Windows Live Hotmail launches worldwide

Microsoft has now officially launched Windows Live Hotmail, the successor to MSN Hotmail and the most significant upgrade to the web-based e-mail application since its launch more than 10 years ago, around the world.

The software giant claims that the offering, which is available in 36 languages, is safer and more powerful that its predecessor thanks to rigorous beta testing that involved more than 20 million users.

The new web mail application has been designed to feel and look more like Office Outlook, with drag-and-drop functionality, preview pane customisation and auto-complete addressing, so that users benefit from an interface similar to the one they come into contact with everyday at work, according to Microsoft.

A key benefit for the increasing number of users who want to be able to access their e-mails not just from wherever they are, but from whichever device they want, is the fact that Windows Live Hotmail also supports mobile devices such as phones or personal digital assistants (PDAs).

Those with Windows Mobile devices will also benefit from a richer e-mail experience thanks to Windows Live for Windows Mobile which ships with Windows Mobile 6.0.

From later this month, using the new Microsoft Office Outlook Connector beta, Windows Live Hotmail account holders can access their messages and contacts from within Office Outlook 2003 or 2007.

"We're thrilled to deliver Windows Live Hotmail to the more than 280 million active MSN Hotmail accounts around the world," said Steve Berkowitz, senior vice president of the Online Services Group at Microsoft.

"Windows Live Hotmail represents an extremely compelling end-to-end e-mail experience that makes it easy for customers to get best-of-breed e-mail access across PCs, mobile devices and the web. Windows Live Hotmail is a cornerstone online service for Microsoft and a critical part of our online advertising business because e-mail is a key point of influence for consumer purchases."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.