updated 04:39 am EST, Tue February 19, 2013
Microsoft folding Hotmail users into Outlook.com service
After its debut in beta form in last July, Microsoft has officially launched Outlook.com as its new flagship email service. At the same time, the Redmond-based software giant also revealed that since it was first unveiled, the service has grown from zero to over 60 million users in the past six months. Beginning today, Microsoft says that Hotmail users will be automatically upgraded to the new Outlook.com service, while still being able to retain their original Hotmail.com email address.
Microsoft is simultaneously touting the integration of Outlook.com with its SkyDrive cloud-based storage service, which it says underpins the way users share video and photos using their Outlook.com email address. According to the company, half of all its users have used their personal SkyDrive to share over half a billion photos and Office documents.
One of the advantages of Outlook.com over the superseded, and longstanding Hotmail service, is the ability for the UI to scale across devices. It also aligns in look and feel with Microsoft's new 'Modern' design aesthetic, which will be familiar with users of its new cloud-based Office 365 productivity suite.