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.
At 04:53:55 in HeadlinesIran has cut state subsidies on petrol in a move that saw prices rise at midnight by up to 75%.
At 04:41:10 in HeadlinesUS President Barack Obama is in Seoul for a visit that comes amid concern that North Korea may be planning a fourth nuclear test.
At 04:36:51 in BusinessConsumer prices in Tokyo rose at their fastest pace in 22 years in April, surging 2.7% from a year earlier, according to preliminary data.
At 04:10:36 in BusinessEd Miliband will unveil plans to tackle the "epidemic" of zero-hours contracts in a speech in Scotland later.
At 03:47:29 in HeadlinesBolivia's military chiefs have ordered the dismissal of more than 700 troops who have been protesting to demand better working conditions.
At 03:35:43 in WorldWith the World Cup just six weeks away and the Olympics on the horizon, social dysfunction in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro is subject to increasing international scrutiny.
At 03:28:21 in HeadlinesUK science is to get one of the biggest, most capable polar research vessels in the world.
At 03:22:33 in EnglandAs Liverpool fans dare to dream of a first league title in 24 years the club has revealed its own lofty plans for their ground.
At 03:10:58 in PoliticsPeople in Scotland will decide in September whether the country should become independent. A Yes vote would mean changes at Westminster, starting with the number of MPs:
At 02:53:41 in HeadlinesBrazilian police have clashed with residents of a Rio de Janeiro shantytown that was hit by deadly protests on Tuesday.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Hotmail replaced by Outlook.com in Microsoft shake-up [Online] (Updated 31st Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1443790/Hotmail-replaced-by-Outlook-com-in-Microsoft-shake-up [Accessed 25th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Iran has cut state subsidies on petrol in a move that saw prices rise at midnight by up to 75%.
Ten candidates will be vying for three European parliament seats in Northern Ireland, it has been confirmed.
Consumer prices in Tokyo rose at their fastest pace in 22 years in April, surging 2.7% from a year earlier, according to preliminary data.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone made his first appearance in a Munich court on Thursday, accused of giving a £27.5m ($45m, 33m euros) bribe to a German banker.
A 15 year-old girl has been cut free after becoming trapped in a children's swing in a park in Denbighshire.