Risen from Ridicule
Hotmail's revenge? How the long-mocked email service became reborn with a coolOutlook
It's damn near impossible to convince someone to part ways with an email address — even if it does carry the weight of junior high obsessions (NSYNCfan4lyfe@aol.com) or collegiate ties (email@example.com) — let alone an email provider.
The torment of the set-up process is exacerbated by having to notify all of one's contacts and re-learn a completely new interface. There is comfort in the familiar.
The new email service replaces 16-year-old Hotmail (which was recently, and surprisingly, rated the world's most popular email service).
But this week, Microsoft shook things up by debuting Outlook.com, a completely new email service that replaces its 16-year-old Hotmail (which was recently, and surprisingly, rated the world's most popular email service) and defies longtime competitor, Gmail.
Outlook is marketing itself as a "modern take on email," with an intuitive design, social media updates from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (with Skype to come), plus data-creation (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and cloud storage (7 GB for free) through SkyDrive.
The interface is clean, with minimal advertisements, few unnecessary buttons and icons. It's good, although perhaps ultimately superfluous.