Hotmail was released in 1996 and Microsoft bought it under one year later to re-brand it as their own and make it one of the largest used e-mail services in the world. In fact it held the throne as the top service for years and in fact was still considered the top used e-mail service in 2010 according to comScore.
Its popularity has largely declined over the past few years in the tech, geek, and young adult communities as GMail has risen in popularity but it still has a large user base. With Microsoft’s re-branding of Windows that is coming with 8 it appears it was time to also re-brand its main e-mail service. While Hotmail.com is still alive and well it is slowly being transitioned to a very Metro styled Outlook.com.
“We think that email can do a lot better than webmail. We decided it was time for a change.”
While it allows you to login with your hotmail credentials it also prompts to allow you to keep your existing address or quite easily setup a new outlook.com e-mail address with the service.
The interface is extremely intuitive for anyone who is used to the current trend of applications and it’s extremely easy to link it to existing social network accounts.
The new interface is reflected primarily through its web format though it can also be accessed through Exchange ActiveSynch and POP3. It’s created fully in a style to be compatible with Windows 8 Metro interface and its beauty shines through. Easy to use, easy to navigate and perfectly executed.
It allows you to easily switch between mail, calender, social friends and its SkyDrive feature. It’s absolutely a step in the right direction for the unifying Single Login that is becoming the necessity of computing everywhere.
Outlook is taking the Metro interface seriously by giving it 30% more room for messages compared to other major web clients and streamlines the interface to be easily used on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. It’s made with touch in mind though is just as easy to use with keyboard and mouse. Most importantly though is that unlike the old look of Hotmail there are no longer advertisements plastered over the majority of the screen. There are still ads though they are no longer going to be distracting you from what you are actually logging in to do – check your e-mail.
Speaking of being on the go with the new Outlook it understands that you are not just e-mail. You are a social creature and it tries to blend that in with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and there will be a big push in the near future with Skype being directly interface. Also being about social in E-Mail shouldn’t mean you have to sort through all of the garbage that can come in. The new Outlook knows that and will actually sort your e-mail for you by contacts, newsletters, shipping updates, social updates, and more that you can setup on a whim. It’s the type of organization that everyone wants to have but few people pull off and this does it for you.