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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
Oh okay awesome. I was just asking because I couldn't rename my account before. I figured it had something to do with this:
"If your account has been blocked more than once because someone else was using your account, you will not be able to rename it. We're working to remove this limitation."
taken from here: blogs.office.com/.../upgrade-from-hotmail-to-outlook-com.aspx_
Any word on when you'll re-enable renaming, and when you'll allow people who had blocked accounts to rename?
Has something changed that with Outlook.com now that it is out of preview? Or is the only change that your ads are ready? I have been using Outlook.com since the first day and one thing you are horrible at is time. The preview video had Skype and it said "coming soon", now just over 6 months later nothing has happened, how can this be anything near coming soon? I do like the new UI very much, but how hard is it to upgrade the calendar? The calendar is one thing many prefer with Gmail, it may be your biggest selling point if you can fix it. And when mentioning other sites on the live.com domain, why has account.live.com a broken UI? There is no drop-down meny for Mail, People etc. Now chat, not settings menu. The left menu is more or less useless, you can't see any sub-menu before you click on "Manage email preferences " in "Notifications", then suddenly the sub-menu "Email" and "Marketing" pops up. And why is it that if you go to "Permissions > Managed linked accounts" you get four links in the sub-menu if you click on "Manage accounts" you get a whole new menu with "Add accounts" and "Manage your accounts". I love Outlook.com but I can't see whats "out of preview" and especially not sites that have very much to do whit Outlook.com but is not the main mail site.
OK, nice!!! But what about the Windows Phone 7 users? Untill now it was said, that you could not change the Live ID used during the setup of the Windows Phone. So what will happen when the accounts are automatically migrated to Outlook.com? What about all the data and the purchased apps on the Phone linked to the Hotmail Live-id?
According to the interview The Verge did with Dharmesh Mehta, senior director of Outlook.com, a "Calendar UI upgrade" together with proper Skype integration and an updated Android-app will be coming "soon after the 19th"...FINALLY.
No, it's nothing that I thought it would be. Yes, it has clearer interface, inbox is improved, there is less ads or none (i don't know, I am using ad-blocker), but if I wanna know who is online from my fb contacts I to open the contacts tab, and if I, while chatting wanna know if there is a new mail I need to go back to the inbox page. If I wanna see who is online I need to scroll all the way down(on contacts page) and see it, which is time consuming. Hotmail was way better, on one single page, you could see who is online, social updates and new emails. Maybe, it would be better if you make another WebIM just like you did with Windows Live so that we can use chat separately. So, please, Microsoft, keep the existing Windows Live service, don't retire it. This is not just me talking, I have heard other people saying the same thing.
I love Outlook and have been using it ever since you told Hotmail users to try it out. I'm wondering when the calendar update is coming. That's the one thing that is still old school Hotmail style. When we can we expect to get the new calendar?
Your account is still a Microsoft account, even if the name of the service you use is Hotmail or Outlook. As it says in the article "And we won't ever make you switch your email address to an @outlook.com address if you don't want to."
If you do want to change it to outlook.com (you can also make an alias with @outlook.com) I do think you will need to reset your phone to factory settings.
If you want to see who is online when viewing a mail it's just to open the messenger sidebar and click on "Start new conversation" and you will see all online contacts. I do miss the social updates, but you can see new mails and chat/see who is online with Outlook.
Or here's an idea, open multiple tabs and keep them in the views you need. I shut off "chat" on Outlook and keep the FB.com site open. Much easier.
Outlook.com is good, but can be enhanced on some points:
1 - Regarding Rules/Sweep:
1.1 - Add Mark as read to the Select the action the rule applies list and/or to the Sweep menu
1.2 - Enable multiple actions per rule instead of only one (for example: Move to x, Flag and Mark as read)
2- Ability to send password protected Office files: at the moment it is impossible (This file, X, is password protected so it can't be scanned for viruses is shown)
3- Send mail for aggregated email accounts via that account’s smtp server instead of Outlook.com, because now email sent as if from another account will bear a "From email@example.com on behalf of firstname.lastname@example.org" header which confuses some recipients and makes some spam filters skittish.
4- Reading pane is really convenient, except that after deleting/moving a message the next message is automatically shown and that one gets marked as read. When using the reading pane, automatically marking the next message as read isn’t convenient. Therefore i would like to suggest the following things:
4.1 - Add ‘Show a message only after I select it after deleting/moving a message’ (like the already existing option for Reading Pane ‘When you first open your inbox or another folder, set the reading pane to: Show a message only after I select it’
4.2 - Mark email as read when viewed in the Reading Pane, but wait x (say 4) seconds before marking email as read
4.3 - Mark email as read when selection changes
5 - Add a Format Painter feature to the ‘toolbar’ of the composing/reply pane
6 - As SkyDrive.com has pdf viewing capability, pdf files should be viewable from within Outlook.com as well (like pictures Active View)
7 - The option to toggle between "Reply" and "Reply All" as the default option is convenient, but please add a toggle to switch between reply/reply all/forward *after* having started to reply
8 - Add option to change “from name” for aggregated email accounts
9 - Add the following option to Default "From" address (Options > Your email accounts): send from the same address the message was sent to; especially useful when you have added send-only or send-and-receive accounts (aggregated email accounts)
10 - More options for reply-to: if I receive email from my work address, when I click reply, the default reply-to should be my work address.
11 - Multiple (custom) signatures according to the send-as address. E.g. if I want to send email from my outlook.com address, it should use my outlook.com signature. If I send email with my aggregated address, it should use that signature.
12 - Add ability to save attachments directly to SkyDrive and send files already on SkyDrive from within Outlook.com
I noticed that a friend’s Outlook.com inbox (Reading Pane off) shows next to the subject line “Categories” or the name of the added category (I saw it in the Get Sweep Automate your inbox ad as well). I found it really convenient that he could add a category to the message by clicking on the label next to the message (instead of the need to click on categories in the toolbar). Is there an option to set this or is this feature rolling out (he’s on a bayxxx.mail.live.com server while I’m on dubxxx.mail.live.com)?
So when is Outlook getting a new Calendar? Microsoft, in general, has this amazing knack for releasing great things that are half-finished and then taking forever to get the job done.
Lot of requests and complaints sent through Feedback on Outlook.com are not been solved. But, it got out of preview.
When is Skype coming to Outlook.com?