It is no longer news that hotmail.com now operates as Outlook. Lovers of Hotmail currently use Outlook (Microsoft Office Outlook Connector), which Microsoft provides for free, and available for free download via Microsoft Download Center or as part of Windows Live Essentials pack, to communicate.
To sync between Windows Live Hotmail account and Outlook provides several advantages over HTTP or POP3 connection while using Microsoft office outlook connector, it also allows user to access and manage Hotmail account including e-mail messages, contacts and calendars from within Outlook.
In Outlook, user can apply Junk Mail filter, rules, alerts, macros and etc. to the synced mail messages.
Hotmail was launched in 1996 and served as delight of internet users then. Meanwhile, the service was acquired by Microsoft the following year, and has gone through myriad changes since then.
For starters, the16-year-old email service is a toast. Microsoft is rebranding the service under the Outlook banner, moving the service to Outlook.com.
The Hotmail site will still be there, and users won’t be forced to make the switch yet, but the message is clear: “Going forward, Microsoft email is called Outlook.
You’ll still be able to keep your Hotmail address, and even use it as the one all your friends and family reply to, but your account will be an Outlook.com account,” an analyst said.
ICT Brands gathered from Patricia McClelland, senior account executive, South Africa Waggeneredstrom, South Africa that components of Outlook.com will actually encourage modern experience for modern browsers and devices hence the service promotes, “A fresh, clean user interface that's intuitive to use, works across your devices with exchange ActiveSync and gets the clutter out of your way with 60% fewer pixels in the header and 30% more messages visible in your inbox. Plus no display ads or large search boxes that take up that extra space”.
Most interesting new feature of the new Outlook.com is the social integration. For whomever you’re conversing with, Outlook imports their most recent tweets and Facebook updates, along with links to profile pages.
You can even Like, comment, re-tweet and reply straight from the pane. Of course, it’ll only do this if you enable Outlook to scan for public content on either service, something you can disable later.
“Outlook.com preview is connected to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and soon, Skype. You can view pictures of your friends, messages, status updates, chats, calls-all powered by an always up-to-date contact list that is similarly connected to those networks,” McClelland said.
Outlook.com is presently noted as smart and powerful as it can automatically sort ones message from contacts, newsletters, shipping updates, and social updates, and with sweep you can move or delete them in a few clicks.
“Plus, the service includes free office web apps - Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, as well as SkyDrive. Puts you in control: Keeps your personal mail personal (no ads in person-to-person mails and no scanning your personal mail to serve ads), and has great tools for power users,” she added.
Of course all the basics are included in Outlook.com, such as virtually unlimited storage and industry-leading spam protection. More so, Hotmail’s business model stood apart from other free-email services by building display ads into the page, forcing users to look at them. Espionage search into the ads platform shows it have been a (small) source of revenue for Microsoft.
The company had held back the service in many ways. Most notably: Hotmail arrived on mobile email apps late and kicking and shattering since once the service is integrated, display ads aren’t visible.
But of late they are literally pushing those display ads on sideways, replacing them with Google-like keyword-based text ads that run along the right side of your message pane. Those ads will be tailored to you based on personal data, and they’ll get even more specific when you click on a message.
Peter Pachal, while sharing his view on the newOutlook’s austere blue-themed design said it, “Will be recognizable to anyone who’s seen Windows Phone or Windows 8, and it makes the whole experience feel much more calm (Hotmail has always been the “noisiest” of the three major email services). And you can switch the blue color for something more to your liking at anytime.
“Two great features about the new look: 1) It keeps things clean by offering you just one action item when you have nothing selected: compose a new message. And, 2) The layout is relatively tight compared to Gmail, minimizing the amount of “chrome,” navigation items and white space on the top of the page. You’re here to see email, so email is front and center, and it still retains Hotmail’s folders (as opposed to Gmail’s labels),” he said.
“Once you get past the layout,” Pachal continued, “though, it becomes pretty clear that the general business of sending and receiving is pretty much the same. This is still email, after all. However, while using the Outlook preview I found that messages don’t quite come in as fast as on Hotmail. This could easily be because of the nature of the preview, but Microsoft might also have some optimizing to do after the transition”.
With the transition to Outlook, are users of the service in for a shock? With time, we will know if Microsoft’s mail services out run others, especially it started by removing things like the big “SkyDrive” icon up top (we’re here for email, thanks).