Tech bloggers often dismiss
Hotmail, Microsoft's webmail service, as an
outmoded relic of the late '90s. However, it's still the world's most
popular e-mail service, and the second most popular in the U.S. That's why the announcement
that Microsoft is upgrading
Hotmail to better compete
with its Google counterpart, Gmail, is big news. Slated for release in July or
August, here are some of its most alluring new features:
- You Can Watch Videos in the Email! cheers Ryan Singel at Wired: "Hotmail will
let you watch video links from Hulu and YouTube right in the e-mail you
are reading, and you can easily find videos to send to people using a
Bing search drop down box in the compose window."
Photo Features Jason Kincaid at TechCrunch writes: "When
you receive a message that has either photo attachments or links to an
online photo album, Hotmail will use those photos to build a slick
slideshow (it uses Silverlight). The service is even better for sending
photos. Most email services aren’t great for sending photos, because
they have a limit of 10-20 megabytes per message (and you also have to
worry about whether the recipient’s service will allow for messages that
large). Hotmail works around this by automatically uploading your
images to Microsoft’s cloud storage service SkyDrive, which is free up
to 25 GB. The resulting message looks great."
- Nice Junk Mail
Features, applauds Edward Albro at PC World: "These
days, most true spam - Viagra ads and porn come-ons - gets caught before
it ever gets to your inbox. But you still get semi-spam messages:
newsletters that you signed up for, but then found weren't that useful
or coupons from a store you no longer shop with. With a little work, you
could figure out how to unsubscribe, but Hotmail's Sweep feature makes
evicting them from your inbox much easier. You hover over the sender of a
message and can choose to delete all messages, past and future, from
that sender or, automatically move them to a different folder, if you
want to keep them, but don't want them cluttering your inbox."
Sorting, notes Gavin Clarke at The Register: "A feature
called QuickView will filter emails according to how you've flagged them
up for later action. You can filter out photos, Office documents or -
strangely - updates from organizations shipping items that you've bought
online. QuickView works by searching for indicators like certain words
or links in the body of message."
- It's Integrated with
Microsoft Office, applauds Stan Schroeder at Mashable. "The
new Hotmail is also integrated with Office Web Apps, meaning that you
can edit documents directly from your inbox."
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