Microsoft will place the new Outlook.com as a competior against similar services such as GMail and Yahoo Mail, especially the former to take it on in the web space
BANGALORE, INDIA: The launch of Microsoft Outlook.com, the company's new web-based e-mail service replacing Hotmail, has finally put an end to the speculations about Microsoft's plans for its 16 year old e-mail service.
The news that the software giant has finally decided to pull the plug from its old web-based mail service, bought from Sabir Bhatia for $400 million, does not come as a surprise after having seen what all it did to revive the e-mail service to suit to the present scenario.
Microsoft will place the new Outlook.com as a competitor against similar web-services such as GMail and Yahoo Mail, especially the former, to take them on in the web space, notes Chris Jones, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Windows Live services on the company's official Outlook Blog.
"It offers the first major improvement to cloud mail in eight years. We think the time is right to re-imagine personal email, from the datacenter to the user experience," he adds.
This might be just the tip of the ice berg from the software giant who seems to have developed this new obsession with cloud. Following its recent announcements - Windows 8, Windows Phone and the latest Office products - all integrated with cloud, the all new Outlook.com is also a cloud based e-mail service.
Now, for those who might confuse the latest Outlook with the its old and existing Outlook desktop mail service, let us be clear that it is different from the Outlook via the Outlook desktop application for PCs and Macs used for reading e-mail, managing calendar, and connecting to people. It is also not the same as the Outlook Web App connected to Exchange Server in an organization.
And, now let us see what new features does the new Outlook.com bring along with.
1. New interface: Its fresh, clean user interface gets the clutter out of your way-the header has 60 per cent fewer pixels and there are 30 per cent more messages visible in your inbox than the webmail most people are used to.
2. Exchange ActiveSync: Outlook.com also uses Exchange ActiveSync, so it powers your mail, calendar and people experience on your smartphone, tablet, and the new Outlook 2013 Preview.
3. Social media connection: And so with the Outlook.com preview, we are giving you the first email service that is connected to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and soon, Skype, to bring relevant context and communications to your email.
The e-mail comes alive with photos of friends, recent status updates and Tweets that your friend has shared with you, the ability to chat and video call - all powered by an always up-to-date contact list that is connected to your social networks.
4. You are in control: Outlook.com users are in control of their experience - what they share, the networks they connect to, and their personal information.
5. Automatically sorts out messages: Outlook.com automatically sorts messages from contacts, newsletters, shipping updates, and social updates, and with our Sweep features you can move, delete and set up powerful rules in a few, simple clicks so you can more quickly get to the email you really want.
6. Office Web Apps: For people who also use e-mail to share photos and work together on documents. The Outlook includes free Office Web Apps -- Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote - which let you view and edit attachments without leaving your inbox.
7. SkyDrive: Outlook.com comes with SkyDrive. If you are sending photos, documents, or just about any other file, you can now put them on SkyDrive and stop worrying about attachment limits.
8. Exchange ActiveSync: It enables Outlook.com users' mail, calendar and people experience on to your smartphone, tablet, and the new Outlook 2013 Preview.
So are the 350 million Hotmail users ready to migrate?