With loads of new new features being introduced into GMail every now and then, Microsoft can’t sit and relax any more. Microsoft realized this and worked hard to introduce really impressive features in upcoming version of Windows Live Hotmail that was previewed couple of days ago.
Most of the new features announced in the upcoming version are focusing on the important need of email users – de-clutter the mail box and effectively manage email over load easily. Here is the list highlight of new features
Sweep away clutter – This is the most impressive in the set of new features. It allows you to manage email overload. If you’ve subscribed to a newsletter but decided to not to allow it into your inbox, you can activate the sweep feature to move all the messages of the newsletter in to a folder other than your inbox. This may sound similar to filters option in GMail but the workflow is very easy in Hotmail.
Quickly find message – Easy to use options are provided to see mails in separate views likes mails from contacts, social networking mail, mails from e-mail subscription services, etc. Now it’s easy to prioritize email checking like how you wish to. I prefer to check mails from my contacts first, then social networking messages and then the newsletter subscriptions.
Improved spam detection – The span detection rules are tightened for better spam protection and also hotmail learns from user actions to effectively catch spam
No more mail box storage restrictions – With a smart decision of Microsoft, users no longer need to worry about the storage restrictions of their mail box – large attachments of hotmail can be stored in Windows Live SkyDrive.
With Hotmail, we’ve combined the simplicity of sending photos through email with the power of Windows Live SkyDrive so that you can send up to 200 photos, each up to 50 MB in size, all in a single email. You can send all your vacation photos at once without worrying about attachment limits,
Excellent Integration With Office Web Apps – View and editing of office documents attached to the emails are made very easy by integrating Office Web Apps with Hotmail. When you receive a document/presentation/spreadsheet in hotmail, you can view it, edit it, save it or even you can send the modified document to original sender – all these without leaving hotmail.
Inline viewing options for Photos, Videos, Social Network Messages – You can view photos embedded in the mail as slideshows(with the help of SilverLight), YouTube & Hulu videos can be played inline and track shipping notifications.
Threaded conversations – emails in Hotmail are grouped just like it happens in GMail
Others – enhanced account protection, full-session SSL, multiple email accounts, subfolders, contact management
Video Tour Of New Features
Here is an impressive video tour of new Hotmail features.
When are these new features coming to Hotmail?
Majority of the new features announced today are rolled out in coming weeks gradually to all the users. But advanced features like Office Integration with Hotmail is expected to take couple of months for general availability.
Will You Switch back to Hotmail?
Will these features lure GMail/Yahoo users to switch back to Hotmail? May be not immediately but these features may hold the existing users from leaving Hotmail.
I used Hotmail, in the pre GMail era and now I use Hotmail id only to sign-in to Microsoft websites that requites Hotmail authentication. It’s been years since I composed a new email in Hotmail.
Even though the new features announced by Hotmail are very impressive, I like the way how GMail rapidly brings new features at regular intervals.
If Hotmail also keeps innovating with new features at regular intervals, then there are good chances for it’s old users to return home.