Microsoft has made several announcements related to its Outlook.com free email service. First, it noted that since its debut last year, the service has acquired 60 million users. Second, it's no longer a "preview" and is now available to anyone that wants to use it. And third, if you have a Hotmail account, you'll have to switch to Outlook.com.
In the Outlook blog, Microsoft's David Law wrote, "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."
PCMag's Angela Moscaritolo reported, "All users of the company's vintage Hotmail service will be automatically moved over to Outlook this summer, though users can switch sooner if they want, Microsoft said. When making the transition from Hotmail to Outlook.com, users won't need to notify their contacts of a new email address or set up the service from scratch. Users can keep the same @hotmail email address, and their password, messages, folders, contacts, rules, vacation replies, and other settings will all stay the same with no disruption, Microsoft promised."
USA Today's Edward C. Baig noted, "To help spread the Outlook.com gospel, Microsoft plans to launch a massive TV and digital advertising campaign. Microsoft has already been running ads attacking Google over Gmail privacy. The company says Outlook.com won't use your personal conversations to serve ads."
PCWorld's Ian Paul commented, "There’s a lot to love about the Outlook.com migration if you’re a Hotmail user. First of all, you get a Webmail service with a clean, modern interface that is much easier on the eyes than the crowded 90’s-style look of Hotmail. Microsoft’s new Webmail service also integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn so you can see social updates from your contacts right in your e-mail window. If you already integrated these accounts with Windows Live, these settings should also come with you. Outlook.com includes some of the handy tools Microsoft integrated into Hotmail, including ‘Sweep’ and ‘categories’ for better message handling. The new service also integrates with other newly revamped online services from Microsoft, including SkyDrive and People, though regrettably, Calendar has not yet been overhauled."