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Microsoft Takes Cues from Gmail with New Hotmail

Microsoft this week showed off a little preview of the new version of Hotmail. Following in Google's footsteps, Microsoft is adding threading, an embedded instant messenger as well as a cleaner interface.

While the new Hotmail seems to be heavily influenced by its biggest competitor, not all the features are copy-cat improvements swiped from Gmail. GigaOm reports that new features include the ability to add videos from Hulu, Justin.tv and YouTube, and a new Bing sidebar that allows you to add maps, pictures and information like movie times to an email. You can pull up all emails from one person just by clicking on their name and there's a handy-dandy 'sweep' tool that allows you to delete all messages from one sender and block all future messages. The revised Hotmail will also provide a better experience when accessed from mobile platforms as well as the ability for basic editing of Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents.

Microsoft is also adding photo-sharing capabilities, but these are not what you'd expect. The limit for photos in a single message is a massive 10GB. This is because doesn't actually transfer the photos, it just hosts them on the cloud. If you have Silverlight installed, you can view the photos online in an animated slideshow. If not, you can either view them online (though not as part of a fancy slideshow) or download them directly.

Read more about the new Hotmail on GigaOm.

*Image via GigaOm

  • I think it's a little too late, I got turned off from Hotmail a long time ago, but who knows this might just get me to change my opinion.
    Reply
  • dhlee528
    Do they support IMAP now?
    Reply
  • Tyellock
    I hope with the new improvements copied from GMail, they'll let you POP it to an email client. Even if it's only restricted to Outlook, it is a MS product that you have paid for.
    Reply
  • dhlee528
    hotmail support pop3, it just that they don't support IMAP
    Reply
  • HansVonOhain
    They need to move away from Silverlight and go to HTML5, or their interface is slow....
    Reply
  • tokenz
    My hotmail email address is my junk email address.
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    Nice changes! I've been an ardent user of hotmail for 7 years now, and haven't found the incentive to switch over to anything else.
    Reply
  • feeddagoat
    Hotmail is a waste in this day and age with MSN and texts. If it could send photos better than it might have a use but sending photoes in bulk by email is almost impossible. If hotmail increase the size of allowed attachments to actually allow more than one photo at a time I might consider using email again. ATM im not happy with hotmail or gmail, only reason I still have either is for MSN, signing up to things online and backing up contacts and the calander on my phone. The last thing I don't need since outlook can handle it as does blackberry manager but it gave me a use for my gmail and a third option. contacts take the most basic of data rather than all i have saved which is a shame but thats better than Hotmail which fails to sync at all so its a non starter there. Both offerings fall short in a lot of areas in my eyes.

    What both hotmail and gmail need:-
    1. Larger attachments to take multi photos
    2. Sync contacts and calander properly with phones
    3.A simpler interface. While hotmail is pretty simple it still seems cluttered
    4. Some sort of desktop app. MSN is ok but the amount of crashes and version clashes and virus's is a joke. Not to mention when you get mail you need to open the browser and sign in anyway.
    Reply
  • darkscorpion20
    feeddagoatHotmail is a waste in this day and age with MSN and texts. If it could send photos better than it might have a use but sending photoes in bulk by email is almost impossible. If hotmail increase the size of allowed attachments to actually allow more than one photo at a time I might consider using email again. ATM im not happy with hotmail or gmail, only reason I still have either is for MSN, signing up to things online and backing up contacts and the calander on my phone. The last thing I don't need since outlook can handle it as does blackberry manager but it gave me a use for my gmail and a third option. contacts take the most basic of data rather than all i have saved which is a shame but thats better than Hotmail which fails to sync at all so its a non starter there. Both offerings fall short in a lot of areas in my eyes. What both hotmail and gmail need:-1. Larger attachments to take multi photos2. Sync contacts and calander properly with phones3.A simpler interface. While hotmail is pretty simple it still seems cluttered4. Some sort of desktop app. MSN is ok but the amount of crashes and version clashes and virus's is a joke. Not to mention when you get mail you need to open the browser and sign in anyway.
    You clearly have never used either of their services and did not read the message above at all.
    Reply
  • I might give this a shot. the reason why i use gmail is to chat.
    Reply