Hotmail Replaced by Outlook: Account Migration to Begin Immediately
Microsoft will begin phasing out Hotmail email addresses and replacing them with Outlook.com accounts, the company announced in an official release earlier this week.
Microsoft introduced Outlook last summer as a preview, and called it the "world's fastest growing email service, going from 0 to 60 million in just six months." On Monday, the company took Outlook out of beta mode and officially debuted the service worldwide.
"Starting today, Microsoft will begin to upgrade every Hotmail user to Outlook.com," the company said in the release. "The upgrade is seamless and instant for Hotmail customers; everything including their @hotmail.com email address, password, contacts, etc., will stay the same."
The new Outlook client features a clean design inspired by the Windows 8 interface, according to Time.com's Harry McCracken.
"Outlook.com is a far better service than Hotmail," he writes, "Yet it's also recognizable as having a family connection to Hotmail, reducing the chances that anyone will be bewildered by it." (read more of his Outlook review here).
Microsoft says the new service makes it easier for email users to connect with social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The new Outlook also features a cloud storage service called SkyDrive, which is "designed to make it easy to send hundreds of photos and videos in a single message."
According to ABC News, Microsoft said at Outlook's launch that their email client is very different from Google's popular Gmail service. They said that unlike Google, they will not scan users' emails to create targeted ads, a technique they called "an invasion of your privacy."
A Google representative countered in an interview with ABC that their targeted ads "keep Google and many of the websites and services Google offers free of charge."