Hotmail Becomes Outlook
Microsoft revamps cloud-based email, adapts Hotmail into Outlook.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: August 7th, 2012
In the new Outlook, your personal email merges with social networking to bring forth one cohesive yet perhaps over-informative dashboard.
If you still have a Hotmail email address, well...you don't anymore. Microsoft recently announced that it was revamping its webmail service and phasing out Hotmail in favor of having it become Outlook as it adapts to more convenient and efficient use.
Microsoft's Chris Jones wrote in a blog post, "Email is becoming less and less useful as inboxes become cluttered with newsletters and social updates, and people increasingly keep up their personal connections in social networks instead of their email address books."
But the way that's phrased, it sort of sounds like in order to compete and stay relevant, that Hotmail/Outlook is becoming more of a social network, and it seems in some ways, they are.
Jones says that in the new Outlook service, "your personal email comes alive with photos of your friends, recent status updates and tweets that your friend has shared with you, the ability to chat and video call, all powered by an always-up-to-date contact list that is connected to your social networks."
We're not sure how we feel about this; some of our email contacts are not our social network friends for a reason. Mashable's Peter Pachal said that the most interesting aspect of the new platform is the social integration, because you can interact with people's social network profiles right from your Outlook dashboard, rather than clicking over to their Facebook or Twitter page. We think this is a little odd, as it doesn't make sense to use another email client in the same way we use those social networks, especially considering the rapid plateauing of Google+'s growth.
Still, the change has drawn positive critiques.
Pachal said, "Microsoft's mail service has never been this clean or usable—or looked this similar to Gmail—before...I'd even say [it is] superior to Gmail in many ways."
The comparisons to Gmail were inevitable, though, as integrating photos and a chat element into any mail client will tip that image in Gmail users' minds. Still, we can't help but be grateful that those silly @hotmail.com email addresses will be put to bed.