Microsoft reinvents email service with Outlook.com

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Microsoft has just launched its new and improved email service which was designed from scratch to suit modern email usage—Outlook.com.

According to the Microsoft Office blog, Outlook was designed “cloud first.” This means all your mail is always available no matter where you are. Its features a cleaner interface, doing away with annoying display ads and large search boxes that cramp up extra space.

The inbox has virtually unlimited storage and enables the user to create categories, folders, and rules to tailor-fit his or her personal email. It also incorporates SkyDrive so that users can send all types of files, such as photos and documents, without worrying about attachment limits.

Outlook.com merges personal email with social networking as it is the first email service that is connected to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google. But don’t worry— if you don’t feel comfortable seeing photos, status updates and Tweets of your social network contacts, Outlook.com gives you the option not to connect your account to your social networks. You can also select whom to follow and add as a friend. Microsoft reports that Outlook.com will soon be linked to Skype, thereby enhancing the ability to chat and make video calls.

Outlook.com enables you to work on documents with your friends (like Google Docs) with free Office Web Apps, namely: Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. It also lets you view and edit your attachments directly on your inbox.

If you’re excited about this new email experience, you can already start by getting your own @Outlook.com email address. You can also start using Outlook.com with your current email just by taking a few easy steps. Those with a Microsoft account just have to log in to get their new Outlook experience started. Hotmail users should just click “Upgrade” in the options menu, and all their contacts, emails, and information will be retained.  You can still send and/or receive email from your Hotmail, MSN and Live addresses, but you can add an @Outlook.com address to your account if you want.

Gmail and Yahoo users can get a preview of Outlook.com at www.outlook.com. You can set up your email service to import your contacts and forward your mail to Outlook.com. You can learn more about that here.

Once you’ve started using Outlook.com, you can set it up on your phone or tablet. It’s available on iOS, Android, Windows 8 and Windows Phone, and Blackberry, among others. Click here to learn how to setup Outlook on your mobile device.

Still curious? Here’s a walkthrough video of Outlook.com from the Microsoft team.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnCu72G52bY&feature=youtu.be