which is an address book that stores people's contact details including their Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. If someone who is listed in your People Hub sends you an email, you'll be able to see their Facebook update or their tweets from within Outlook.

Outlook is also integrated with Microsoft's other services. If Gmail has Google Drive to store files and attachments, Outlook has SkyDrive. Microsoft is giving away virtually unlimited storage for Outlook [but 7GB in SkyDrive as per normal -Ed].

Outlook users can also open and edit Word and Excel documents online using Office 365 just like Gmail does with Google Docs. Video calls are served using Skype which Microsoft acquired last year.

Naturally Outlook will not be "free" because it will serve ads when they people use the service but Microsoft has pledged that it will not display ads based on the contents of email conversations. Unlike Gmail, Outlook will not scan user emails to determine ads that will be displayed.

According to Wall Street Journal, 350 million active Hotmail users will have first dibs in switching their service from Hotmail to Outlook. They will receive the same usernames as their Hotmail usernames and all emails sent to their Hotmail account will be redirected to the new Outlook address. The preview period began today.

 

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