According to comScore figures, Hotmail from Microsoft was still the leading online email system as of June, with around 324 million users or about 36% of the global market. However, they have been losing market share, primarily to Google’s Gmail. Hotmail was launched in 1996, and there hasn’t been a lot of work done on it since then.
“A lot has changed in the last eight years, and we think it’s time for a fresh look at e-mail,” Chris Jones, Microsoft’s corporate vice-president of Windows Live wrote in a blogpost.
The Hotmail service has been renamed to Outlook, a name that will be very familiar to those in the corporate market. The site now has a much cleaner look and feel to it, as well as the ability to easily integrate with social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Hotmail users will slowly be transitioned across, but if you want to start using it now, you can log into Hotmail and convert your account manually.
The nice thing is that if you convert now, you can also create new alias accounts on the @outlook domain that either come into your “old” Hotmail inbox or into a new inbox viewable from the Outlook web client (click on the picture above, and you can see I’ve got my Hotmail inbox and an @outlook.com inbox). Note you can only setup 5 alias, so choose carefully 🙂
I’m fairly ingrained in the Googleverse, but for long time Hotmail users, hopefully some of these new features will breath a new lease on life into Hotmail….ummm Outlook 🙂