Back when I were a lad and the internet was young, about 1996 in fact, HoTMaiL (as it was originally written in a geeky nod to HTML) introduced the concept of free email access through a web browser (webmail) and forever changed the way email was used.
It quickly became popular – today it’s 325 million active users popular – and we still see a huge volume of email going to Hotmail through Sign-Up.to every day. The problem is that with age, the brand was accruing a less than credible reputation with many consumers.
And so today Microsoft has announced that Hotmail as we know it will be killed off and replaced with… Outlook.
Outlook.com that is, not the desktop email software. Microsoft have unveiled the new look web service and first impressions are good – it’s a substantially slicker, streamlined interface that borrows heavily from the Metro design used in many of Microsoft’s upcoming products.
The good news for email marketers is that email addresses won’t be changing – users have the option of grabbing a new ‘@outlook.com’ address when they upgrade, in addition to keeping their old @hotmail.com / @msn.com / @live.com address.