Excerpted from NetworkWorld
Microsoft on Tuesday began publicly previewing a new webmail service for consumers called Outlook.com that will eventually replace Hotmail. Microsoft’s posture is changing from winning the desktop with the most horns and clangers to trying to dominate the cloud with the best interface and most valued features for online applications. They spent considerable time over the last year+ enhancing Hotmail. Outlook.com is built on the improved Hotmail that it is phasing out.
Outlook.com features what Microsoft describes as "clean" and "intuitive" user interface that gives more prominence to messages and less to other elements, like headers and search boxes. It doesn’t include display ads.
With Exchange ActiveSync, Outlook.com accounts can be synchronized across a variety of devices, and it features native integration with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and, in the near future, Microsoft’s own Skype.
This means that users can access content and notifications from those social media accounts within the Outlook.com interface.
Outlook.com also sorts messages of different types into separate buckets, so that e-mail from contacts, newsletter subscriptions, e-commerce notifications and social media content is arranged into different groups.
The new webmail service also includes Office Web Apps, the online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote along with the SkyDrive cloud storage service.
I looked at this yesterday and it does seem fresh. I did not opt to "upgrade" my existing "@hotmail" but did create a new account which was fairly easy. The interface is fresh, and once you get used to where everything is, I can see it as the one of the "go to" webmail services like Gmail seems to be now.
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