Microsoft has introduced the new replacement for its Hotmail email service: Outlook.com.
The new email website is a complete turnaround for the long-existing Hotmail.com that well-utilizes the Metro UI. Microsoft is inviting users to shift from their current @hotmail.com email addresses to @outlook.com addresses.
The good thing about this new webmail service is that the user interface found in the homepage has been well-designed in a way that aspects are neat, not congested, and properly organized so that the user might think he or she could have accidentally entered the mobile edition of the website.
Located on the left portion of the page is the standard folder list containing items such as Inbox, Junk, Drafts, etc. However, it does not just end there. Supplementary options, like marking all mails as read or creating a new folder, are accessible by right-clicking on the said contents.
The Outlook logo is at the top portion but does not only serve as display, rather it presents a drop-down list, allowing users to shift to their contacts, calendar or SkyDrive account.
In the Mail app is an option located at the top intended to create new mail. Clicking it will lead to a two-pane window structured with the ‘To’ label and the mail editor on the left and right, respectively.
At the right portion of the top bar, alongside the settings and profile buttons, is another switch intentionally designed to open Messenger, which allows a user to send messages via Windows Live. This also allows chatting with folks on Facebook, which makes it closely related to the messaging app in Windows 8. Moreover, the software giant has also made plans on integrating Skype for an easy tap with friends.
The Contacts portion not only displays the user’s Hotmail contacts, but also has the added benefit of being able to include contacts from social networks such as Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The contacts are on the left side of the pane; once clicked, their corresponding information will appear on the right. It also allows selection of multiple contacts as their information would simply appear as tiles on the right, which makes it convenient so users will not have to spend a lot of time and effort on individually right-clicking multiple contacts.
However, among the drop-down options, only the Contacts page has been updated to the new Metro UI, whereas both the Calendar and SkyDrive app are stuck with the timeworn Hotmail style UI.
Another downside of the innovative site is the lack of a toggle option that could possibly allow the user to shift back to the Outlook homepage after shifting the page to the selected menu. It is rather confusing to think that the feature would seem like a terminal that leads the user to another page from a different service provider.
Of course, the new site eventually has its mobile version, which is accessible via iOS or Android smartphones. For some reason, it also immediately works on the iPad, though the full desktop version works wonders on most tablets.
Generally, the Outlook.com is an effective modernization to the famous Hotmail service. It is attractively fresh and inviting that would let you have the desire to log in on a daily basis. This recent innovation is Microsoft’s match-up with Google’s popular emailing service, Gmail. Admittedly, it would be a tough challenge on how to grab Gmail’s audience, but primary figures suggest a good feedback for Microsoft, as it was able to convince a million new users to register in only a few hours of letting the service go live.
[tweet https://twitter.com/Outlook/status/230427048919851008 align='center']
Nonetheless, it is yet too early to conclude whether the registered users would be interested to stay with the service or unsatisfyingly just want to try it out. However, old Hotmail users, who have loyally been active to the network and found no legitimate reason to switch to Gmail, are here to stay.