Hotmail replaced by Outlook.com in Microsoft shake-up
Published: 31st Jul 2012 20:31:56
Microsoft is overhauling its free webmail service, dropping the Hotmail name it has used since acquiring the product in 1998, and renaming it Outlook.com.
The revamped service will help sort messages as they arrive and allow users to make internet calls on Skype.
It said the move would help tackle the problem of "cluttered" inboxes.
The move may also be designed to win over users of Google's rival Gmail service.
Microsoft said that in many cases email had become a "chore" because its users accounts had become "overloaded" with material.
Its solution is to automatically sort messages into different areas to distinguish between emails from contacts, newsletters, package delivery notices, social network posts and other identifiers determined by the account holder.
In addition it is taking steps to link the Outlook account with other services the user might have subscribed to.
"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 firm's Chris Jones said on its blog.
"In the Outlook.com inbox, your personal email comes alive with photos of your 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."
In what may be perceived as a dig at Google, Mr Jones added that the firm would not scan email content or attachments in order to sell the information to advertisers or others.
He also announced that web versions of the firms Office apps were built-in, potentially helping it counter competition from other web-based application suits such as Google Docs and Zoho Docs.
Outlook.com also links up with Microsoft's Skydrive cloud storage, allowing users to send photos and other documents via the service to avoid the risk of going over their attachment size limit.
This could pose a threat to the rival Google Drive service as well as Dropbox, Sugarsync and others.
Mr Jones said the firm had built a "brand new service from the ground up". But Matt Cain, an analyst at the tech consultants Gartner, played down the suggestion of a major leap forwards.
"Outlook.com represents reverse-consumerisation - taking a ubiquitous business tool and recrafting it for the consumer market," he told BBC.
"There really is no new technology here - the filtering tools have been around for some time as well as the social network integration.
"What is new is the cleaned up user interface, and the marketing spin, and the tight integration with office web apps and Skydrive, and the forthcoming integration with Skype."
Microsoft is offering the service in a "preview" mode for the time being and has not announced an official release date.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Hotmail replaced by Outlook.com in Microsoft shake-up. [Online] (Updated 31 Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/1443790-Hotmail-replaced-by-Outlook-com-in-Microsoft-shake-up [Accessed 12th May 2013]
At 23:03:26 in HeadlinesFormer Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif is celebrating with his supporters, amid early signs that his party will be the largest after parliamentary...
At 22:26:13 in HeadlinesBulgarian officials say they have seized 350,000 illegal ballot papers a day before parliamentary elections....
At 21:44:05 in HeadlinesGunmen demanding the expulsion of Gaddafi-era officials from Libya's new government appear to have lifted their siege of two ministries...
At 20:57:34 in HeadlinesFour former policemen who stood accused of failing to prevent the murder of Brazilian businessman Paulo Cesar Farias and his girlfriend have...
At 19:54:30 in PoliticsLord Mandelson has attacked Ed Miliband's attempt to rebrand Labour as the "One Nation" party....
At 19:47:33 in BusinessStruggling local post offices are facing an "extremely uncertain future", according to the people who run them....
At 19:37:49 in PoliticsLabour leader Ed Miliband has restated his opposition to David Cameron's position on an EU referendum....
At 19:15:21 in HeadlinesAn estimated seven million people in the UK currently provide unpaid care to a sick or disabled child or an adult who could not otherwise li...
At 18:19:32 in EnglandOne of the largest collections of Mahatma Gandhi memorabilia is to go on sale later this month....
At 17:35:01 in EnglandPlans to create a multi-million pound Chinese business park in London's Royal Docks have been revealed as the preferred option to redev...
News In Other Categories
The Scottish Liberal Democrats have chosen their candidate for the Aberdeen Donside by-election....
Falkland Islands police have asked the Met Police to investigate an allegation of sexual abuse by comedian Jim Davidson dating back about 30...
The introduction of energy smart meters in 30 million UK homes will be delayed for more than a year, the government has announced....
A memorial marking the 28th anniversary of the Bradford City football stadium fire, in which 56 people died, is to take place later....
A number of homes in Cookstown, County Tyrone, have been evacuated due to a bomb alert....
One of the largest collections of Mahatma Gandhi memorabilia is to go on sale later this month....