Microsoft Launches Windows Live Hotmail Worldwide
Microsoft Corp. today announced that Windows Live™ Hotmail®, the successor to MSN® Hotmail, is launching globally in 36 languages. The most significant upgrade for Hotmail since it pioneered the webmail industry in 1996, the new service has been built to be a vast improvement over the previous Hotmail offering, having incorporated input from more than 20 million beta testers. Windows Live Hotmail will deliver a safer, more powerful and productive e-mail experience than previous versions with flexible access via the Web, on a mobile phone or with an e-mail client. Microsoft also announced that later this month Windows Live Hotmail customers will be able to access their Windows Live Hotmail e-mail and contacts for free* using Microsoft® Office Outlook® 2003 or Office Outlook 2007 via the new Microsoft Office Outlook Connector beta.
As Windows Live Hotmail begins rolling out on May 7 and continues over the coming days, consumers will be able to visit http://www.hotmail.com to sign up for a new Windows Live Hotmail account. Current MSN Hotmail customers can also update their existing account to Windows Live Hotmail by logging into their account and clicking on the green Join Windows Live Hotmail button.
“We’re thrilled to deliver Windows Live Hotmail to the more than 280 million active MSN Hotmail accounts around the world,” said Steve Berkowitz, senior vice president of the Online Services Group at Microsoft. “Windows Live Hotmail represents an extremely compelling end-to-end e-mail experience that makes it easy for customers to get best-of-breed e-mail access across PCs, mobile devices and the Web. Windows Live Hotmail is a cornerstone online service for Microsoft and a critical part of our online advertising business because e-mail is a key point of influence for consumer purchases. We’re pleased to announce the launch of the service to advertisers in addition to consumers on the eve of the Microsoft Strategic Account Summit.”
Millions of pieces of customer feedback played an instrumental role in the development of the look and feel of the new Windows Live Hotmail. Key customer benefits include the following:
Access: Hotmail, Where You Want It
Today’s Windows Live Hotmail customers don’t necessarily sit behind a computer screen all day; they want flexibility for their busy lives. As a result, Microsoft has developed new technologies to meet their needs:
• Outlook Connector. Available later this month in 11 languages worldwide, the new Microsoft Office Outlook Connector beta will enable people to view and manage their Windows Live Hotmail account from Outlook for free, with full contact, e-mail and e-mail folder synchronization.
• Mobile. Using Windows Live Hotmail for mobile (http://mobile.live.com), customers can access their e-mail when they are on the go on a Web-enabled mobile phone or PDA. In the future, Windows Mobile® customers will receive a richer online and offline Windows Live Hotmail experience with Windows Live for Windows Mobile, which will ship with Windows Mobile v6.
• More to come. In the coming weeks, Microsoft will introduce an additional e-mail client option for Windows Live Hotmail with the release of Windows Live Mail beta, a free consumer e-mail client available via download that will be a successor to Outlook Express and Windows Mail on Windows Vista™.
Productivity: The Power of Desktop Software With Your Personal Web E-Mail
E-mail speed and reliability are critical to consumers. To help maximize productivity in e-mail, Microsoft is offering new features, including the following:
• More like Outlook. With right-click and drag-and-drop capabilities, preview pane customization and auto-complete addressing, all designed for optimal productivity, Windows Live Hotmail looks and feels more like the Outlook software millions use at work every day.
• More Windows Live services. Windows Live Messenger presence is built into Windows Live Hotmail so customers can see from their inbox if their Messenger contacts are online. If a contact is online, customers can begin a conversation with the contact directly.
• The space customers need. Microsoft remains committed to providing Windows Live Hotmail customers with all the storage space they need to remain productive in e-mail. With an inbox storage size starting at 2 GB, Windows Live Hotmail will continue to grow its storage capacity to meet customer needs.
Protection: Safety Made Simple
According to feedback from customers, e-mail safety is one of the most important things to them. Windows Live Hotmail is designed to help protect customers before potentially harmful e-mail messages make it into their inbox, and helps them make better, more informed decisions about the safety level of their e-mail. These are some of the new safety features:
• Safety bar. When an e-mail message arrives in the Windows Live Hotmail inbox after multiple safety checks, the safety bar at the top of each e-mail message will give a visual cue of the status of the e-mail: white indicates the e-mail is from a known sender, yellow indicates the e-mail is from an unknown sender and red indicates the e-mail is potentially fraudulent.
• Improved spam protection. With one click on the “mark as unsafe” link, customers can automatically delete junk e-mail messages, block any future e-mail messages from that junk e-mail sender, and report the junk e-mail sender to Microsoft’s spam filters to help protect others.
Personalization: Control Your View
As a direct result of customer feedback, Microsoft is providing Windows Live Hotmail customers with more control over the look and feel of their e-mail.
• Two views. Customers can choose how they view their Windows Live Hotmail. The classic version looks similar to MSN Hotmail for those who prefer the familiar look, while full version works more like Outlook with more advanced functionality.
• Color choice. Customers can make their Windows Live Hotmail inbox their own with a choice of color themes.
About MSN and Windows Live
MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com. Windows Live is available at http://www.live.com. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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