Many of us have had Hotmail accounts in the past, I myself remember it being a nightmare to navigate my email while using Hotmail. Well Microsoft has announced a massive upgrade to the current version of Hotmail.
Hotmail has around 343 million users to date, which makes it a pretty popular email service provider, and it has been in existence since 1996.
With competition from Google’s Gmail, Hotmail needed an upgrade. First take a look at the new inbox and below take a look at how it used to look.
Microsoft has cleaned up the Inbox interface a little bit by removing the long message list from the left side. And they have added different ways to view your email such as; by Contacts, by Social Network (for example: FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace, Linkedin, etc.), or from mailing lists. This is a welcome change from having to sort through all of your email message by message till you found what you wanted.
Another new feature to the inbox is the “Sweep” function, Sweep enables you to get rid of the messages that you don’t want. For example, just mark the messages that you do not want anymore and select Sweep and they are gone!
Another interesting new feature is “Hotmail Active View”, which is supposed to allow you to preview content like photos, videos, and documents that are sent in an email message. When you receive a photo, it will appear in the email without the need to download it as an attachment to view it.
Microsoft is making sending photos and files in email even simpler with the introduction of Windows SkyDrive that allows you access to 25GB of online storage to send up to 200 photos up to 50mb in size in one single email. All I can say to that is Wow!
Hotmail can now view documents such as Powerpoint and Word directly in your browser without the need for Office. And you can attach them as well with SkyDrive, and the same 200 docs up to 50 meg each.
When you receive a video from Hulu or Youtube, you can view it right in your inbox. See the photo below, it look absolutely fascinating.
Microsoft has promised even more upgrades to Hotmail in the near future, here are some of them: Enhanced account protection, full-session SSL, multiple email accounts, subfolders, contact management, more storage. Once all of these new features are released, Hotmail may actually start to catch up to Gmail.