Microsoft rebrands Hotmail
IF you’ve been on the Internet for a long time, there’s a good chance Hotmail was your first email address.
Launched in 1996, the site was bought by Microsoft the following year and has been through many changes since.
Most of us have a number of different email accounts accumulated over the years and feel reluctant to close them down because there’s some account or another attached to them we haven’t gotten around to changing.
These days, the minimalist Gmail is the webmail du jour, while website domains are more affordable ( and come with your own personalised email address), so announcing your email address at Hotmail is something of a humiliating experience.
Or so it would seem, but Hotmail is still the web’s largest web- based email service, with 350 million registered users, according to comscore.
Now Microsoft is rebranding Hotmail as a clean and minimal site similar to Gmail. Renaming it ‘‘ Outlook’’ ( not to be confused with the one you use at work), the new site will allow users to swap their email handle from @hotmail.com to @outlook.com, video chat with contacts and integrate social media platform updates too.
But despite 1 million users reportedly flocking to sign up to Outlook. com, Hotmail is still Hotmail.
Will it be able to redeem its reputation or will it continue to nosedive further into irrelevance?
Before you answer too quickly, consider the repeated predictions that Facebook will experience a mass exodus.
Facebook’s insistence to switch all user emails to an @ facebook. com account has irked en masse, but people have been saying it’s on the out since 2009, and it hasn’t happened yet.
BEST FREE EMAIL SERVICES
Gmail is the Google approach to email. Practically unlimited free online storage with excellent search and threaded message functions allows you to keep records effectively. Gmail puts contextual advertising next to the emails you read, which has been criticised as an invasion of privacy. But conveniently, you can use Gmail and its text and video chat function on any program or device ( all contacts and calendar entries will sync). gmail. com Mozilla Thunderbird is a secure email client and RSS feed reader. It efficiently filters away junk mail, but could be more helpful with labels and folders. mozilla. org/ thunderbird ZigMail collects and sorts newsletters, order confirmations, deals and other non- personal emails ( breaking out short- time deals and alerts, for example, and collecting notifications). A daily email to your main account keeps you abreast of these transactional messages. zigmail. com Outlook is the new- era Hotmail, revamped and revitalised by Microsoft to include a minimal interface, video chat and integrated social media platform updates. Existing users can also switch their @ hotmail. com address to @ outlook. com. outlook. com Mail is the solid, powerful and easy to use email program built into Mac OS X. Mail’s smart spam filter is efficient and the fast and precise smart folders make managing mail easy. apple. com/ osx/ apps/# mail