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Last summer, we released a preview of Outlook.com, a new modern email service from Microsoft. Since then, we've been humbled by the fast pace of adoption with over 60 million people already actively using Outlook.com. During the same period, we've received lots of feedback and made many improvements. Today, we're excited to announce the next step in this journey: Outlook.com is coming out of preview and people everywhere can get started and give it a try at Outlook.com.
Today is a major milestone in our mission to provide people everywhere with the world's best email experience. You'll also see us kick off a large-scale marketing effort around the world to show that Outlook.com can get you going. And because we're confident that Outlook.com is the best email service available for consumers and ready to scale to a billion people, we'll soon start to upgrade hundreds of millions of Hotmail users to the new Outlook.com experience.
When we launched the preview, we talked about Outlook.com as a bold step forward to build a brand new email service from the ground up--all the way from the data center to the user experience and everything in between. Now more than ever, email plays a crucial role in how we get things done. Consequently, Outlook.com was designed as an email service focused on removing barriers and getting people going:
As part of the preview, we also wanted to have a conversation and ensure we were building the email service you really wanted. Our goal was to learn from feedback, fine-tune the experience and ensure we could scale Outlook.com appropriately to deliver on our vision of a new modern email for a billion inboxes.
It's been just over 6 months since the Outlook.com preview released and the reception to date has greatly surpassed our expectations; over 60 million people already actively using Outlook.com. This number represents people that sign in several times a month via the web, client, or smart phone to really use our service.
Through the preview, we've heard and learned a great deal about your favorite features and how well Outlook.com is delivering on our vision for modern email. For example, millions of people are connecting Outlook.com to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to keep up-to-date on their friends' contact info, updates, photos, and Tweets. And a number of people have expressed appreciation that Outlook.com replaces advertising with the latest updates from Facebook or Twitter when they're reading email from one of their contacts. In fact on average, people saw 60% fewer ads when using Outlook.com because they're now getting much more relevant updates from their friends.
Outlook.com's tools for handling newsletters and commercial mail, which make up as much as 80% of the typical inbox, are another set of well-received and well-used features. Outlook.com comes with Sweep, a simple but powerful feature that helps people clear out their inbox by moving, archiving, or deleting specific email (and having this happen automatically in the future, if they want). It's a very satisfying feeling when you regain control once you sweep out hundreds or even thousands of messages from your inbox.
Outlook.com was also designed to make it easy to send hundreds of photos, videos and just about everything people want in a single message--all powered by SkyDrive. Nearly half of the people using Outlook.com have already used SkyDrive to share more than half a billion photos and Office documents.
We've been very excited by the adoption of the preview and how it's delivering on our promise of a new, reimagined email service. Throughout the preview, we learned a tremendous amount from seeing how people used the service. Early adopters have told us what they liked, what they'd like to see next, and what we needed to do to make more people switch. And we've used that to add new features and fine-tune the services to scale. Now that Outlook.com is coming out of preview, we'll be kicking off a huge push across a number of countries around the world to drive even greater awareness and adoption of Outlook.com. Our goal is to make people everywhere aware of the new and compelling features provided by Outlook.com and to make it easy for them to give Outlook.com a try as a new email service.
When we say that we're confident Outlook.com is the best email choice for consumers, we mean it. As Outlook.com comes out of preview, we're also announcing that we will soon upgrade every Hotmail user to Outlook.com. The upgrade is seamless and instant for people who use Hotmail. Everything from their @hotmail.com email address, password, messages, folders, contacts, rules, vacation replies, etc. will stay the same, with no disruption in service. When upgraded, they'll also get all the benefits from the redesigned Outlook.com experience--a fresh and intuitive user interface, lots of new features and better performance. And we won't ever make you switch your email address to an @outlook.com address if you don't want to.
We expect all people using Hotmail to be upgraded by this summer. And for those that are excited to get the new benefits of the Outlook.com experience, there's no need to wait. You can upgrade today by simply signing in at Outlook.com and we'll take care of the rest.
We want to thank the more than 60 million of you that are already using Outlook.com actively. We sincerely appreciate the feedback you've been sending us and the valuable role you've played in making today's news happen. Of course there's always a lot more to come, but for those of you that have been waiting to give it a try, now is your chance. Outlook.com is out of preview and it's a great time to upgrade. We look forward to hearing what you think.
--David Law, Director of Product Management, Outlook.com
@andrewtechhelp - calendar is still coming - stay tuned.
Can you give us a date? I am a heavy user of calendar and can't get myself to use old Windows Live calendar after enjoying the clean looks of Outlook.com.
What about more security? Please turn on something like 2-factor authentication via SMS for all country.
There's one thing that stops me switching from gmail - no 2 step authentication. Please implement this, for many people it is critical.
Being using outlook.com since day one, and love it.
That said, with "Calendar", "Skype integration", and the "ability to rename principal e-mail account" (Microsoft Account) still missing, it seems to me that this "we are out of beta" statement is simply "marking the begining of the mediatic push", rather than releasing a more finished version of outlook.com
Please let me send out emails without the "on behalf of" in the from field.
Outlook renaming / Creating Alias is not working for many users for the last couple of months. When will this be resolved?
I have a live.com account that was grandfathered into the old 25gb SkyDrive account. I really want to upgrade this to a new outlook account but the rename account isn't working for me. Is there any way for me to upgrade this account or move the SkyDrive over to a new account? I heard that they were working to make all users able to do this.
@CaptainStack and @BrijeshH - rename has been temporarily disabled, but you can definitely add an alias. Just go to the setting icon in the top right (looks like a little gear), click "More Mail Options", and then pick "Create an Outlook alias". thanks!
@David Law - For how long will it remain disabled?
I bet it will probably be updated soon for sure.
Same question as before guys - when is IMAP coming? That's when you'll see people start looking at Outlook as a real Gmail alternative.
Hmm, so you went out of preview, and what's changed? Skype integration? Better fb/wm chat? More responsiveness? Complex filters? Proper conversation view grouped by theme?
And even more - finally live/auto mail checking?
@Kunal - IMAP is one of the most requested features. Nothing to talk about today, but please know we've heard the feedback. Thanks!