Tried the new Hotmail Outlook.com preview ?
The migration of Microsoft’s web property to Metro interface happened with a probably larger rebranding than first thought. Well, Skydrive’s office file view-edit feature has always been branded as Office, so the latest change to Metro didn’t change much of the branding. But changing Hotmail/Live Mail to Outlook.com is quite a big leap IMO.
This is my work computer still running XP, so I’m stuck with IE8.
Microsoft provided users with option to rename their e-mail account. With this you’ll have the same e-mail account but with new name. All the data such as e-mail and address book will stay the same. The old account will also still forward to your new one.
As warned for Windows Phone users, renaming the account means your old e-mail account will be gone (or at least becoming a forwarding address). If you use that e-mail address for Windows Phone, you’ll have to register a new PRIMARY e-mail account, which essentially means “switching phone ownership” a.k.a clean wipe of user & application data.
Quick impression of the main service itself. For peoples who are already using Hotmail, the updates for now are mostly cosmetic. We have the new Metro style branding heralding the coming of Windows 8.
Dragging option is still there, same with the sweeping functions and scheduled cleaning. Yes, all those seems to come for granted.
Messenger here is redesigned to fill in the space to the right (used for ads in the initial screen). In my opinion, this is better than the old version that shows up as small pop up at the bottom of the screen (like in Facebook).
The downside is of course, list of online friends are no longer readily visible. You’ll also need to go back to access the contact list of other friends instead of having it in separate place.
The Messenger still works with Live Messenger as well as Facebook Chat. There’s also news that in the future it would also support Skype video chat.
Another great thing is that it will save Messenger conversation history online.
If you clicked on the arrow next to Outlook logo, an “App Bar” will show up with four Metro style icon for the services.
It’s quite straightforward. Mail of course means this mail service.
People is the contact list, which has some improvement and bad things still there.
- (+) The contact list now pull contact details from Twitter too.
- (+) Multiple contacts can be merged into one like in Windows Phone. The client app in Windows 8 still can’t do this.
- (-) Nickname of unknown origin is used for main display, practically making it difficult to look for someone if they used radically different name or worse, changing names according to their mood. Still can’t see displaying and sorting contact by their real name.
- (-) Still no way to view the social updates from each contacts.
Calendar and Skydrive still link you back to the old site.
What I would like is…
- Display “First Name Last Name” or “Last Name, Full Name” in the contact list.
- Expand the category view to all folders. For now, it seems to work only in Inbox, which is useless because I’m an old fashioned person who sort those mails into folders.
- Pull the RSS feed from user’s personal blog too in the social updates.
Oh, and bottom side ads is annoying, it doesn’t go away even after you told it to close.