Microsoft's Outlook.com, the successor to Hotmail, is just a few hours old, but the new metro style email service has already got more than one million people signing up for it, according to official figures tweeted just over six hours after it was announced Tuesday.
Although the earlier version of Hotmail will stay active, the all-new Outlook.com brings exciting features that includes integrated Skype. While current Hotmail users are allowed to upgrade to the preview version of the Outlook.com, with options to rename an existing @hotmail.com address to @outlook.com or to add an extra alias to an account, new users can choose their own @outlook.com email address.
As The Verge noted, the Outlook.com is built with the same Metro design as the Windows 8. Along with Skype video calling, Microsoft also brings threaded messaging by default, Facebook chat and Windows Live Messenger.
"We think that email can do a lot better than webmail," said the company. "We decided it was time for a change."
The Outlook.com that also uses Exchange ActiveSync has Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Web Apps built into it, allowing users to open and edit documents on the site. In addition, Microsoft is also providing its SkyDrive cloud storage service with the standard 7GB of free storage to share photos and video content on SkyDrive for emails.
The content management has also been improved with an interface similar to Windows 8. Outlook.com can import contacts from Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, LinkedIn and CSV, merging them into single contact cards.
"We saw an opportunity to make email better by using your connections on social networks to enrich your email experience. And so with the Outlook.com preview, we are giving you the first email service that is connected to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and soon, Skype, to bring relevant context and communications to your email," said Microsoft.
Outlook.com will automatically sort users' messages from contacts, newsletters, shipping updates and social updates. With the help of Sweep features, users can move, delete and set up specific rules in a few clicks so that they can get to the email they want quicker than before.
Watch the video below for a Outlook.com walkthrough.