Hotmail Turns 15, Adds Amazing New Innovative Features for Power Users

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Hotmail Old & New

Hotmail Old & New

Some 15 years ago, when the World Wide Web was in its infancy, several key products and brands stood out and defined what the web is today. Alta Vista and Yahoo! brought internet search. Geocities and AngelFire single-handedly sparked the web publishing and blogging space. IRC and bulletin boards (BB) were the grandfathers of social networking. Just to name a few. Flashback much? 🙂 And then there was Hotmail, alongside other web-based email platforms like RocketMail and ExciteMail. Email – the instant, convenient means of sending messages and files, quickly became very much part of our daily lives. A new era of communication began.

For many, like me, the @hotmail.com email address was our very first email address. Remember the 2MB quota and 1MB attachment limit? Fast forward to present day, Hotmail celebrates its 15th year in the business of web-based email, with some 360 million users worldwide, claiming the throne as the largest web-based email service in the world.

I attended a special preview session with Microsoft together with a very selected group of tech bloggers last night to get a glimpse of some very cool features of Hotmail available now, and some over the next months. We, in fact, were embargoed till 6.00am today and thanks to our time zone, we were in fact, one of the first in the world to see the ‘new’ Hotmail.

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Barrie Ooi, Head of Windows Live, Asia Pacific, Microsoft, said during his keynote, “We’ve all used Hotmail at one point in time, and we loved it for its features and simplicity. Things are a little bit more complicated today. People want more than just an email address. Users want huge storage space, seamless integration with instant messaging and contact management as well as easy access across mobile devices. With our latest Hotmail release, we are bringing all this and more to our users. Hotmail has come a long way since its humble beginnings. It is now more feature rich, more integrated and more secure than ever before. It’s the perfect time to fall in love all over again with Hotmail,” said Barrie Ooi, Head of Windows Live, Asia Pacific, Microsoft.

Ooi demoed some not-before-seen innovative features, some putting Hotmail on par with other web-based email services, and some anticipated to propel Hotmail to the forefront, and top-of-mind with users. Microsoft is official introducing five new features to Hotmail today.

The five new features include:

  1. Smart Newsletter Filtering which allows users to highlight and delete newsletters with a single click or unsubscribe completely.
  2. Categories and advanced folder management that allow users to choose to categorize their messages in the inbox as opposed to having to file them in separate folders.
  3. Scheduled Cleanup allows you to automatically get rid of emails of a certain age, sweeping away old newsletters and out-of-date offers. You can also now keep only the latest message from a sender.
  4. Flags done right that position your priority messages right at the top of your inbox. No more having to mark messages as unread or email them back to yourself to keep them top of mind.
  5. Instant Actions are buttons that appear when your mouse hovers over a message allowing you to delete, flag, sweep, etc. messages with one click. Users can also customize their UI by adding and removing buttons based on the tasks they use most.
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These are only a few features that are integrated into Hotmail at present time. We previewed at least 20 more, and these will be deployed over the next few months. What we’re seeing isn’t just a revived, revitalised Hotmail, but a newer, more exciting, consumer-focused Microsoft. As with what we have seen and experienced with Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8, Microsoft has been re-thinking and re-building much of its products and services. And from the looks of things, the journey of the ‘new’ Microsoft is an exciting one.

On the personal front, I’ve started to re-use Hotmail and Windows Live recently since I started using Windows Phone 7. The integration of Office Web Apps and SkyDrive is awesome. What’s also important is that Hotmail is mobile-optimised and mobile-centric, available on platforms including iOS, Windows, Symbian and officially today – Android. Funnily enough, Microsoft has been stealth about the unlimited storage it offers with Hotmail, and the 100MB file attachment limit. One of the principle reasons is attributed to the fact that Microsoft has invested millions to upgrade capacity of its servers. It has over 140 petabytes of storage space currently to support its user base, and this grows at a rate of 10% a month. That’s a whole lot of zeros.

We’ve been given access to test-drive the full Hotmail experience through a secure site with a third-party migration tool. I’ve migrated one of my Gmail addresses. I’ll be posting some thoughts and updates soon.

Till then, go fire up your Hotmail and try out the new features. Check out www.anotherlookathotmail.com for more information on all the amazing new features in Hotmail.

More Resources Here:
Inside Windows Live (Blog) – http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_live/b/windowslive/
The Official Microsoft Blog – http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/
@Hotmail (Twitter) – http://twitter.com/#!/hotmail
Hotmail Facebook fan page – https://www.facebook.com/Hotmail
Hotmail Android App – https://market.android.com/details?id=com.hotmail.Z7

[spoiler title=”Show Official Press Release”]
Press Release
Hotmail Brings New Amazing Innovative Features to Power Users

Backed by 15 years of experience, the largest web-based mail service in the world delivers continuous innovation in spam filtering, performance, storage and mobile platform compatibility, all designed to meet the needs of power users

Kuala Lumpur, 4 October 2011 – In conjunction with Hotmail’s 15th anniversary this month, Microsoft has announced five new amazing innovative features for the largest web-based email service in the world. A culmination of the numerous learnings and feedback gathered over the past 5 to 6 years from Hotmail’s large user base of more than 360 million people worldwide, the new features offer improvements in vital areas of spam filtering, performance, storage and mobile platform compatibility exclusively designed to meet the needs of power users.

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“We’ve all used Hotmail at one point in time, and we loved it for its features and simplicity. Things are a little bit more complicated today. People want more than just an email address. Users want huge storage space, seamless integration with instant messaging and contact management as well as easy access across mobile devices. With our latest Hotmail release, we are bringing all this and more to our users. Hotmail has come a long way since its humble beginnings. It is now more feature rich, more integrated and more secure than ever before. It’s the perfect time to fall in love all over again with Hotmail,” said Barrie Ooi, Head of Windows Live, Asia Pacific, Microsoft.

The five new features include:

  1. Smart Newsletter Filtering which allows users to highlight and delete newsletters with a single click or unsubscribe completely.
  2. Categories and advanced folder management that allow users to choose to categorize their messages in the inbox as opposed to having to file them in separate folders.
  3. Scheduled Cleanup allows you to automatically get rid of emails of a certain age, sweeping away old newsletters and out-of-date offers. You can also now keep only the latest message from a sender.
  4. Flags done right that position your priority messages right at the top of your inbox. No more having to mark messages as unread or email them back to yourself to keep them top of mind.
  5. Instant Actions are buttons that appear when your mouse hovers over a message allowing you to delete, flag, sweep, etc. messages with one click. Users can also customize their UI by adding and removing buttons based on the tasks they use most.

Together, the five new features reveal Microsoft’s desire to continuously deliver amazing experiences that help people do more of what they love. In addition, these new features aim to establish Hotmail as a leading webmail service with highly useful, intuitive and powerful features that meet the needs of every user.

“We’ve come a long way with Hotmail, it is better than ever with its vastly improved performance in spam filtering, storage, and mobile access features. We have learnt some important lessons that have helped us to improve the service. This time around, we are excited to offer some new amazing features in Hotmail and we are confident that our users will love it.” Ooi added.

Email revolutionized the world of modern day communication and was an instant boon to businesses around the world. First launched in 1995, Hotmail has helped bring the revolution of email and more to everyday users. Microsoft and Hotmail are committed to continuously innovate email offerings and develop new features to help users make the most out of their email experience.
[/spoiler]

About The Author

Designer. Serial Entrepreneur. Blogger. Writer. Webhead. Tech geek. Twitter-addict. Mac advocate. Animal lover. Steve Jobs groupie. Footballer. Plays for KutipFC. Petrolhead. BMW fan. Alfisti. Chelsea FC.

  • Mobile Apps Download

    I am using Rediffmail.com as e-mail service. Is hotmail better than rediff? They offer me unlimited storage.