Microsoft has just announced a move that will single the end of its old Hotmail service and a move to a new web based platform entitled outlook.com. This is part of a broader move from software – Microsoft’s heritage – into services, which operate both online and offline.
Outlook.com is going to compete directly with Gmail – arguably Google’s most successful service. Both seem to have somewhat similar modern design and both will use contextual ads although Outlook.com will only look at the subject line and not the entire text in order to display the adds.
Outlook.com will work on all existing platforms including smartphones and tablets and will let you sort your mail into categories and different types of e-mails will receive different handling – for example e-mails with attachments will go into “document quick view” while e-mails with images will go into “photos view”.
It’s not surprising to find out that just like Google which integrated its own Google+ into Gmail, Microsoft also decided to do some social network integration of its own into Outlook.com. As Microsoft and Facebook have some deep connections (MS owns shares at Facebook) using it as the default social network was an obvious choice. Other connections will include Skype (also now owned by MS) as well as Twitter and Linkedin.
Outlook.com will come with all the treditional web mail features including what MS called “virtually unlimited storage” advanced spam protection, and other security features. Outlook.com also should work with the Outlook desktop application, and as you’d expec – it’s free.
Users of Hotmail can log into Outlook.com using their existing account (we did and it worked without any issues). For the time being MS is going to keep both services but the general idea will be to scrap Hotmail in favor of the newer slicker Outlook.com.
You can watch these videos which will give you a peek into Outlook.com
Iddo has a B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Science and an M.A. in Philosophy of Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is currently writing his Ph.D. thesis on the relationship between the scientific community and industry. Iddo was awarded the 2006 Bar Hillel philosophy of science prize for his work on the relationship between science and technology. He is a member of the board of the lifeboat foundation and was the editor of several high-profile science and technology websites since 1999.