Outlook.com Gains IMAP Support, Grows App Ecosystem
IMAP is added to the Web mail service. Microsoft brings Outlook.com in line with big rivals, and works to make it attractive to app devs and Web services providers.Microsoft has added Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) with OAuth 2.0 support to Outlook.com, the company revealed during a Sept. 12 Reddit AMA (ask me anything) session with the team responsible for the successor to the popular Hotmail Web mail service. The update not only fills one of the service's most glaring omissions but also delivers on one of the most-sought-after features of users that wanted an alternative to Post Office Protocol (POP) and Exchange ActiveSync (EAS). The move also makes it easier for mobile app developers to integrate better with Outlook.com. Outlook.com emerged from its limited preview period and was opened up to all users on Feb. 18. During its trial run, the Hotmail replacement attracted 60 million users. In May, Microsoft completed the Hotmail-Outlook transition following a six-week undertaking that involved migrating 150 petabytes of email. The end result yielded 400 million active Outlook.com accounts. On Aug. 19, Microsoft extended the service in select regions (the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Brazil, France and Canada) by switching on Skype video calling. The feature, once rolled out worldwide, will enable users to participate in video calls, in addition to voice and video chats, with members of Skype's massive user base (300 million).
Despite the new features and enhancements, Outlook.com still lacked a major connectivity option that rivals long supported.