Microsoft launches Outlook out of preview, experiences quick adoption rate

Microsoft has announced that the Outlook.com email service has come out of preview. The service was launched last year and has witnessed over 60 million consumers moving across to the new email service. David Law, Director of Product Management, notes that the team has implemented a number of improvements through lots of feedback received from users.

As well as officially launching the service, Microsoft will be kicking off a large marketing campaign worldwide to promote Outlook.com as a perfect email provider. There's a lot of confidence here too as the team will be upgrading millions of Hotmail accounts to the new Outlook.com experience. We've previously looked at Outlook.com with a number of helpful tutorials and tips on how to better use the service.

Microsoft introduced Outlook.com as a radical improvement to Hotmail and Windows Live. The 60 million user marker counts people who have signed in several times a month via the web browser, email client or smartphone. For the millions of Hotmail users who will be upgraded to Outlook.com, the Hotmail email address, password, messages, folders, contacts, rules, vacation responses and more will all remain the same.

The team expects all Hotmail accounts to be using Outlook.com by this summer - you can kick off the process today by simply logging into Outlook.com. There's also no requirement to upgrade to a outlook.com email address. It'll be interesting to see how Microsoft markets the Outlook email service as well as other cloud services, Windows and Windows Phone.

Speaking of marketing campaign, check out neat Outlook.com commercial below:

The refresh is running alongside the Messenger to Skype upgrade, which will be underway this coming April. We've already witnessed Microsoft rebrand itself, and 2013 will be the year when it simplifies its online services. Are you using Outlook.com? What do you make of the email service?

Source: Outlook Blog


Reader comments

Microsoft launches Outlook out of preview, experiences quick adoption rate


I totally agree, I have done a 100% switch from all google services to outlook, but the calendar needs to be updated now to give it a more metro look and feel.

how can I super like, +1, send an sms, email to Microsoft about your comment. Pleas please update Calendar. PLEASE.............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You guys don't understand how hard that is.  If only they had a metro Calendar app in Windows 8, probably programmed in HTML5/JS, with which they could build off of.  (This is sarcasim).

Yes, I don't understand why this has taken them so long. I'm starting to think they forgot about the calendar.

Adding to this extremely long comment chain, though I love the usability despite the outdated calendar, it just doesn't fit. I'm hoping a few comments up is right about a calendar update...

One more for good measure: MS, the calendar is long overdue! But whatever you do, don't limit its functionality like the Calendar app in Windows 8

Calendar is long overdue.  I am still using the old interface because it is consistent with the calendar.  Going out of preview without a calendar would be like releasing a major phone os update and not having the same sync functionality as the old version of the os.  Who would do that?

I saw an MS rep say that a new calendar is coming since they agree as well that it needs to be updated.

This is better then the Mail app, but two things. How do I pin a site in ie10 desktop and can that have live tiles? Talking W8.

When at outlook in IE10 desktop, click settings (cog wheel in upper right corner)>add to startscreen. It's a tile, but not live. It will open up in desktop, and that is what you want, right?

Thats for pining it to start like normal. I think they want an actual Windows 8 tile (as seen in theend of the video) (possible) with livetile support (not possible, though they could just use the built in mail app).
If they want a Windows 8 tile, they need to "pin to start" in the Modern UI version of Internet Explorer, through the menu (wrench icon, i believe it was). That will make a windows 8 tile. Though its still a static tile. no live updates

the live tile is for the native mail app, pinning the site to your start screen is so that you have easy access when you need to do something the native mail app cannot do for you.

You don't need to change your email address to x@outlook.com if you don't want to, although you may certainly do so if you wish. The only thing that is required is that you use the new interface when you log in over the web. If you use a desktop client or only get your email through your phone, nothing will change.

Edit: Ah, he beat me to it.

the easiest way for that is to create an alias out of your old hotmail. that way you can still have your old email still recieve the stuff you used too but have the new outlook for anything youll do in the future. my suggestion is go to anything that your subscribed too and switch the primary emails to outlook slowly so you can switch fully to outlook. If you so wish.

Sometimes I do it through the web, I believe they changed the look of hotmail to match outlook. I use the mail app on w8 and the mail tile of wp7.x so as long as it isn't necessary, will do as suggested and leave it along.

Your old email will work the same way. You can create a new alias and send from it through outlook.com, but not from WP8, not yet but they are working on it.

Dear Microsoft. Why in all that is holy can I not sync my exchange or local Outlok Contact folder with Outlook.com? I know I've committed a mortal sin by having several thousand Contacts, I understand there is a work-around for sinners like myself, but why will to not forgive my transgression of actually using the "Notes" field in my Contacts? Outlook.com import of Contacts fails whenever an "illegal" character is used there. Apparently the alphabet is now illegal.

And don't tell me to use One Note instead. Its not linked to either my Contacts or Outlook, requiring that I launch a separate program in order to see the information I have on a Contact, and besides, you've never released a tool to transfer the information from my Contact Notes to One Note! All these poorly implemented incompatibilities are creating a barrier between Outlook and Outlook.com that will slow adoption rates and drive Customers away.
Get Your Sync Together!

More help please! I can't seem to find out how to do this SUCESSFULLY.  Please understand that a manual method isn't going to help me much, I have over 3000 Cotnacts and have ben using the Contact's Notes field since the 80's so there's a lot of information there.  Copy/Paste for individual contacts won't be practical.
There are several methods that Microsoft tells you to try but that don't work because of undocumented limitatins that have rendered them useless. 
Any details would be greatly appreciated!!

I use Gmail, but if there existed a easy one step automatic transfer from Gmail to Outlook without me needing to become some kind of microsoft guru, I would come to Outlook in a heart beat.

A while back when Outlook.com was first announced, I jumped on a good email address for myself not knowing I should have instead created an alias in my existing Microsoft account. Does anyone know how I can send/receive email from account #2 from within account #1? I tried to add a send/receive account but it tells me I need to link it instead. Tried to link, but I still don't have the option to send/receive email from the linked account.

That's really annoying. It's been 9 months and they still haven't fixed the problem? I really like the new email address I set up, but I've got everything associated with my original Live ID including a 25gb skydrive account. This is the main thing keeping me from switching to Outlook. Very maddening that they haven't taken care of it yet.

I've been using Hotmil since before MSFT bought them out and this update is by far the best interface in those almost 20 years.

90% happy w/ outlook.com except for one thing. Only letting you assign one action per email rule is just about the most annoying thing ever.

Already been using Outlook as my main email now (slowly kicking away Gmail). But still waiting for the new Calendar.
Then, I can completely break off from Google.  

Love Outlook.com. The team behind the UI should have made the desktop-mode of Windows 8! Right now the ugly aero desktop-mode just looks weird next to modern apps. Not to mention the desktop-mode will always remain the 'productivity' mode for many companies. So Microsoft shouldnt threat it as just a thing of the past. In a way its like DOS-mode on Windows XP but it wont be replaced for years to come so they should make its UI fit more with the rest of Windows 8.

I must say I was very unwilling to change from the traditional Hotmail look to Outlook, but when I tried it I actually really liked it. It's also very useful with the integration it does with WP. So I do recommend the change.

I am unfortunalty stuck with Yahoo Mail. I cannot connect my Yahoo email account to Oulook.com unless I pay Yahoo and become a Plus scriber for $20 a year so POP is activated for my account. I'm so sad ...

I have two yahoo accounts forwarding to my outlook.com, and the e-mails arrive within 30 seconds for me (I haven't tested how fast it truly is, could be instantanously) 
I'm sorry to say that it's quite a while ago I made my yahoo do this, so I can't remember how to set it up, but it wasn't hard, try and look around. best of luck! 

You probably setup the rule before they took it off the free Yahoo Mail. POP and forwading are both considered Mail Plus options and you need to pay for it  

I been using outlook.com since it launched last year and for me love it. I made 6 emails that was not taken so I am happy.

Outlook.com needs better filtering / rules. Its very limited for example you can't set a rule that does more than one thing like move AND categorize. Or filters emails that match a sender and subject.

Large attachments are a pain because you need to wait until the files are uploaded before you can hit send.

You can't compose an email and view your inbox at the same time. Or compose an email and search another email for reference.

Don't forget that it won't upload files that are open either. Even if they've been saved.

You can have it compose emails in a pop up window/tab.

would not be bad if the functionality of outlook.com would not suck so hard. like smtp sends, send mail settings, proper pop3 refresh