Microsoft launches new and improved Hotmail

Microsoft launches new and improved Hotmail

Windows Live Hotmail has finally made it out of beta.

Microsoft has announced that Windows Live Hotmail, the successor to MSN Hotmail, has launched globally in 36 languages.

This is the first major update to the service, which was once the only name in web-based email, since its launch in 1996. It marks another step towards what appears to be Microsoft's move away from the MSN brand and into the Windows Live family.

The software giant claims that the new service is safer, more powerful and more productive than its previous versions. The amount of storage available for email will be standardised and will start at 2GB. However, Microsoft says that it will continue to grow its storage capacity to meet customer needs.

Customers will also be able to access their Windows Live Hotmail contacts and email for free via Outlook 2003 or 2007 using the new Office Outlook Connector beta, which is set to launch later this month in 11 different languages. Microsoft also promises to launch a beta of Windows Live Mail later this month too -- a free downloadable consumer orientated email client designed to work with Live Hotmail. This will replace Outlook Express on Windows XP and Windows Mail on Vista.

Windows Live Messenger is also integrated into the new webmail service too, allowing users to see if their contacts are online along with being able to start conversations from their web browser.

Microsoft claims that there are over 280 million active Hotmail accounts, but with arguably better alternatives like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail, is Hotmail still hip? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
MrWillyWonka 8th May 2007, 18:32 Quote
Meh, I'll stick with Gmail and its better spam control and ease of use.

Nice to see that I'll be able view my dodgy emails (which I use hotmail for) a bit more easily though. About time MS actually updated hotmail, its so long overdue.
devdevil85 8th May 2007, 18:44 Quote
Yeah I switched to gmail. So much nicer and more professional and the spam control is so much better. I just use my hotmail account for spam crap and other random emails, but not my friends and family. I also agree, Hotmail really needed an update cause it still ain't hip. I basically switched because Outlook was soooooooo slow and half the time it would lose it connection with the Hotmail Server which I found to be ridiculous and it always kept asking me to archive my files which still didn't help anything.
rowin4kicks 8th May 2007, 18:48 Quote
still on hotmail myself but just cant be bothered to change over and everything so allow!
Lazlow 8th May 2007, 19:03 Quote
Originally Posted by Article
This will replace Outlook Express on Windows XP and Windows Mail on Vista.
Hoorah! I was astounded to find that Windows Mail on Vista didn't support Hotmail! It was very odd to find that Microsoft didn't support their email via their latest o/s.
moshpit 8th May 2007, 19:41 Quote
I love hotmail. Had my account since 98. Matter of fact, my account is coming up on it's first decade of use. Too many friends, family, and coworkers have my hotmail address to change it now.
olly_lewis 8th May 2007, 19:44 Quote
I was once a Hotmail user... well I still am but all my important mail goes through Gmail and by moving everything back to Hotmail, Live, or whatevah would just be a waste of time... I just can't remove the bad, bad memory of only having 2Mb of storage with sleazy Hotmail...
moshpit 8th May 2007, 19:51 Quote
Originally Posted by olly_lewis
I was once a Hotmail user... well I still am but all my important mail goes through Gmail and by moving everything back to Hotmail, Live, or whatevah would just be a waste of time... I just can't remove the bad, bad memory of only having 2Mb of storage with sleazy Hotmail...

Yeah, that's a bummer you can't get that memory out too. We're now getting 2Gb for our patience, a 1000x increase and comparable at least to gmail now ;)
DreamTheEndless 8th May 2007, 20:12 Quote
Bauul 8th May 2007, 20:16 Quote
I used Live mail for a while in place of my Hotmail (which, like everyone else, I use for all the crap emails and spam stuff, where as gmail is my 'proper' email address), and stopped after a while. Why? It was the buggiest, slowest, most ill thought out web mail browser I've ever used. Hell my old Unix based University mail browser was more user friendly. It took ages to load, stalled all the time, I regularly had to empty my cookies just to get the damn thing to work, just gave up after a while and went back to Hotmail, MUCH better. I'm loathed to try it now it's supposed to be out of beta in case I can't switch back.
koola 9th May 2007, 00:26 Quote
Gmail user here. Stoped using the hotmail due to the joke of a spam filter and all the ads.
DougEdey 9th May 2007, 08:27 Quote
I've been using live for a while, I find it very sluggish.

I also agree with koola. Gmail is superior for my needs, but I use it alongside two other core email addresses using Thunderbird.
bilbothebaggins 9th May 2007, 08:43 Quote
(...), is Hotmail still hip?
Wait. When was Hotmail ever hip? Did I miss something? :D
BioSniper 9th May 2007, 08:54 Quote
I've been beta testing this for ages and the trouble with it is that the interface is far too slow compared with the likes of gmail but it's not bad, I guess it'll be alright for the average user that doesn't really care about speed.
kempez 9th May 2007, 10:19 Quote
I switched it to simple interface and still use Live mail - very fast and quite nice

My hotmail only ever gets used for stuff I know I'll get spam anyway :p
Blademrk 9th May 2007, 10:41 Quote
I've got 4 email accounts: The email I use for all my forum mails is with my old ISP FSNet, 1 is with my current ISP Pipex (which I don't use at all), my Hotmail Live account (main account) and my Gmail account (signed up about a month or two back to see what it's like).

My hotmail account is coming up to it's tenth year, and I've been using the Windows Live beta and the Live desktop client beta (although in the last month or two it's stopped recognizing my hotmail account for some reason :{).

I like it (although I have found it a bit slow, but I had put that down to my net connection) but it doesn't seem to like Firefox much - If I open an email in firefox I get lines accross the screen as I scroll through emails (no problem in IE). and I've seen this same problem on both my PC's

In the 10 years I've used it, I've recieved very little spam (In fact the only phishing email I've ever recieved was on my Gmail account about 2 days after I opened it :/ before I'd even used it for anything).
Tim S 9th May 2007, 10:48 Quote
Originally Posted by bilbothebaggins
Wait. When was Hotmail ever hip? Did I miss something? :D
Well, 280 million people still think so :p
dullonien 9th May 2007, 11:33 Quote
I opened my holtmail account in 98. It has been an excellent account and I will never change if I can help it.

I get a few e-mails a day: a newsletter from an online shop I've regestered with, an e-mail from Bit saying a thread has been updated, Facebook telling me someones 'tagged' me in a picture.

I get absolutely no spam mail. Not sure why! I use my account when I sign up for new accounts etc. I do make sure I read everyhting carefully and tick/untick boxes that say about sending me e-mails or giving my e-mail address to third parties.

My gut feeling about why I don't receve junk is due to my e-mail address itself, it's quite an odd one that originated from a nickname one of my friends called me in school. It's not just the simple Foremane_SirmaneNumber@ kinda thing that proberly gets randomly generated by the people sending the spam.
monkeyville 9th May 2007, 13:15 Quote
I've been accessing Hotmail via pop3 for years. Haven't been on the web interface for eons
Blademrk 9th May 2007, 13:28 Quote
As long as the acount was created before 2004 (I think it was) you can access it by webdev, if the account was created after that though your out of luck unless you use the Subscription version.
Originally Posted by wiki
Access from mail clients
MSN accounts once had POP3 email access but they sold their POP3 servers to Qwest in favor of HTML servers.

It is in principle possible to check one's own e-mail using the WebDAV protocol (an extension of HTTP), using Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express on PC, Microsoft Entourage on Mac, or an extension for Mozilla Thunderbird.[6] But while this service was free for a number of years, Microsoft announced on September 27, 2004 that they were making it a subscription-only service for new users immediately and existing users from April 2005. However, some (not all) existing users are still able to access their Hotmail accounts via this protocol for free as of April 2007. It is unclear if or when Microsoft will revoke this feature as many users rely on this function.

It should be noted that Windows Mail, Outlook Express' successor, no longer supports HTML email access. Users can get around this restriction however, by using software that simulates a POP server to which the e-mail application connects.

It is possible for account holders of Hotmail to check their email through Windows Live Mail Desktop.
seems ours were one of the lucky ones who didn't get the outlook access revoked in 2005.
Hugo 9th May 2007, 13:52 Quote
I swear I've been using Live mail for at least a year now... yay for MSDN I guess...

I've had the account since December 1996... looking back, I should have chosen a better account name and ebayed it :D
Lazlow 9th May 2007, 22:27 Quote
Originally Posted by Blademrk
seems ours were one of the lucky ones who didn't get the outlook access revoked in 2005.
I've been accessing my hotmail via Outlook for years and when Microsoft said they were stopping it for new accounts, they never mentioned us veterans would lose the ability - maybe the wiki is incorrect - as I've never been told I'd lose the privilege.
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