A third of the 60 million users represented users who switched from Gmail to Outlook.com owing to its clear, easy to use, fast user interface, exciting tools for maintaining a spam-free inbox, integrations with other social networking sites and built in viewers for things like videos and documents. To further boost its growth, Microsoft also removed the beta tags from Outlook.com and made it open to the public last weekend.
You can get your own account at Outlook.com, with a new @outlook.com email address. Users of Hotmail will also benefit from Outlook.com's features: They can simply log in at Outlook.com to get the new interface, and if they don't, they'll be updated automatically by summer 2013. Existing users of Hotmail, MSN Mail, and Windows Live Mail will still be able to keep their @hotmail, @live, or @msn addresses, even though they'll be using the improved interface.
Taking Hotmail as its foundation the new webmail design echoes the clean, simple look of Microsoft's major re-thinking of its flagship OS product, Windows 8.
Features that makes Outlook.com say a "WOW!":
- Allows attachments of size up to 300MB, compared to Gmail's 25MB.
- Ad-free webmail services - Microsoft does not scan the contents of your mail to display ads.
- Right-panel, with the mail sender's images from a connected social network, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, to view the mailer's latest tweet, Facebook profile.
- Keyboard shortcuts - One new very handy shortcut is /, which takes you to the search box. Similarly, Tab key now takes you to the Send button when you're composing.
- A preview panel which separates the inbox from the preview below - something not offered in Gmail.
- Right-click menu choices for replying, forwarding, and so on.
- 'Instant Actions' show up as icons next to a message's subject when you hover the mouse over it, letting you mark the message as read/unread, delete it, or flag it.
- Outlook has all of Hotmail's slick integrations—photos, videos, and documents can all be viewed right in the inbox. This includes viewing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents without launching the Office app in question.
- Well-designed, black-framed Image viewer letting you play slideshows on-page whether the images were attached to your incoming email or simply linked to from a photo sharing site like Flickr.
- Multiple Inboxes - Allows you to hook Gmail(or other mail services). As well as just reading mail from all the connected accounts, you can send from any of them within Outlook.com, simply by choosing your From address from a dropdown in the new mail view.