This year has truly been a great one for Microsoft till now. It started with the announcement of Microsoft’s tablet named “Surface”. By end of May, Microsoft made the Release Preview of Windows 8 available, followed by the launch of Preview version of the all-new Office named Office 2013. It then came up with something that was really unexpected. And that is the launch Outlook.com.
In 1996, when Hotmail came into existence, it was one of its kinds and almost all of us had or still have an account of Hotmail.com. Hotmail.com since then has undergone many changes. Yet, Outlook.com in itself is probably the biggest change and also a surprise gift to all the users of Hotmail.com. Let’s explore, “What’s In The Box?”
Support to Hotmail.com users
The new users getting registered with Outlook.com will get an email address with @outlook.com domain. Yet, Microsoft has provided complete support to the existing database of Hotmail.com users. Users with @hotmail.com, @live.com, and @msn.com can simply login to outlook.com with their existing credentials and trust me they will be surprised to have an all-new Interface and complete features of Outlook.com.
Clean User Interface
Compared to Hotmail.com, the user interface of Outlook.com is much cleaner and a neat one. It has been given a very calm, smooth, cohesive and overall, a pleasant user experience. With no extra space getting wasted in the top menu of the Inbox, more importance has been given to the visibility of emails. And why shouldn’t it be that way. After all, you are there for that same purpose. Also, you can easily sort your emails to separate out the Newsletters, Social updates and your actual emails.
Also, as you can see the above screenshot, it is much more on the lines of its “Metro” concept of Windows 8 and the layout and interface of Office 2013.
Freedom from Unwanted Ads
Those who have used Hotmail.com must be aware of the amount of chaos or such experience created by the ads in Hotmail.com. It not just had advertisements in the Inbox but even inside the emails. Outlook.com has finally got rid of such a revenue generating source and has given an all-email look to the entire webmail.
Social Network Integration
This is another important feature that Microsoft has added to Outlook.com. Now, one can easily integrate his/her email account with their corresponding social networking accounts like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus and many others. Of course, you can always decide on what and how much access can Outlook.com gain on your accounts in those networking sites.
With this, you can now get to know the Status Updates or the new posts of your friend right inside your Inbox. You can have a look of one such example shown in the screenshot here.
It allows you to tweet, share, like and even reply to post straight from inside the email.
With Integration of 7GB of SkyDrive space, you can now upload all your important documents and files directly to the Web and even share it with your friends and relatives. Needless to say, it would be beneficial especially in cases where you cannot send across large size attachments in your emails, thus sharing the same through SkyDrive.
Not just this much, but you can even create new Word, PowerPoint, Excel files and save it right there. All this together takes the overall user experience to another level.
With all these features, I feel, Microsoft has truly given a gift to its existing users and has been successful with this re-branding from Hotmail to Outlook. Also, to some extent, Microsoft has also marked its presence amongst its market competitors like Gmail and others. We can only wait and watch how things turn in this race amongst these IT giants.