Monday, February 18, 2013

Microsoft Officially Launches Kills Off Hotmail

Six short months ago Microsoft took the wraps off the companies follow-up to Hotmail dubbed Thew newly re-tooled site offered users and early preview of Microsoft’s free webmail service that is meant to replace the aging Hotmail brand and design. Today, Microsoft is officially taking out of preview and will start prompting its 360 million Hotmail users to switch to the new service (while keeping their old email addresses). Microsoft expects to switch all Hotmail users to the new interface and platform by the summer.

According to Microsoft already has more than 60 million users, making it what MS is claiming "the world’s fastest-growing email service". In order to keep those gains going Microsoft is also launching a massive new marketing campaign for the service. This campaign, which will include TV ads and a number of digital-only videos, will have a very upbeat tone and will not be based upon the recent Scroogled campaign. Instead, the new ads focus on’s features and how it plays well with the rest of Microsoft’s suite of online tools, including, for example, SkyDrive.

Having used the new service for the past several months, I'd have to say I'm more impressed with it than I was with Hotmail. That may or may not mean much given the buggieness of the older service. I find the UI a bit lacking and some of the overall look and feel aren't my style, so it hasn't drawn me away from GMail yet. But it is nice to see Microsoft attempting some changes.

For more details read the official press release, then check out the new experience.

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