Meet the New Hotmail
The new Hotmail — sweep out annoying clutter, save time and do more with email than
ever before, view and edit Microsoft Office documents anywhere you’re online, regardless
of whether you have Office installed. Read on to learn why the new Hotmail is the most
efficient email for busy people.
Microsoft Knows Email
At Microsoft, we know what people expect from their email because between Exchange
and Hotmail we’ve been providing email for longer than just about anybody and for the
greatest number of people — consumers, corporations, nonprofits and governments.
We also know what people want because we spend a lot of time talking to them about
their experience with all webmail services, not just ours. We pay close attention to what
fuels their email experience. And what hampers their personal productivity. When talking
about their biggest frustrations with email, the top three pain points typically mentioned
1. Too much spam
2. Can’t send large attachments
3. Junk mail cluttering up my inbox
Aren’t Spam and Clutter the Same Thing?
Actually, they’re not. Spam and clutter are two separate problems. 80 percent of what
gets reported to us as “spam” isn’t actual spam (malicious mail from scammers, suspicious
mails asking you to buy strange-sounding pharmaceuticals, etc.). It’s what we call junk
mail. It’s that newsletter you inadvertently signed up for two years ago that continues to
haunt your inbox, or the promotional mailing that you forgot to opt out of, or the real
estate listing alert you never canceled.
Because of junk mail, typically only 50 percent of your inbox contains mail you’re actually
interested in. The rest is clutter. And it’s because of the overwhelming clutter that you’re
missing important emails and your inboxes take too long to trudge through.
The “New” Hotmail — Reinvented to Be the Most Efficient Email
Service for Busy People
Based on what people like you told us you wanted and what we’ve learned over time
about how people use email, we’re doing three simple things with the new Hotmail to
help make it more efficient:
• Providing tools to eliminate all the clutter in your inbox, not just the spam
• Helping you to save time doing the things you most commonly
do in your inbox
• Making it easier to view, share and edit Microsoft Office documents anywhere
you’re online, regardless of whether you have Office installed
What’s New in Hotmail
The new Hotmail is packed with new features that help busy people be more efficient
when doing email. Learn more about the features and benefits of the new Hotmail in
this section: sweep out clutter, get more done with email than ever before, view and edit
Office documents right in your inbox — even if you don’t have Office installed.
The New Hotmail Eliminates All Inbox Clutter, Not Just the Spam
It is difficult to get things done if your inbox is full of spam. It used to be that spam
represented 35 percent of the mail in the average Hotmail inbox. That was 2006. Since
then, although the amount of spam on the web has nearly doubled — today 90
percent of web mail traffic is composed of spam — the amount of spam in the average
Hotmail inbox was minimized to a very competitive 4 percent (if we use the calculation
methodology Gmail uses, the amount of spam in the Hotmail inbox today is less than
1 percent). That number is bound to shrink even further thanks to Microsoft’s R&D and
innovations in spam fighting that are being applied to the new Hotmail.
Unfortunately, no matter how much we invest in fighting spam, there’s an entirely
different category for email that is junk mail (the industry term is “gray mail”) — email
that is legitimate, the newsletters and shopping promos you signed up for or gave
permission to receive — and people want that out of their inbox too. That’s why the new
Hotmail has been designed to offer a number of new ways to deal with the “rest of the
spam” — aka the junk mail, the clutter.
So let’s start with a look at the Microsoft technology Hotmail leverages to fight spam.
Our success in fighting spam is primarily due to the use of Microsoft SmartScreen
— the anti-spam technology used also in Microsoft Forefront, Exchange, and (for
anti-phishing) Windows Internet Explorer 8. SmartScreen distinguishes between
legitimate email messages and spam based on IP reputations, user reporting,
third-party sources, semantics, botnet detection, signature recognition, and more.
Individual preference auto-learning
In some cases, what’s junk mail to one person is legitimate mail to someone else
and vice versa. So we’ve innovated and invested in learning about that on the fly
based on the individual.
Very often (9 times out of 10) when people approach us with a concern that we’re
blocking legitimate mail (blocking mail from someone they do want to hear from)
it’s because they’ve accidently placed that person on their block list. This situation
is something the new Hotmail will also help remedy behind the scenes by a more
nuanced interpretation of user actions.
Junk mail descriptors
The new Hotmail tags junk mail so that when you find a message in your junk mail
folder, you know how it ended up there and can subsequently take action to keep
it from happening to similar messages in the future.
Spammer infrastructure detection
The new Hotmail makes life more expensive for spammers by combating spammer
infrastructure head on — detecting and destroying spammer nests — compelling
them to spend the money to build new ones elsewhere. Less money in the game,
Time traveling filters
Through the new Hotmail, we’re fine-tuning our innovative ability to retroactively
remove spam in real-time as we discern the signatures of a new spam effort.
Ok… we’ve successfully minimized the spam, now let’s tackle the junk mail —
helping you to manage and get rid of the clutter in your inbox.
Immediately see if you have new email from friends, social network updates,
shipments, appointments and birthday reminders — all in a single glance when
you log in.
With a single click, conveniently filter your entire inbox to show only those
messages that are from contacts or from social networks such as Facebook or
LinkedIn, etc. No setup required.
Quickly see all email containing photos across your entire account, including
those stored in your inbox, folders and POP-aggregated email accounts, with one
click. Or see all your documents. Or photos. Or shipping updates. Or messages
you’ve flagged. The new Hotmail gives you complete freedom to choose what
you want to see with the convenience of a single click.
Inbox search auto-complete
When you type a single letter in the search box, Hotmail’s advanced-made-easy
search suggests a variety of helpful searches — from basic to complex — that
Hotmail will then conduct automatically. No need to fill out an advanced search
form (although we have an advanced search form you can use if you’d prefer —
giving you the flexibility to search the way you want).
We know how having a “conversation” with someone — or several people — via
email over an extended period can leave pieces of that conversation haphazardly
spread throughout the inbox in individual snippets. The new Hotmail brings all
those snippets together so you can view the entire conversation in one place.
(Note: Conversation view is an option that you can turn on or off because not
everyone prefers to view their email in conversation view. This is flexibility that
Gmail does not offer — Gmail has conversation threading permanently on — no
way to turn it off, which many people told us they prefer.)
Finally a tool that makes it super easy to get rid of the junk mail cluttering up
your inbox — the No. 1 email annoyance — at least according to the thousands
of people we’ve asked. Sweep is a virtual broom that lets you super easily “sweep”
the mail you don’t want out of your inbox into either folders or oblivion, leaving
your inbox clean. We’ll even offer to auto-sweep email you don’t want or want
archived in the future if you’d like. Just leave the box checked when we offer to do
that for you. No need to set up and manage rules (unless you’d prefer to do that).
Save Time Doing the Most Common Things in Your Inbox
Email is about communicating and sharing with your friends and family, managing your
alerts and newsletters, doing business on the web, and more. For all this, we know you
want to be productive — to do more email in less time, with less hassle. To have access to
the contacts you want when you need them, to get it all from anywhere on your phone.
The new Hotmail enables you to do all of that — and more.
Exchange instant messages and short message service (SMS) messages with
your Windows Live Messenger friends
With the new Hotmail, you can see who’s online and chat with your Messenger
friends or even send an SMS message to their phone — all without ever leaving
Send up to 10 GB of photos per message
Send virtually all the photos you want to without having to worry about
attachment limits or clogged inboxes, either at your end or on the recipient’s
end. Hotmail works with Windows Live SkyDrive, your free online storage space
from Windows Live, so you can send up to 200 photos of up to 50 MB each (10
GB total) in a single message. It’s as easy as sending regular attachments, but we
give you the option of uploading them to SkyDrive. This means the people you’re
sending photos to get an email containing a preview of the photos, along with
links to launch a slide show or download the photos to their hard drives — all in a
single .zip file instead of painstakingly downloading them individually. Or they can
even import them straight into Windows Live Photo Gallery. Sharing lots of large
photo attachments has never been more easy or painless.
Thanks to our new partner platform, the new Hotmail saves you the inconvenience
of having to hop from your inbox to different Web sites by integrating their
content and functionality directly into the email you receive. For example, if your
friend sends you a link to a video or photo album you can now view it from right
within the email message itself. Hotmail supports this for links to many sites like
YouTube, Hulu, Flickr, SmugMug, and Justin.tv. If you buy something online and
receive a package tracking code in email, Hotmail displays the real-time shipping
status so you don’t have to look it up on the shipper’s Web site. Hotmail is also
partnering with companies such as Amazon.com and LinkedIn to provide an
interactive experience, letting you take actions inside the emails they send —
getting more done with email than ever before.
Single contact list
The new Hotmail brings all your online contacts into one convenient place —
even those from services like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace. Send an email to
anyone, and if you want to you can manage your contacts by creating categories
such as Friends or Co-workers to easily organize your address book.
Hotmail supports push email on the web, PC and now on mobile phones. Using
Exchange ActiveSync, available on nearly 300 million phones, with the new
Hotmail you can not only seamlessly synchronize email between your phone and
the web, but also synchronize your calendar and contacts. This is a significant
improvement over IMAP alternatives that support sync’ing of email only (not
calendar and contacts).
Rich mobile browse — mail, contacts, and calendar
Many consumers who use mobile phones as their primary way to access email
and the internet — and even those who do most of their email on the PC —
demand a robust email experience from just about anywhere. With the new
Hotmail, the mobile experience is optimized for rich browsers and touch, so that
your experience feels seamless on the latest phones. The inbox supports filters,
previews and quick views of your email, offline email viewing mode, conversation
threading, the ability to flag messages, message header details on/off, and
more. The rich content features enable you to view HTML and view or forward
attachments. When writing an email, rich composition helps auto-complete the
names you begin to type. And rich management lets you set an away message,
manage junk mail filters and block lists, manage nested folders, and set email
forwarding rules. A light version of mobile browse will continue to be available for
feature phone browsers (phones that aren’t smartphones).
Manage invitations received via Hotmail, set reminders, aggregate multiple
calendars, share your calendar with friends and family, and do it all from the
calendar built into your phone with ActiveSync or your phone’s browser. If you
use Windows Live Calendar, you can use ActiveSync to view your schedule from
the built-in calendar on your phone, and any changes or additions to it will be
automatically synced with the version on the web and your PC. If your phone
doesn’t support ActiveSync, or if you simply prefer a different experience, you
can access Windows Live Calendar anywhere using your phone’s browser. It has
a robust set of features that allows you to view upcoming events, see free/busy
times, and quickly add events. You can easily look at your schedule by day, week
or month, view events across multiple calendars, get previews of event details, set
reminders for your events on the go, and manage events across time zones.
Hotmail mobile apps
A number of our partners also built custom Hotmail apps for other mobile phones. This
includes Blackberry, Nokia and many other phones. You can either download this software
or get it pre-installed by the phone manufacturer. In total, over 1,400 mobile device
models run Windows Live services, supported by more than 140 operators worldwide.
Makes It Easier to View, Share and Edit Microsoft Office Documents
in the Cloud
Currently, Hotmail stores over 15 billion Microsoft Office documents that have been sent
over email. We know it’s important for you to efficiently send and receive content —
whether you’re sending a document to someone else, or perhaps forwarding it to yourself
to access later from another computer. The new Hotmail provides new ways of making it
easier to do all of that.
The moment you receive an Office document as an attachment in Hotmail —
Word, Excel or PowerPoint — you can open and view the attachment online in
any popular browser, on a PC or Mac, and even if Office is not installed (or if you
have an old version). This results from the seamless integration between Hotmail
and the Office Web Apps, as you’ll also see further in the following examples.
Highest fidelity viewing
Rich from your browser, you can view Office documents (sent to you in Hotmail)
with the same fidelity you’d get if you were viewing them using one of the Office
applications on your PC. This means that if you’re travelling and want to be able
to view that PowerPoint presentation or you’re on the road and want to read that
Word document, you now get 100 percent full viewing quality even when you’re
away from your PC.
Edit Office documents in your browser (with the Office Web Apps) or using
Office on your PC — or both
If you need to perform intensive editing tasks, you can go from editing the
document in your browser with the Office Web Apps to editing it in an Office
application on your PC. When you’re finished, any edits you made to the
document on the browser will maintain formatting and any on your PC will be
automatically saved back into the cloud where you can then keep the document
stored privately or share it with others.
Reply with edits to an attachment
Normally, if a friend emailed you a document — like a resume — and asked you to
make a few edits, you’d have to spend time downloading, saving, opening, resaving
and re-attaching the document. And of course, you would need to make sure your
PC had Office installed. The new Hotmail makes this much easier by letting you
edit your friend’s document and reply back — all without leaving Hotmail.
Share big attachments
Just as they can with photos, Hotmail users can send up to 200 Office documents
of up to 50 MB each — a total of 10 GB — in a single message. The people you
send the documents to — regardless of whether they’re on Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo!
Mail or otherwise — will receive links to where you’ve stored the documents in
the cloud (on Windows Live SkyDrive) so that you’re not filling their inboxes. They
can click on the links to view the documents in their browsers using the Office
Web Apps or download the documents to their local machines — one by one or
all together in a single convenient .zip file. And when you send those documents,
just like with photos, we create a private folder and only the people that receive
the email will have access.
Work with others
Even those friends not on Hotmail — If you’re using the new Hotmail, you can
email Office documents to people on other email services (including Gmail and
Yahoo! Mail) and they too can view and edit your Office documents in the cloud.
Nothing is needed to view, and all they need is a Windows Live ID to edit.
And with multiple edited versions of the same document, you can always go back
to previous versions thanks to the online file management provided by Windows
Live SkyDrive — another key part of transforming Hotmail and Office into a great
personal productivity solution.
Windows Live SkyDrive is an online storage and sharing service, providing you with 25
GB of free storage for documents, photos and other files. Hotmail works with SkyDrive
so that you can send larger attachments without clogging your recipients’ inboxes. When
you click on “Office docs” or “Photos” in the Hotmail insert bar, your files are uploaded
to SkyDrive, and your recipients will receive a link where they can access the files online,
saving space in their inboxes. Also, when you send a document via Hotmail and store it on
SkyDrive, recipients don’t need the latest version of Office installed to view a high- quality
preview or even make edits to your documents.
Security Investments in the New Hotmail
The new Hotmail applies additional Microsoft security technology to your account, beefing
up existing security features and ensuring that your account is protected at all times.
The new Hotmail encourages you to increase the security of your account by
adding what we call “proofs” — information you can privately associate with
your Hotmail account. Proofs can help you recover access to and control over an
account that someone has taken from you, a risk confronting all public webmail
services since hijacking scams aren’t technology-dependent. To date, Hotmail
has enabled you to set two different kinds of proofs to regain control of your
account if you’ve forgotten your password or if someone has stolen your account:
an alternate email address and a secret question-secret answer combination (e.g.,
“What was the name of your first pet?”). The new security platform elements we’ve
built up around Hotmail now enable you to use your cell phone or other items as
proof of account ownership. For example, if you lose your password or, worse, if
your account gets compromised, we can now send you an account recapture code
via an SMS message or enable you to regain access to your account.
This new security feature is designed to further protect you when you sign in
from public computers, such as those found in internet cafes, airports and coffee
shops. By using a single-use code, you won’t have to type your password into a
public computer, thereby preventing it from being stolen by key-loggers and the
like. You simply click on “request a code,” and a one-time use authentication code
will be sent to a private proof point you’ve setup — an alternate email or mobile
phone. You can opt to use the one-time code, instead of your password, to access
your account on a public machine.
In addition to providing SSL encryption at login for all accounts, the new Hotmail
will soon support the option to maintain SSL encryption between you and our
servers during your entire Hotmail session.
With the new Hotmail, we help you to visually identify trusted senders in your
inbox, particularly banks and the like, which are commonly used for phishing
scams. We put safety logos next to those senders who we recognize as legitimate,
not those who are malicious pretenders.
Hotmail Competetive Comparison Chart
Hotmail Wave 4 Gmail
Lots of storage Unlimited Expanding
Large attachments limits 50 MB 25 MB
Total attachment limits per
10 GB 25 MB
Threaded conversations Optional Always On
Integrated Web IM and SMS Messenger Chat
Mobile browse Yes Yes
Mobile sync/push Yes Yes
Forwarding Open Open
Flags or stars Yes Yes
*Chart last updated on 03/15/2010