Friday, May 3, 2013

Hotmail officially dead: Hotmail modernized to new Outlook.com webmail

Hotmail officially dead: Hotmail modernized to new Outlook.com webmail, The Microsoft-owned Hotmail, a mainstay of email and internet communication, is no more, reports Yahoo! Finance on May 2. Hotmail was a free web-based email service operated by Microsoft as part of Windows Live; it has been replaced by the newer Outlook.com service by Microsoft.

Over 300 million active Hotmail accounts are already moved to the modernized Outlook.com webmail offering, Microsoft's redesigned email experience.

"We want to give a huge 'Thank you' to all of you who have supported Hotmail over the years, for some of you, that's going back as far as 1996," Microsoft's Dick Craddock eulogized in a blog post on Thursday. "It has been an amazing journey and we've been honored to provide you with a great mail experience for many years."

Launched in July 1996 as "HoTMaiL," the email service was acquired by Microsoft in 1997 for an estimated $400 million and rebranded as "MSN Hotmail.” The last version was released in 2011.

So what if you still have a Hotmail account or [youremail]@hotmail address?

No worries – people can continue emailing you at your existing Hotmail address. According to the Business Insider, the interface and experience will no longer have a thing to do with the Hotmail name.

Outlook.com announced two new features today to bring Hotmail users up to speed.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), a popular and device-friendly standard for receiving your email, is being rolled out to Hotmail users. SMTP is computer-speak for a set of communication guidelines that allow software to transmit email over the Internet. It’s a kind of shorthand that allows a server to break up different parts of a message into categories the other server can understand.

Deeper integration is available as well, with SkyDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage solution. SkyDrive is a file hosting service with 7 GB of free storage. It allows users to upload and sync files to a “cloud storage” and then access them from a Web browser. Instead of sending an attachment from your hard drive, for example, it's now a snap to send a file stored in your SkyDrive.

Hotmail users will see these benefits right away, even if you don’t quite understand them.

The Outlook.com team was able to complete the full migration in around six weeks.

Starting on Thursday of this week, Hotmail users saw the new Outlook.com UI rather than the familiar Hotmail one. Now, they will no longer be able to revert their accounts to the old style if they don't like the change.

"Our belief is that as people start using the new experience, they will come to love it even more than they loved Hotmail," Craddock writes.

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