Hotmail.com to become Outlook.com – switch now!

I’ll just say it: I love the new design for Microsoft’s online email service! It’s clean, simple and effective.

Outlook.com is the successor to Hotmail.com which it eventually will replace. Summer 2012 Microsoft made Outlook.com available as a preview.

If you go to outlook.com and log in with your @hotmail.com, @live.com, msn@com (and so on), you automatically get the new design (you can switch back to Hotmail if you so choose).

You can also rename your account (move it over) to @outlook.com or make an alias.

Warning: Renaming can cause problems with other Microsoft products and services. Especially if you use Windows Phone: You’ll have to do a factory reset, causing you to loose all your data.

Resembling the well known Outlook client (part of Microsoft Office for years), you get your inbox and other folders to he left, your message list in the middle and the contents itself to the right. The so called message preview can  be placed at the bottom or turned off completely.

Drag and drop is supported, so you can easily add attachments when you compose a new mail or drag emails to folders. Right-click a folder or message for more options and even use keyboard shortcuts (i.e. Control + Enter to send). You can connect to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, which will show info from these networks for your contacts also on these networks. You can also connect to other online email services like Gmail and Yahoo and either import your contacts and messages or simply make Outlook.com your universal inbox for all these services.

Most of these features were also present in Hotmail.com, but are more prominent in Outlook.com and thus easier to find or figure out.

Read more at the official Outlook Preview site, which also include a video.

Also be sure to follow the Outlook Blog for updates.

Microsoft’s other services will also be updated with this new look. Actually, SkyDrive already has (together with the Office Web Apps).

All in all I highly recommend you do the switch today if you use Hotmail already.

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