Microsoft’s latest move to counter the rising popularity of Gmail among Internet users comes in the form of a preview of its new web service, Outlook.com which will eventually replace Hotmail. Here’s a quick rundown of its new features:
Users will see a fresh, clean interface where there is 60% fewer pixels and 30% more message visibility in their inboxes. Microsoft also makes it a point to do away with display ads or large search boxes that take up unnecessary space. Outlook.com uses Exchange ActiveSync, which powers your mail, calendar, and people experience on the smartphone, tablet and the new Outlook 2013 preview.
Integration with Social Networks
Recognizing the increasing importance of social networks as tools for people to share and communicate, Microsoft is the first to provide an email service that is connected to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and soon Skype, to make calls from inside Outlook.com. This means that your contact list is always up-to-date with photos of your friends, status updates and tweets. Outlook.com also gives you the power to control your experience – what you share, the networks you connect to, and your personal information.
Smarter and More Powerful Inbox
Outlook.com will automatically sort out your messages from contacts, newsletters, shipping updates and social updates. The Sweep feature enables the user to move, delete, and set up rules in a few, simple clicks so that you can navigate faster around the interface.
Office Web Apps is included as a free add-on, which allows you to to view and edit Office documents from within the email service itself. Outlook.com is also integrated with Microsoft’s SkyDrive, making it convenient to send files from the cloud storage service without worrying about attachment limits.
Emphasis on Privacy and User Control
Microsoft assures you that it will not scan your email content or attachments, and sell these information to third parties. Ads will not be shown in personal conversations as well. You are free to customize your inbox according to your preferences by creating your own folders, categories and rules. Outlook.com provides virtually unlimited storage with industry-leading spam protection and world class security.
Chris Jones, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Windows Live said Outlook.com, which builds off the power of the Outlook people have long used on their PCs and Macs, has a fresh, clean user interface that gets the clutter out of inboxes and takes away display ads and large search boxes, and works well with smartphones, tablets, and the new Outlook 2013 Preview.