The new, redesigned Outlook email client from Microsoft. (Photo : Microsoft)
Sorry all you Hotmail enthusiasts - Microsoft is refocusing its email efforts in an effort to streamline and better compete with its email rivals Yahoo and Gmail. Sixteen years after Hotmail first came out, Microsoft is planning on making its new main email client, Outlook.com.
Like Us on Facebook
The preview of the email client shows that Microsoft is intent on a minimalist approach. The interface is clean, and the tech giant claims that users can now see up to 30 percent more messages that they are used to in webmail. Ads will now be streamlined, and Outlook users will not be subjected to ads in personal messages.
Microsoft is allowing current Hotmail.com or Live.com users simply switch their email address over to Outlook. Those without a Hotmail or Live account can go ahead and create a new account. If Hotmail users do not see the improved interface, they can select "Upgrade to Outlook.com" in the options menu.
Outlook.com also comes with a feature to get rid of all that nasty "graymail" such as newsletters and shopping emails that don't get thrown in your junk folder.
Outlook.com will also feature online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote. This is intended to make it more like Google Docs, which Gmail users can use through their client.
The revamped interface doesn't necessarily mean that Hotmail has been a complete failure for Microsoft. According to digital research firm comScore, Hotmail is third behind Yahoo and Gmail with 41 million monthly unique visitors. It has 324 million people using it worldwide, but the number of Hotmail users is growing smaller, and is an indicator people are moving to other email clients.
If you're an existing Hotmail user, do you plan on switching to the new Outlook.com? Or will you move your email account over to another provider such as Yahoo or Google?