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Microsoft's No Longer in Preview; Bye Hotmail

By - Source: Microsoft | B 17 comments

Hotmail users will be upgraded to Outlook by the summer.

The final days of the long-standing Hotmail service has begun, as on Tuesday Microsoft said that, the "world's fastest growing" email service, is now out of preview mode.

The Redmond company launched, described as a "modern email service", as a preview client last summer. Microsoft said it has been "humbled" by the fast pace of adoption since the launch, as more than 60 million people have started actively using the service in just over six months. It's a brand new email service from the ground up, the company claims, all the way from the data center to the user experience.

"Today is a major milestone in our mission to provide people everywhere with the world's best email experience," said Outlook's David Law, Director of Product Management. "You'll also see us kick off a large-scale marketing effort around the world to show that can get you going.  And because we're confident that is the best email service available for consumers and ready to scale to a billion people, we'll soon start to upgrade hundreds of millions of Hotmail users to the new experience."

Law said that all people using Hotmail should be "upgraded" by the summer (didn't Microsoft say something similar about Messenger users migrating to Skype?). This upgrade should be seamless and instant, and won't require a new email address, password, vacation replies or rules. Everything will stay the same on a user settings level, but the interface will be different, described as "fresh and intuitive" with lots of new features and better performance.

"Throughout the preview, we learned a tremendous amount from seeing how people used the service," Law said. "Early adopters have told us what they liked, what they'd like to see next, and what we needed to do to make more people switch.  And we've used that to add new features and fine-tune the services to scale."

Hotmail was one of the first web-based email services, launched back in July 1996 as "HoTMaiL" by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith. Microsoft acquired the service in 1997 for around $400 million, then renamed it as MSN Hotmail. Eventually it was rebranded as Windows Live Hotmail and then finally Microsoft Hotmail. Services include unlimited storage, Messenger integration, file hosting and more.


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  • 1 Hide
    victorintelr , February 19, 2013 4:44 PM
    I've had this service since we had 3MB for everything, how times changes!
    Now, Microsoft says that they heard what the early adopters had to say..... As long as they don't neglect it like with Windows 8 (don't get me wrong, I like windows 8 but still miss the Start Button) the service should do fine.
  • 3 Hide
    jhansonxi , February 19, 2013 4:51 PM
    It's not bad but I don't see any compelling reason to switch from Gmail. I suspect that most of the "60 million" are either existing Hotmail users or companies that decided to not run their on Exchange server.

    I also don't really care about the relative privacy issues between the various webmail services. If your emails are not encrypted then assume they're not private. Encryption is much more effective than ethics.
  • 2 Hide
    itchyisvegeta , February 19, 2013 4:58 PM
    I like my Hotmail. It is no longer no 1, so people don't try to hack it as much. My hotmail hasn't been hacked since 1998..... that I know of.
  • Display all 17 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    egmccann , February 19, 2013 4:59 PM
    Heh, I've had Hotmail since before Microsoft owned it. Don't really care about the interface - everything comes in via Thunderbird anyway.
  • -4 Hide
    rocknrollz , February 19, 2013 5:04 PM
    Outlook started out good, and I thought they had finally fixed the spam issue. My box is full of thousands of spam messages.
  • 0 Hide
    ven1ger , February 19, 2013 5:07 PM
    Never cared for Hotmail especially since it was heavily used by spammers awhile ago. Figured best not to use an email service that gave free rein to spammers back then, may have been changed now but old habits die hard, and gmail serves readily as a personal email.
  • 0 Hide
    memadmax , February 19, 2013 6:51 PM
    Been using it since the dawn of time.
    Haven't used webpage interface to pull mail off the server anymore, use outlook 2010 to do that. And by the looks of it, it seems like I will be using 2010 for quite a while... Oh well.. If it works good, don't fix it till it breaks!
  • 1 Hide
    dextermat , February 19, 2013 6:59 PM
    I think instead of forcing outlook down our throats, they should keep the look and option of hotmail and just change the name. Since they claim it's just the "look" that changed. I got a few costumers that are totally lost with windows 8 and the integration of outlook online. Deleting contacts is now weird because you have to left click in the empty space beside the name of the contact. It's just get counter intuitive.
  • 0 Hide
    cknobman , February 19, 2013 7:53 PM
    I really like the new outlook mail. I am slowly transitioning traffic over to that email as I prefer the interface over gmail.
  • 0 Hide
    puddleglum , February 19, 2013 8:22 PM
    I started out with hotmail and it was great. Then Microsoft bought it and it went down the tubes within weaks. Something about forcing them to stop using Linux and start using Windows. They eventually gave up on that and brought it back on BSD, but by then I was long gone trying out other email services.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , February 19, 2013 10:07 PM
    rocknrollzOutlook started out good, and I thought they had finally fixed the spam issue. My box is full of thousands of spam messages.

    No offence, but you cannot fix stupid. has a great spam filter, but if you go out and put your email address out there for every gimmick on the web then you will get flooded with spam, it is just the way it is. I use Gmail as my primary acct, and even though that has superb spam filtering and blocking, I still get ~50 spam messages a day simply because I have used it for so long. I love the new though. I may switch over to it as my primary, but for the moment I am just using it to manage a few calendars.
  • 0 Hide
    Soda-88 , February 19, 2013 11:08 PM
    rocknrollzOutlook started out good, and I thought they had finally fixed the spam issue. My box is full of thousands of spam messages.

    That's your fault, not Microsofts. Don't click on every link you come across and you should be nearly spam-free.
  • 1 Hide
    beayn , February 20, 2013 1:19 AM
    Soda-88That's your fault, not Microsofts. Don't click on every link you come across and you should be nearly spam-free.
    It really only takes one, then your email address spreads across all the spam mailing lists out there. I've had my yahoo mail since 1997 and it is probably on every spam mailing list out there even though I use my hotmail for everything that might be spam.

    Luckily Yahoo has a good spam filter.
  • 0 Hide
    cjlindman , February 20, 2013 2:00 AM
    i really like, but i refuse to switch over until they get some damn IMAP support. it's absurd that i can't use my email in microsoft outlook. (don't even mention POP3.)
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 20, 2013 2:48 AM
    It is not absurd, if you own the MSFT stock. How else do you think they will earn money from Exchange? Because of the feature set?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 20, 2013 3:14 AM

    Outlook is a program not a service, how Microsoft at anytime almost basically if at all would find the interest to say is a good one is to say the placed interest of such for that of either is left to no more of for any use to and of such to have all for any is to say any is used for all at a time.

    Basically how they have come up with the idea it is a good one is anyones guess probably to say at a time. Or just a good idea to say it is, cause seems towards the interest of not of.

    Sounds like some sort of scam honestly last I knew of one for what they was called, and that saying at a time Microsoft had never even say wrote the "book" for the topic of interest.

    But hey, can always change what there is of use and say it is always of use for what there is for a change.

    Basically I woulnd't save anything for something to say it was saved for either. But for backup least Outlook is probably feature full of in terms of for on to with in regards of a service for a use of to say at a time.

    As for spam, is like saying at a time the interest of use for actually changes. Only thing thats changes is what you use at a time, probably no more and/or no less. Which probably doesn't make any sense, but with what there is to read for whatever it is is to say that does at times. How would anything for a difference not be for the same??
  • 0 Hide
    jerrspud , February 20, 2013 1:23 PM
    sill need a M$ service for xbox and
    Gmail for Android
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