According to ABC News on Feb. 19, the premier email service of the late 1990s, Microsoft’s Hotmail, is no more. Microsoft has announced that its new webmail service, Outlook.com, is out of beta and ready for former Hotmail users.
Hotmail users can keep their email addresses and contacts. The only thing that will change is the user interface. Upgrades to the new Outlook.com web mail should be totally finished by early summer.
The new Outlook.com resembles Microsoft’s Windows 8. It features a new gadget called Sweep. Sweep moves (sweeps) all your promotional-type emails into their own folders or to trash.
While the new Outlook.com is designed to give former Hotmail users a better email experience, it’s also a direct hit on Google’s Gmail, the most popular web mail service on the net. Microsoft has been targeting Gmail with its “Scrooged” ad since last year and features Google’s ad targeting.
The “Scrooged” ad reads, in part: “We don’t go through your emails to sell ads.” According to the Scroogled.com site, Gmail goes through your emails with the sole purpose of selling advertising. "Google goes through every Gmail that's sent or received, looking for keywords so they can target Gmail with paid ads. And there's no way to opt out of this invasion of your privacy.”
Google shot back. “Advertising keeps Google and many of the websites and services Google offers free of charge," Samantha Smith, a Google spokesperson, told ABC News. "We work hard to make sure that ads are safe, unobtrusive and relevant."
Hotmail has been many people’s choice of web mail service since 1997.