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Microsoft rebrands Hotmail as Outlook.com with social features

Microsoft has rebranded Hotmail and
introduced a preview version of Outlook.com, a new email service which promises
users a cleaner user interface, very much like Google’s Gmail. According to
Microsoft, if any Hotmail customers want to upgrade to the Outlook.com preview,
they need o click “Upgrade” in the options menu of Hotmail.

Microsoft has rebranded Hotmail and
introduced a preview version of Outlook.com, a new email service which promises
users a cleaner user interface, very much like Google’s Gmail. According to
Microsoft, if any Hotmail customers want to upgrade to the Outlook.com preview,
they need o click “Upgrade” in the options menu of Hotmail.

“The email address, password, contacts, old
email, and rules will remain unchanged, and they can send/receive email from
your @hotmail.com or @msn.com or @live.com address. Users will experience it
all in the new Outlook.com preview user interface. You can also add an
@Outlook.com email address to your account if you want,” the company has said
in a blog post.

“Outlook.com is ready now to become your
primary email service. We’re expecting millions of people to try it out.
Starting today, you can get an @Outlook.com email address, and we’ve also made
it easy to get started with your current email address if you want to,” the company
said.

Hotmail was launched in 1996 by Sabeer
Bhatia and Jack Smith and acquired by Microsoft in 1997 for an estimated $400
million. The rebranding and overhaul of Microsoft’s email service is
Microsoft’s first major change in its email service in eight years.

“Webmail was first introduced with HoTMaiL in
1996. Back then, it was novel to have a personal email address you could keep
for life – one that was totally independent from your business or internet
service provider. Eight years later, Google introduced Gmail, which included 1
GB of storage and inbox search. And while Gmail and other webmail services like
Hotmail have added some features since then, not much has fundamentally changed
in webmail over the last 8 years – though yesterday’s frustrations about the
small size of inboxes are now things of the past,” Microsoft has said.

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