updated 08:35 pm EDT, Mon October 3, 2011
Hotmail becomes rare core MS app for Android
Microsoft as part of a complete revamp of the Hotmail interface put out a rare Android-first app. Hotmail for Android (free, Market) gives users push (real-time) e-mail like they would if they used Gmail and will also sync calendars and contacts. It can take on multiple accounts and has a specialized interface for picking photos along with the usual attachment support.
The app needs at least Android 2.1. Microsoft hasn't said if it will have an iOS version, although Apple's platform can't download the mail in the background and isn't likely to get a direct equivalent.
Hotmail on the web has been given feature upgrades to put it on par and possibly above alternatives like Gmail. Along with being more consistent with the Windows 8 and Windows Phone looks, its focus is on managing "graymail," or messages that are neither important nor junk. It can now automatically identify and label newsletters as well as provide a one-button option to unsubscribe without having to respond by hand.
Other tuning includes the option of pinning flagged messages so they always stay on top as well as periodic scrubbing that can either delete or move messages from given people after a certain amount of time.