Microsoft relaunches Hotmail as Outlook.com, works Skype tie-in
Microsoft is relaunching its free webmail service Hotmail as Outlook.com.
The company says Outlook.com has “a cleaner look, to fewer and less obtrusive ads, to new connections to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.”
Microsoft also promises Skype integration in the near future, which would close a feature gap with Google’s Gmail (Microsoft bought Skype for $US8.5 billion last year).
A contact’s Twitter, Google+ and Facebook status updates now appear beside their email messages in your inbox – a change from Google’s Gmail, which is focussed exclusively around integrating updates from the search giant’s own Google+.
Other tweaks include a one-click clean up option that deletes all but the most recent message from a person.
Outlook.com also features close integration with Microsoft’s SkyDrive service for storing photos and other files online.
The revamped service also supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for syncing with an Office Outlook account.
Users will have the option of keeping their Hotmail address or switching to a new Outlook.com address.
Microsoft says there are 323 million Hotmail users worldwide.
In its recent quartely financial report, the company said its online services division posted an operating loss of $US1.45 billion on revenue of $US2.1 billion.