Microsoft's Hotmail To Be Killed By Early Summer, Replaced By Outlook

Still got a Hotmail address? You'll be pleasantly surprised in a few months.

Microsoft is finally taking Hotmail off the life-support machine it's been wheezing away on for so long. The reason? After six months, the software giant's Outlook has been such a howling success—60 million users in six months according to my former colleague, NBC's Wilson Rothman—that the decision was not a hard one to make. The original email system of the masses until it was usurped by an email service that actually worked (take a bow, Gmail) Hotmail has been limping along for years. But not any more. Microsoft is to start auto-updating its users' Hotmail accounts—all 350 million of them—to the Outlook system, and the firm expects the migration to be completed by early Summer.

Outlook's myriad little touches, such as its sweep-up facility, which washes spam clean away and its highly sociable character have made it a popular alternative on the free mail front. Microsoft is hoping it will blow a hole in Gmail's current market dominance, and so is upping its profile with a social-centric ad campaign, which you can see right here.

If you can't wait to update your Hotmail account, it's easy to do, says Rothman, just click on the Settings button and then Convert to Outlook.

Any Gmail users tempted to switch to Outlook now? Or do Google's tools outweigh Microsoft's social ways?

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40 Comments

  • Darfyddi

    I got automatically switched a day or so ago and now I can't see the message body on a lot of my emails? Any help please? Is there no way to go back to hotmail that worked a dream for me? There is not a single benefit for me  on outlook.

  • ALF

    When it aint broke; why fix it.  I didn't like the Outlook look right away. I don't want everything being traced by these providers. They are constantly digging in my stuff for information to put out on search engines. I want my e-mail separate from my messenger. In fact I turn off messenger. I don't want them hooking onto my face-book either. I might shut down facebook too because it is too snoopy.

  • Lindab_29

    A howling success?  I beg to differ.  I think it is a howling mess.  Each day I find another reason to hate my Outlook account.  I have had many problems with replies---there is no where to type my message.  I cannot cut from another document or email and paste to my a new email--there is no paste option.  And today, after I typed my whole email, there was no send button.  One thing I have been using is the automatic saved to drafts feature.  When I was unable to find the send option, I had to leave that email and go to the drafts folder.  Then I was able to send.  Of course not everything was included in the draft.  I am looking at other options, like gmail.  But I am so entrenched in my hotmail address that I hate to create a new email account and try to inform everyone.   My new chant I HATE OUTLOOK.

  • JohnnnyRebel

    Outlook 2013 is a sorry piece of ugly nonsense. Without any doubt, the Metro user interface is not a "winner." Just look at what a total "bomb" Windows 8 (with the same Metro look) turned out to be!

    The Windows "live" experience with Hotmail happens because the mail server currently used by Microsoft communicates via IMAP. The emails for Hotmail are stored on the host server and can be viewed "live."  Emails in Windows Live Hotmail don't need to be "downloaded" anywhere to be viewed.

    Outlook functions off a different server using POP 3 (older technology). Emails need to be "downloaded" before they can be viewed.  Microsoft can dance around all day long singing the praises of their new Outlook 2013 monstrosity; but the truths is, they just want to raise profits by reducing "resources."  Running IMAP requires more resources (such as server storage capacity, etc.) than running POP 3.  This is all about money.

    What Microsoft hasn't grasped is this: Lower advertising revenues, due to hundreds of millions of Hotmail Live users "cancelling" service and switching to a competetor (because they know they are being "screwed"), will reduce profits.  Microsoft is being penny wise and pound foolish!!!!

  • Successful Workplace

    Not sure this is a winning answer for Hotmail. As someone said below, if we wanted Outlook, we'd already have it. 

  • ExHotmail

    I am highly skeptical of the 60M new users.  If you had Hotmail and wanted view what Outlook was like they offer no way to go back to Hotmail.  Once you've taken a look you are trapped.

    But like most people this is my newsletter, almost-spam account, so it's fairly irrelevant.

  • TheColoredHand

    I have Hotmail, I like Hotmail, wish more emails-and Im looking at YOU, Lycos/Mailcity-were more like Hotmail! You can have my Hotmail account when you pry it from my cold, dead, fingertips!

  • Pjw2

    How will this play out if one has a APPLE but still goes back to the old msn or hotmail. What about msn LIVE?

  • Maria Marsala

    I wish MS was't just moving people over.   They should clean up hotmail and free Outlook from spam.

  • Roberthebruce

    I use several email accounts and LIKE hotmail and yahoo better than outlook, gmail, or any other email service! I check my email every day, and find no problems.

  • RazorLib

    I have a great friend who loves to fix things so much that he fixes things that don't even need fixing. That's Microsoft--they are fixing the most used internet server in the world just to piss off all their customers. My guess is they will lose big, big, big time.

  • AC

    I'm one of the 350 Hotmail users ... only I haven't even logged in to the site in probably three or more years, all my mail is forwarded to Gmail ... I'm thinking that 350 million number includes a lot more people like me.

    I for one, am not switching ...

  • Bill Hood

    I applaud MS for dropping Hotmail. It has been slowly deteriorating for years. As a business owner, when someone gives me a Hotmail address, I don't even bother to put it in my address book, as I know it is a legacy account. And, those few people that I actually know and do add to my address book end up having the MS delete their email before they ever see the message that I send to them.

    If MS really wanted to improve their products, they should realize that they are not leaders or innovators, but followers. This is true of every product that they have ever built, much like IBM. They should at the very least have taken some ques from they way that Gmail is being ran, if they wanted to make Hotmail a viable product.

    It is amazing that MS has grown to attain the wealth they have by preying on the market. I say good riddance.

  • Jonathan

    Every Hotmail "upgrade" in the past 8 years has made their system slower, more unstable, and less user-friendly (for example, eliminating the ability to right click and open e-mails in new windows/tabs).  I do not expect this to be any different.  I've been using Hotmail since 1998, so switching to something else isn't a very good option...

  • NATASHA ELDRIDGE

    It still seems like hotmail is an antiquated system.  Hotmail will need a strong marketing campaign to demonstrate it is a constant evolving and dynamic email system that can/will do more and have better features than gmail and google chrome. 

    I shared this article with a friend who signed up for Gmail a few weeks ago from Hotmail, and she is switching back "because it looks so much better now that they switched to outlook."  I told her I am not worried about the looks as much as I am about function.It would interesting to know the number/percentage of businesses and universities that switched to gmail from outlook in the past three years.

  • David Zweifler

    I just built a time machine and went back and broke the news to myself back in 1999. The old me was so upset that he forgot to ask me for the next decade's World Series picks.

  • TheColoredHand

     Take the Yankees, unfortunately! And make sure you invest in all things Kate Upton!