REDMOND, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - May 18, 2010) - Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) today previewed the new Windows Live™ Hotmail® – the next generation of personal email - designed with smart tools that help people manage the clutter in their inboxes, save time on the most common tasks they do with email, take the headache out of sharing large attachments like photos, and view and edit Microsoft Office documents right in the Hotmail inbox using just a browser.
Today's inboxes are overflowing with mail that most people consider junk. Even if it is mail that's legitimate, it's still not easy for customers to keep their inbox clean and organized. To help, the new Hotmail delivers the first and only virtual broom, enabling customers to easily sweep unwanted mail out of the inbox. It also helps cut through clutter with intelligent filters that in a single click will filter the entire inbox to show mail just from contacts, just social network alerts, or just mail from the groups users belong to.
With the new Hotmail, customers will also find ways to save time doing the things they most often do with email because Hotmail is giving people the ability to do things that would normally require them to leave their inboxes and jump to other websites. Now customers will be able to see rich previews of photos and videos from popular sites like Flickr and YouTube and see the status of tracked packages in real time, inside their emails. They'll also be able to accept invitations to connect with someone on a social or professional networking site like LinkedIn – all from the convenience of their inboxes.
"With over 360 million active Hotmail accounts worldwide, Microsoft has spent a lot of time listening to customer feedback and thoughtfully designing solutions to meet their needs," stated Owen Sagness, Vice President, Consumer and Online, Microsoft Canada Inc. "Whether it's organizing events, managing commercial transactions, searching for jobs, sharing photos, or communicating with friends and family, the new Hotmail will help increase personal productivity."
One of the biggest changes to Hotmail is the increased ability to manage and share personal photos and documents. Today, people are sharing over 1.5 billion photos and 350 million Microsoft Office documents per month in Hotmail. Still, the "attachment size problem" remains, regardless of which mail service people use. The new Hotmail lets customers send up 10 GB of attachments in a single message, erasing worries of attachment size limits. Send up to 200 attachments – each up to 50 MB in size – in a single message.
With the new version of Hotmail customers are able to view and edit Office documents right in inbox, and all you need is your browser to do so.
"By making it possible for you to create and edit Office documents right in your inbox, Hotmail makes it easier for you to be productive from virtually anywhere," says Sagness.
New features previewed today include those that help you quickly find important messages and manage the clutter in your inbox so that you can stay organized.
- Hotmail highlights: Immediately see if you have new email from friends, social network updates, shipments, appointments and birthday reminders - all in a single glance the moment you log in.
- Sweep. With this virtual broom you can quickly 'sweep' all unwanted mail out of your inbox and into folders or the trash. You can tell Hotmail to perform sweeps automatically with the simple check of a box. And you can sweep mail from your Gmail and Yahoo! Mail accounts by adding them to your Hotmail inbox, where you can send and receive mail from other email services.
- One click filters. In just a single click you can filter your entire inbox to show you the mail you care about most, whether it's all messages from your contacts or from social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn or mailing groups you belong to. You can also click once to find all messages that contain photos, documents, videos, shipping updates or messages you've flagged.
- Advanced search and automated search suggestions. Not only has Hotmail added an advanced search pane, but we've also made advanced search easy with inbox search auto-complete. From the moment you type a single letter into the search box, Hotmail automatically suggests a number of searches so that you can more quickly find the messages you're looking for.
- Conversation view. Group your emails by conversation or don't – it's completely up to you. A single click turns conversation view on or off.
Microsoft also showed off work they've done together with a collection of top websites to enable people to do more without having to continually leave their inboxes.
- Active views: A lot of messages prompt you to leave your inbox and hop to other websites to complete actions. Hotmail is saving you time by enabling you to complete those actions right within the messages themselves, whether it's viewing videos from YouTube or photos on Flickr, tracking the shipping status of packages in real time, or interacting with services like LinkedIn – all from the convenience of your inbox.
Given that security and privacy protection is at the forefront of everything that Microsoft does, the new Hotmail will provide a number of additional measures to help people keep their accounts safe.
- Industry leading spam-fighting. By utilizing Microsoft's SmartScreen spam and malware cloud-based filtering heuristics – technology also used by Microsoft Exchange Server, Forefront™, and Internet Explorer to help protect against spam and malicious code – Hotmail has been able to reduce the amount of spam in the average inbox from what was a "low" of 35% of the average Hotmail inbox back in 2006 to just 4% today – a best practice for personal webmail. Hotmail continues to leverage Microsoft's $9.5 Billion R&D investment to innovate new ways to minimize spam and to outpace the bad guys. Some of innovations that the new Hotmail brings with it include time traveling filters, personalized spam filtering, spam tagging, and spammer infrastructure detection.
- Trusted senders. With the new Hotmail, we help you to visually identify trusted senders in your inbox, particularly banks and other senders most commonly impersonated in phishing scams, by putting safety logos next to those senders who we recognize as legitimate.
- Full-session SSL. In addition to providing SSL encryption of credentials at login for all accounts, the new Hotmail will soon support the option to maintain SSL encryption between you and Microsoft servers during your entire Hotmail session.
- Single-use codes. This new security feature is designed to further help protect you by giving you the option to ask Hotmail to SMS to you a one-time temporary password if you'd prefer not to use your regular password when logging into Hotmail on public computers that could potentially harbor key logging malware that could steal your password, such as those sometimes found in internet cafes and airports.
Additional feature investments in the new Hotmail include the following.
- Rich mobile browse. With the new Hotmail, the mobile experience is optimized for rich browsers and touch, so that the user experience feels seamless on the latest phones. The inbox supports filters, in-line message previews, HTML messages, offline e-mail viewing, conversation threading, the ability to flag messages, the option to turn header details on or off, and more.
- Mobile Calendar. Manage invitations received via Hotmail, set reminders, aggregate multiple calendars, share your calendar with friends and family, and do it all from the calendar built into your phone with ActiveSync or from your phone's web browser.
- Exchange ActiveSync. Hotmail supports push email on the Web, PC, and now also on the mobile phone. Using Exchange ActiveSync, available on nearly 300 million phones, you can not only seamlessly synchronize Hotmail between your phone and the Web, but also synchronize your calendar and contacts
- Single contact list. The new Hotmail enables you to bring all your online contacts into one convenient place - even those from services like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace or other email services like Gmail, Yahoo!, or AOL. Hotmail makes it easy to merge or remove duplicate entries for the same contact.
- IM in the inbox. Improved integration of Messenger makes it easier to see who's online and chat with one or more person in the same window with tabbed conversations – all from within the Hotmail inbox.
- IM with Facebook friends. IM with all your buddies – not just those on Messenger, but also those on Facebook.
- Send and receive mail from other services like Gmail and Yahoo!. Now easier than ever to aggregate your accounts in Hotmail.
- Post comments to Facebook and other websites. Do this from the Hotmail home page, a page you can see when you log in or permanently skip if you'd rather just go to your inbox and log in.
- Update your status on Facebook and Windows Live Messenger. Also from the Hotmail home page.
- Ever growing storage. While this isn't new, we wanted to remind you that Hotmail gives you 5 GB to start with and then automatically adds lots of additional storage each month if you run out. That's why some people today are using well over 20 GB of storage in Hotmail.
- More themes. More ways to personalize your inbox than ever.
The new Hotmail will begin to rollout in mid-summer to customers worldwide. Learn more about the preview today by visiting http://www.hotmailpreview.com/ and sign up for Hotmail today at www.hotmail.com.
In Canada, people will soon be able to experience the added benefit of getting the Hotmail address they've always wanted: In addition to the new Hotmail, Microsoft Canada is also announcing the coming availability of Hotmail.ca email addresses. Hotmail.ca addresses will be available to Canadians starting in June – stay tuned for details.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
About Microsoft Canada
Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca.