Microsoft has taken the bold, if somewhat overdue decision to kill off Hotmail. The email client that’s been around almost as long as Take That has been transformed into a much more Metro-looking version of the Outlook brand. And it’s pretty decent.
It looks like Microsoft’s finally figured out one crucial element of what makes an email client easy to use. Thing is, the transition hasn’t been completely smooth…
Best get a move on: Microsoft’s asking Hotmail users to snap up their preferred Outlook.com email address before it’s too late. It marks the end of Hotmail, which has been the company’s email client of choice for the past 16 years (side-tracks to @Live.com notwithstanding).
It’s a big departure, and it brings the service bang in line with the styling found in the rest of the company’s latest software. Outlook also proffers IM and video calling via Windows Live Meesenger, Facebook and Skype, alongside the kind of visual customisation that Windows Phone users will find familiar.
The 16 year lesson
The biggest change here, and it’s a change that taken since 1996 to be implemented, is the move to cut out the useless splash screen that sat in front of Hotmail. Microsoft has finally figured out what Google did a long time ago: when checking their email, users probably want to see their inbox first.
We’re impressed with the redesign (and at the loss of that landing page), but it remains to be seen if this will affect Hotmail usership, which still – inexplicably – sits behind that of Yahoo!.
Should Google be worried? We doubt it’ll be quaking in its boots, but shedding the stigma attached to an @Hotmail.com email address is certainly a step in the right direction for Microsoft.
But it’s not all gone through without a hitch. We found this grammatical faux pas on the screen ushering us from Hotmail to Outlook. ‘Get a Outlook email address’? Shouldn’t that be ‘an’?