Microsoft renames Hotmail to Outlook, adds Metro layout and Skype

By on July 31, 2012, 1:00 PM

Hotmail has been synonymous with the Internet for as long as I can remember but despite maintaining over 325 million monthly active users, the end of an era is near. Microsoft has decided to ditch the Hotmail brand in favor of something that doesn’t carry quite the negative stigma: Outlook. Yes, the same Outlook that has been a staple of Office products for years will now be used to brand the free email service.

Windows Live general manager Brian Hall told VentureBeat that Hotmail simply had a bad reputation and that many people didn’t feel comfortable having their name associated with the service. On the other hand, however, Outlook has a much better reputation as mail from Microsoft and thus the new branding was born.

The new Hotmail, er, Outlook will keep many of the features that people are familiar with but the service will have an all-new look. Hall described it as a clean, fresh, modern design and further proclaimed it to be the cleanest email service available today.

Existing Hotmail users can elect to keep the same @hotmail.com extension or convert over to an @outlook.com address but all users will be migrated to the new design regardless of extension.

Microsoft is also integrating Skype into the new Outlook. A video chat button will allow you to initiate a Skype call with a contact even if you don’t have the software installed on your computer.

Upgrade options are available right now should you wish to get the process out of the way. Simply log into your Hotmail account, click Options then select Upgrade to Outlook.com from the drop-down menu. Once this is completed, you can go into your mail settings and create your @outlook.com address by selecting Create a Outlook alias.




User Comments: 35

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spectrenad said:

nice, just tried it and it's really clean. + it seems faster.

treeski treeski said:

Yep, love it so far!

howzz1854 said:

I don't know if it's too many people trying it at the same time, buy I just tried it and it froze. I can't even delete an email. .. FAIL

mojorisin23 mojorisin23 said:

Looks a bit like Gmail.

I'm more waiting to see how skype integrates and how well that works. VERY skeptical!

wastedkill said:

Sorry but this is too gmail ish... and what is with the box fetish microsoft? seriously and I hate that it looks tooooo much like gmail+win 8 box fetish all in one I would rather keep the old design of hotmail but try it with the outlook colors and also.... why change the name? Its not like its gonna change anything its like apple renaming to orange it would change absolutely nothing!

p51d007 said:

I've had an @hotmail account since it first started. It's my "keep it out of my regular email" place. Anytime I buy something off the net, or some app/program/website just has to have an address, it gets the @hotmail.com one. I regularly empty my junk folder of 50-100 emails PER DAY.

2 people like this | Zen Zen, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Most likely I will not be using this thing at all. It's kind of hard for me to use something whenever my guts are telling me that we are trying to "re-invent" the wheel here! I know that things change, I know about innovation, I know about creative marketing, again, I know things change and this type of an e-mail service is just part of that change, "instant text" "regular e-mail", "live chat through the provider" bells and whistles and bells and whistles, I know that this is just a small sliver of more things to come, but for me, I'm not buying it.

I'm a very simple guy, and when I find something that works for myself I almost never give it up! I am missing the days when an e-mail service was just that, being just basic e-mail. Why all the added bloat to this so called new Outlook. I just want the e-mail, no video, no in e-mailing calling, no live text chat, just give me the e-mail only. Plus if I truly want to use Outlook, I'll use what I consider to be the real one, and that is my Microsoft Outlook that came stock with my Microsoft Office 2007, which is linked via POP3 to my Comcast.net account!

Guest said:

The new interface is great, better than Gmail in fact. The backend needs sorted out though, also the features don't work as well as Gmail (e.g. the spam filter) or are just outright missing (e.g. grouped conversations).

kpeckett kpeckett said:

The upgrade link is not there - I click options in my Windows Live Mail, and it gives me options for the reading pane (Off, Right or Bottom) and a more options link - where's the button?

Guest said:

I have had several hotmail accounts FOREVER and I recently secured a unique @live.com email address. I DO NOT want an @outlook.com address and WILL NOT use it. If I wanted outlook I would use outlook on my computer. I will move all my accounts to g-mail and microsoft can take a great big jump in the lake!

Kneep said:

This is Brilliant! Gona ditch my installed email program and use this from now on. It's so much faster and they finally nuked the stupid adds, A++++ Microsoft!

Guest said:

Living up to your username, I see.

Microsoft's domination of virtualization will be similar to their domination of the cell phone and portable music player industries.

1 person liked this | tonylukac said:

You actually officially have to alert all your email senders? I think Microsoft needs Bill Gates back.

Guest said:

Obviously emails @hotmail.com will continue to work, which is why they said create an @outlook.com alias. You can use both, like @gmail.com or @googlemail.com. Of course all new emails will be created @outlook.com.

learninmypc learninmypc said:

Ok, I haven't read all the comments in here yet, but is it my understanding if I do nothing with my hotmail account, it'll be deleted by MS? I've had mine since ????

Guest said:

My inbox is definitely better - well done Microsoft ! The calendar has the old look though so it seems it is still a work in progress.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Impressive.

Tried it and it is <I>really</I> good. It just feels so fast and fresh.

I will forward all my Gmail e-mails to this. Will try this for an entire week and see if I can replace Gmail. I would just for the interface alone, but Gmail is still very powerful; so we'll see...

Guest said:

Can someone please tell me how to remove the stupid adds on the right-hand side.

Why it is not that simple - give us an option to turn that sh**t off....

RajeGera RajeGera said:

I am wondering for the those who used to create 100s of emails in a day.Now they have to manipulate their code to adjust with new features and extension.I had been doing the same for years..

Zoltan Head said:

Good idea changing the name to Outlook, seems instantly familiar somehow...

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The serial killer in the first photo really frightens me.

learninmypc learninmypc said:

The upgrade link is not there - I click options in my Windows Live Mail, and it gives me options for the reading pane (Off, Right or Bottom) and a more options link - where's the button?

Simply go to outlook.com

learninmypc learninmypc said:

Ok, I haven't read all the comments in here yet, but is it my understanding if I do nothing with my hotmail account, it'll be deleted by MS? I've had mine since ????

Ok,I think I've answered my own question. I just went to outlook.com & found my inbox with the same thats in the hotmail.com one so I'm going to delete everything in hotmail. Yes, sometimes change does suck.

supertech supertech said:

Looks good, very clean and much more appealing to the eye.

Kind of looks like Office365 Exchange services.

nismo91 said:

love it. it's clean and runs without ad at the moment. I've been using hotmail before gmail even come out, and honestly it's been a while since MS revamp the free hotmail UI so it's a welcomed upgrade for me.

learninmypc learninmypc said:

I have had several hotmail accounts FOREVER and I recently secured a unique @live.com email address. I DO NOT want an @outlook.com address and WILL NOT use it. If I wanted outlook I would use outlook on my computer. I will move all my accounts to g-mail and microsoft can take a great big jump in the lake!

If MS takes a big jump in the lake, what OS will you be using then?

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Not bad, but then again I extensively use Outlook as my primary mail client, so to have similar interface for new mail service make sense. Not sure how one of the commentators said 'it looks like gmail' as simply put it doesn't.

Guest said:

I hate it! AND it wont let me revert back to how it was!! Messenger is no longer incorporated either. Also, why does FaceAche need to be included with everything!! STUPID

Guest said:

Re. "If MS takes a big jump in the lake, what OS will you be using then?"

Several Linux distros, BSD, Haiku, UNIX, Icaros, OSX, etc. etc. :-)

learninmypc learninmypc said:

Why is it I can send myself an email from my outlook.com address to another email address of mine but when I reply, it says

"This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

Delivery to the following recipients failed.

& it shows my *************@outlook.com

& it goes on to say' Final-Recipient: rfc822;*************@outlook.com

Action: failed

Status: 5.5.0

Diagnostic-Code: smtp;550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable (-949396564:3735:0)

????

Guest said:

Agrred, they should put up a nonbloatware version of the email. Why subject everyone to their Win8 box fetish bloat!

Guest said:

I hate the boxmail look!

NightAngel79 said:

I am totally having issues trying to add my new outlook email.... TO OUTLOOK CLIENT!!!! Really? I'm using Office/Outlook 07 buy seriously? I can't add the Outlook email address to my Outlook?!?!?

DAOWAce DAOWAce said:

Oh joy, ANOTHER re-design.

How many times has this happened?

I still have some old hotmail accounts (only one I actually use for certain things) with a ton of history in them, so I don't plan to ever get rid of them, but god, constant re-designs are NOT beneficial to your company's services. Microsoft doesn't understand this.

Google did it to Gmail and upset tens of thousands of people and they still haven't offered the old theme again. We're forced to use Stylish that still doesn't get GMail back to the way it was before, but at least it's not as obnoxious.

The more sites do re-designs, the harder they seem to become to use, and the less I end up using them and even forgetting about them entirely (Fileplanet; which I had an annual sub to)

Guest said:

I hate it. Hate all the columns. Hate the layout. Hate the fonts. Just lost an important email I had flagged. When I tried to print the attachment (clicked the paperclip) it disappeared. Have spent the last hour going thru all my junk/deleted & inbox messages looking for it. Gone. Nowhere to be found. Will start using yahoo for everything now. A pity as I've had hotmail as long as I can remember. Now hate it.

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