Microsoft introduces new Outlook.com
- — 31 July, 2012 22:00
Microsoft has introduced its new foray into email, Outlook.com. One million people have already signed up to preview the service.
Email has also been revamped for those with old Hotmail accounts, although there does not appear to be a way to change @hotmail.com addresses to @outlook.com. Those who are unhappy with Outlook's new design can revert to the Hotmail look and feel - for now.
Outlook appears to have been launched to pair with Windows 8, as it uses elements of the Metro interface, such as Windows 8's live tiles, and has a simplistic look.
However, Outlook.com accounts can be more easily syncronised across devices and can be linked to social media networks. One way this works is by displaying information about a contact when they email you - information Micrososft gathers from not only your contact book, but the social networks linked to the sender's account.
Outlook.com also has a messaging service that looks similar to Facebook's, with a contact bar that can pop up on the right-hand side of the screen.
Is it time to rethink your email provider?
Both Yahoo and Microsoft have revamepd their email services in recent weeks, and both are big improvements on their previous services.
So, Gmail users, is it time to reconsider your email provider?
Maybe. It's worth noting that Microsoft and Yahoo advertise differently to the way Google does.
Where Gmail scans your personal emails to serve up appropriate advertising, Microsoft does not. The new Outlook even allows you to cover up advertising altogether with various panes.
Yahoo, on the other hand, uses just one small ad in the top corner of the left hand side, above links to your inbox and other folders.
Through both Outlook and Yahoo, you can sign into Facebook chat and message your contacts from your email, within the email instant messaging system - something Gmail only allows you to do by emailing someone's @facebook.com address.
However, for most of you, the answer is likely "no" - Gmail is so ingrained that many won't be easily able to up and move to another address.