Corp. today announced that Windows Live Hotmail, the successor to MSN Hotmail,
has left the Beta phase and is now launching globally in 36 languages. The most
significant upgrade for Hotmail since it pioneered the webmail industry in 1996,
the new service has been built to be a vast improvement over the previous
Hotmail offering, having incorporated input from more than 20 million beta
testers. Windows Live Hotmail will deliver a safer, more powerful and productive
E-Mail experience than previous versions with flexible access via the Web, on a
mobile phone or with an E-Mail client. Microsoft also announced that later this
month Windows Live Hotmail customers will be able to access their Windows Live
Hotmail E-Mail and contacts for free using Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 or
Office Outlook 2007 via the new Microsoft Office Outlook Connector beta.
As Windows Live Hotmail begins rolling out on May 7 and continues over the
coming days, consumers will be able to visit http://www.hotmail.com to sign up
for a new Windows Live Hotmail account. Current MSN Hotmail customers can also
update their existing account to Windows Live Hotmail by logging into their
account and clicking on the green Join Windows Live Hotmail button.
"We're thrilled to deliver Windows Live Hotmail to the more than 280
million active MSN Hotmail accounts around the world," said Steve Berkowitz,
senior vice president of the Online Services Group at Microsoft. "Windows
Live Hotmail represents an extremely compelling end-to-end E-Mail experience
that makes it easy for customers to get best-of-breed E-Mail access across
PCs, mobile devices and the Web. Windows Live Hotmail is a cornerstone
online service for Microsoft and a critical part of our online advertising
business because E-Mail is a key point of influence for consumer purchases.
We're pleased to announce the launch of the service to advertisers in
addition to consumers on the eve of the Microsoft Strategic Account Summit."
Millions of pieces of customer feedback played an instrumental role in the
development of the look and feel of the new Windows Live Hotmail. Key customer
benefits include the following:
Access: Hotmail, Where You Want It
Today's Windows Live Hotmail customers don't necessarily sit behind a computer
screen all day; they want flexibility for their busy lives. As a result,
Microsoft has developed new technologies to meet their needs:
- Outlook Connector - Available later this month in 11 languages
worldwide, the new Microsoft Office Outlook Connector beta will enable
people to view and manage their Windows Live Hotmail account from Outlook
for free, with full contact, E-Mail and E-Mail folder synchronization.
- Mobile - Using Windows Live Hotmail for mobile (http://mobile.live.com),
customers can access their E-Mail when they are on the go on a Web-enabled
mobile phone or PDA. In the future, Windows Mobile customers will receive a
richer online and offline Windows Live Hotmail experience with Windows Live
for Windows Mobile, which will ship with Windows Mobile v6.
- More to come - In the coming weeks, Microsoft will introduce an
additional E-Mail client option for Windows Live Hotmail with the release of
Windows Live Mail beta, a free consumer E-Mail client available via download
that will be a successor to Outlook Express and Windows Mail on Windows
Productivity: The Power of Desktop Software With Your Personal Web E-Mail
E-Mail speed and reliability are critical to consumers. To help maximize
productivity in E-Mail, Microsoft is offering new features, including the
- More like Outlook - With right-click and drag-and-drop
capabilities, preview pane customization and auto-complete addressing, all
designed for optimal productivity, Windows Live Hotmail looks and feels more
like the Outlook software millions use at work every day.
- More Windows Live services - Windows Live Messenger presence is
built into Windows Live Hotmail so customers can see from their inbox if
their Messenger contacts are online. If a contact is online, customers can
begin a conversation with the contact directly.
- The space customers need - Microsoft remains committed to
providing Windows Live Hotmail customers with all the storage space they
need to remain productive in E-Mail. With an inbox storage size starting at
2 GB, Windows Live Hotmail will continue to grow its storage capacity to
meet customer needs.
Protection: Safety Made Simple
According to feedback from customers, E-Mail safety is one of the most important
things to them. Windows Live Hotmail is designed to help protect customers
before potentially harmful E-Mail messages make it into their inbox, and helps
them make better, more informed decisions about the safety level of their
E-Mail. These are some of the new safety features:
- Safety bar - When an E-Mail message arrives in the Windows Live
Hotmail inbox after multiple safety checks, the safety bar at the top of
each E-Mail message will give a visual cue of the status of the E-Mail:
white indicates the E-Mail is from a known sender, yellow indicates the
E-Mail is from an unknown sender and red indicates the E-Mail is potentially
- Improved spam protection - With one click on the "mark as unsafe"
link, customers can automatically delete junk E-Mail messages, block any
future E-Mail messages from that junk E-Mail sender, and report the junk
E-Mail sender to Microsoft's spam filters to help protect others.
Personalization: Control Your View
As a direct result of customer feedback, Microsoft is providing Windows Live
Hotmail customers with more control over the look and feel of their E-Mail.
- Two views - Customers can choose how they view their Windows Live
Hotmail. The classic version looks similar to MSN Hotmail for those who
prefer the familiar look, while full version works more like Outlook with
more advanced functionality.
- Color choice - Customers can make their Windows Live Hotmail
inbox their own with a choice of color themes.
Last but nor least, an not mentioned in Microsoft's press release is the
fact, the Windows Mobile 6 includes a Windows Live Mail client for Windows
Mobile's Messaging/Inbox. Therefore, as a Windows Mobile 6 user, you don't need
to use the web front-end but you can use the Inbox instead as it is added as a
separate account (similar to POP3 or IMAP4 accounts).
Cheers ~ Arne