Hotmail Gets a New Look

Thursday, June 3, 2010 Leave a Comment

Windows Live Hotmail (http://mail.live.com). the second most popular webmail service after Yahoo Mail with 360 million users worldwide, will get a significant makeover this summer. Though Microsoft hasn't specified an exact launch date yet. the company has revealed that the new Hotmail will have a very different look and feel, and will include a number of features that should make it easier to use.

According to Microsoft, the new Windows Live Hotmail will "address the needs of the modern Inbox" by letting people access the service and all its features, no matter where they are or what device they are using. The aim is that whether you are using your netbook on a crowded train or working on an outdated computer in an internet cafe abroad, you can do everything in Hotmail that you would be able to do on your home PC - all you need is a web-enabled device with a browser.

Messenger integration

The new Hotmail integrates Windows Live Messenger, which has long been seen as a resource hog for low-powered computers, so you can access it within the browser, without having to have the Messenger software installed. Not only does this free up resources so the PC can run faster, but you get the full functionality of the new version of Messenger, including tabbed

Photo sharing

Although there are plenty of services that let you share photos on the web. many people still prefer to use email. This can create problems when you want to send several large images, but the new Hotmail offers a solution. You simply attach the photos and send them as you would in a normal email, but the recipient will receive only thumbnails of the images, along with a link to a special SkyDrive (http://skydrive.live.com) 25GB storage box. By clicking the link, the recipient can access the photos. They won't need to have any image-viewing software installed, either, because it's all done in the browser.


Many of the messages we receive are not spam as such, but they aren't top priority either - newsletters, for example. In the new Hotmail, it is possible to sweep" these messages up and place them in a separate folder, leaving your Inbox clear for more important things. Simply check the box next to one of the emails, select Sweep and every email from that sender will be moved into the folder of your choice.

Conversation View

The new Conversation View feature lets you see all linked messages together on one page in chronological order, as you can with rival Gmail. Its aim is to stop your Inbox getting clogged up by emails that form part of the same conversation.

Other features

Eight billion messages are sent to and from Hotmail accounts every day so keeping spam to a minimum is an important consideration. Microsoft's David Law claims that only 4 per cent of the messages that actually make it through to Hotmail Inboxes are spam and that the company is continuing its efforts to reduce this number. Integration with other Microsoft products is a key feature in the new Windows Live Hotmail. As well as Windows Live Messenger within the Hotmail interface, applications from the Office suite have been integrated as well. This means you can edit documents created in Word and Excel within Hotmail, even if you don't have those programs installed on the PC you are using. Of course, you can't access every single function of Word or Excel within Hotmail but, for editing documents on the move, could prove incredibly useful.


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