I still remember when I made my first email account on Hotmail years ago to get started with the very concept of internet (which of course was later acquired by Microsoft). Hotmail served me at its best for few years but once Gmail was launched and I started using it, I never looked back…. until recently when Microsoft announced their all new email service Outlook.com.
Outlook.com is Microsoft updated email service which will be replacing both Live and Hotmail. Users who are using Hotmail and Live mail can choose to get a new Outlook.com email address and will be able to monitor both the accounts under the same roof.
Let’s have a look at this new email contender and see if it holds the potential to stand against Gmail.
Getting Started With the New Interface
Anyone can register for an Outlook.com account and get started in a jiffy. After you sign in to Outlook.com email client for the first time, the two things you will notice is the Windows 8 app like interface and clean looks. If you own a Windows phone or use Windows 8 on your computer, you will feel at home. Outlook.com has also included option to view mails in three-pane view to comfort the people who use Outlook’s desktop mail app on their computers.
I may be exaggerating but for the time being, Outlook.com is as clean as a whistle. When I was composing a message, I was really impressed by the way Outlook.com arranged the on-screen elements. The addresses on the left sidebar and the full right hand side with rich text editor was dedicated to editing. The top bar had all the action buttons making it comfortable to work on tablets as well.
Connect with Social Accounts
That was about Outlook.com the email service but unlike Hotmail, it’s not just about sending and receiving emails. You can connect your Outlook.com to your social accounts like Facebook. Twitter, etc. For instance, once you connect your Facebook account to Outlook.com, you can chat with all your online friends on Facebook right from Outlook.com using the integrated web messenger.
Outlook.com mail also integrates People, Calendar and SkyDrive which you can access using the dropdown arrow next to the Outlook logo. People and Mail only have the Windows 8 app like UI for the time being while SkyDrive and Calendar have the same old looks. With all these apps integrated to Outlook.com, you can easily manage your contacts and file on the clouds and use them in attachments seamlessly. Another great feature Microsoft’s promising is the integration of Skype to Outlook.com but there is no official date announced for it yet.
One thing I really like in Outlook.com is the way it can categorize incoming emails automatically. You can easily segregate newsletters and social updates from important emails for better accessibility. Just like Gmail labels, Outlook.com supports folders you can use to categorize your emails. Before I conclude, here’s an official walkthrough video of the all new Microsoft Outlook.com Online.
It’s too early to say anything right now but from what I have seen and experienced in the first few days with Outlook.com, I have to say that was taken by surprise. Such clean interface, easy approach, no/less ads taking on your screen real estate. I am already looking forward to using it more.