Info-tech

Microsoft weaves a new Web with Outlook.com

Our Bureau Bangalore | Updated on March 12, 2018

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Targeting the billion users mark, Microsoft has launched Outlook.com, a Web-based email service.

The software that is used for email, chat and calendar services will be offered as a personal email service in addition to its traditional desktop application service.

Microsoft has also combined its old services such as Windows Live (which is an ID used to sign into services such as Hotmail, Skype, SkyDrive or XBox). Hotmail users can upgrade to Outlook.com. With this facelift, Hotmail users will be able to keep their Hotmail IDs or live.com addresses, but new users will have to choose @outlook.com email domain name.

According to Microsoft officials, everyone will be moved to Outlook, but the company gave no deadline for the transition. Hotmail, launched in 1996, has 325 million users, according to research firm comScore and is the largest email service provider.

However, Google’s Gmail has garnered 298.2 million users since its launch in April 2004 and has grown rapidly compared to Microsoft. Also, increasing competition from social networking sites such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter is eating into Microsoft’s ad revenues. According to industry watchers, this move by Microsoft is an attempt to stay relevant as the company attempts to combine its different online properties into a single one. This includes syncing email with Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

Chris Jones, Microsoft’s corporate vice-president of Windows Live, in a blog post, said: “We needed to take a bold step, break from the past and build you brand new service from the ground up.” Microsoft is following in the footsteps of Google that recently offered Gmail users unlimited storage space and gave Gmail a facelift.

venkatesh.ganesh@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 01, 2012

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