After becoming available in preview last summer, Microsoft has officially rolled out its new online email service, Outlook.com.
Outlook.com is an upgrade to the company’s previous webmail program, Hotmail.com. Users who already have Hotmail accounts can update to the Outlook.com platform while keeping their current email address. Upon logging into their Hotmail accounts, current users will be prompted to make the switch. Users that don’t elect to switch on their own will be automatically migrated to the new service in the future, according to Microsoft. The company says it plans to have all 360 million of its current Hotmail users migrated to Outlook.com by the summer.
According to the company, 60 million users have signed up for Outlook.com since its release in preview six months ago. The webmail service includes features such as access to Microsoft’s SkyDrive, the ability to automatically organize emails into folders and categories, a calendar feature and the ability to send and receive mail from other POP3 accounts.
Outlook.com also features a new user interface Microsoft describes as si
mple, clean, and an improvement over the older Hotmail UI. Users can also integrate content from social networks Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn into the webmail program, which will replace ads with updates from the services.
To supplement the official rolling out of the new service, Microsoft is embarking on a massive advertising campaign which will include TV advertisements as well as digital-only videos, and will not be based on the Scroogled campaign.