Microsoft is getting rid of Hotmail

Microsoft has announced it is getting rid of Hotmail, which was once the most popular free email in the world.
February 19, 2013 8:18:57 PM PST
Tuesday Microsoft announced that it is getting rid of Hotmail, one of the first free Web mail services.

Hotmail was once the most popular email services in the world, but now Outlook is replacing it as part of an all-out assault on Google's popular Gmail.

"Google goes through every single word of your Gmail and uses that information to sell ads. Google uses my personal email to sell ads? Yeah so I get scroogled," says a man in a new Microsoft commercial advertising the new service.

"Outlook.com doesn't read your email, doesn't read your attachments and use any of that information for serving advertising," Outlook.com Product Manager, Dharmesh Mehta said.

In fact, Mehta says there's less advertising because Outlook.com uses that screen space to show your friends' recent tweets and Facebook posts alongside their emails.

"Gmail's done a different type of integration, making sure Google+ works really well with Gmail," Mehta said. "On Outlook.com, we've said, 'You love Facebook, you love LinkedIn, you love twitter. Let's make sure Outlook.com works really well with the social networks you really use.'"

Microsoft says it also added features users were asking for like scheduling daily deals emails to delete themselves the next day.

"Absolutely the most, like by far most used feature in email: delete button," Mehta said.

Microsoft gives you seven gigabytes of free cloud storage for sending huge attachments, like photo albums.

"When people wanted to share photos, they'd send six emails, each with four attachments, and they'd all say DSC zero zero, you know, something funny," said Mehta. "And so we just made it really easy to share a ton of photos in a single email."

Perhaps the biggest news about Outlook.com is what it's replacing. Microsoft has announced it is shutting down Hotmail.

"Microsoft has a branding problem with Hotmail," said Dylan Tweney of VentureBeat.

He claims Hotmail just stopped being cool.

"It was kind of the email address for like grandparents and spammers basically, which is not the branding that Microsoft wanted," he said.

But if you like that old Hotmail address, Microsoft will let you keep it and transfer your inbox over to Outlook.com.

Google has responded to the TV commercials saying no humans ever read your Gmail to show you ads.

Tweney agrees it may be creepy, but it's not a privacy issue.

"The advertisers don't even know, it's done completely automatically," he said.


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