Microsofts’s free webmail service, Hotmail.com which was in transition from the email service to the new Outlook.com since February this year, had completely rebranded itself to Outlook.com, announced Dick Craddock, Microsoft, through his blog post.
Outlook.com now claims 400 million active accounts including 125 million accessing email, calender, contacts on a mobile device using ActiveSync. Earlier Outlook had more than 60 million active accounts in February, whereas at the same time, Hotmail was also one of the most widely used email service with over 300 million active accounts.
The transition process included migrating 150 petabytes of email in 6 weeks in a live site experience, that was handling billions of transactions every day.
What new in Outlook.com?
1) The content will be more organised and display ads will be removed.
2) Now emails will be sent direclty from Outlook.com SMTP server rather than on behalf of a second party as previously.
3) Integration of Skydrive into Outlook, a cloud based file storage from Microsoft competing with Google drive. Skydrive offers convenient file access sharing with light thumbnails over the emails.
Hotmail users need not change the Hotmail email address or any settings on phone to use Outlook.com. It can be used with the same email id. Hotmail plus account will also continue to work with Outlook.com.
Outlook.com was launched to provide users more options for a webmail service competing with rising popularity of Gmail. In recent weeks, Outlook.com had added up with many new features, which includes, modern calendar, app for Android devices, two-factor authentication for account, international domains for people around the world, and the integration of Skype calling in Outlook.com.
The other webmail services include Gmail, Yahoo with Gmail having 425 million active users globally, in June 2012. Microsoft’s outlook strategy will surely pose a threat to gmail and its integrated services.