If you have a Hotmail e-mail account, youâ€™ll notice some big changes. For one, the name "Hotmail" has been replaced. Microsoft is renaming its popular Internet e-mail service to "Outlook.com" this week.
The 16-year-old Internet e-mail service is getting not only a new name but new features too, such as integrating with your social network accounts and allowing for easier ways to manage and sort your e-mail messages.
For example, The Wall Street Journal notes in a review of the new features that youâ€™ll be able to do a "one-click scheduled cleanup" of your mail, which will delete all of your messages from a specific sender except for the last message you received from that sender. The new e-mail system also incorporates your social network accounts, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Itâ€™ll display profile photos and status updates of those you are connected to along the side while you access your e-mail messages.
The "Outlook.com" e-mail service also allows you to share photos over e-mail using Microsoft's SkyDrive, in which you can send thumbnail images in e-mails with links to view the actual photos larger on the Web. The benefit is that you no longer clog others' inboxes with huge photo attachments.
Also, trying to woo new subscribers, Outlook.com offers a way to receive and send e-mails from subscribersâ€™ other e-mail accounts, like Gmail, too.
Those who already have a Hotmail account will still be able to keep their @hotmail.com address or can sign up for a new @Outlook.com address.
Hotmail, with 325 million users, is the leading Web e-mail service in the world. However, Googleâ€™s Gmail and Yahoo boast more users in the United States.
Source: â€œIs Hotmail Hotter Now That Itâ€™s Outlook.com?â€ The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 1, 2012)