NEW DELHI, INDIA: Hotmail, one of the first web-baed email services, is all set to get replaced by Outlook.com. Microsoft has announced that Outlook.com is coming out of beta testing and is now ready for primetime, according to a report on ABC News. The report also mentions that The service, which was announced last July, now has 60 million users and will soon replace Hotmail.
Hotmail was founded by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith and launched in July 1996 as “HoTMaiL”. It was acquired by Microsoft in 1997 for an estimated $400 million, and shortly after, it was rebranded as “MSN Hotmail”. Some of the features of Outlook.com are that users can link up with their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts, to see the latest updates from friends and contacts. Online chat is available via Facebook.
According to Microsoft, the new service automatically detects mass messages and puts them in separate folders. Users can customize the process to sort out the mails in any way they want. This could help users get rid of the junk mail.
Also, the new mail service allows easy use of Microsoft’s Internet-based products, such as SkyDrive for storing documents, Office Web Apps for working away from a PC and will eventually have Skype video chat built-in.
The Outlook.com preview was made available to users and Hotmail users were given an option to upgrade to Outlook.com by clicking on the ‘Upgrade’ button in the options menu of Hotmail. Microsoft said that all the details of users’ email account would remain unchanged, and that users can experience sending/receiving emails and all the new features of Outlook.com through their existing account.
However, from the comments left on the blog of Outlook, seems like some users aren’t entirely satisified with Outlook and were more content with Hotmail. ”Don’t upgrade! I was forced to upgrade, and it’s the most illogical thing I’ve ever seen them do!!! I hate Outlook’s layout, colors, settings…everything,” says a user of Outlook.com.
”This new application is awful on any machine with even a slightly older browser. My work browser and my home browser now can only run the “Mobile” version, which, as you all are aware, gives a very poor user experience on a desktop computer. I have had a Hotmail account since the mid-90’s. I have been happy with Hotmail as it was. It was flexible and performed well across platforms and browsers, whether I checked email on someone else’s computer, in foreign country, or my own. This experience is not an “upgrade.” If the system requires all the latest whiz-bang gadgets, why? It’s just email. All it needs to display is a list of emails and their content. No need to make it a new fragile, complicated, browser-dependent system. How can I get Hotmail’s flexible and easily to use interface back?” says another. There are several other users who have commented on similar lines.
That said, nothing can be determined until the users are completely switched over to Outlook.com. However, what is your opinion on Outlook.com? Do you agree with the user comments above? Or do you like Outlook.com and all its new features? Let us know.