Microsoft Goes Live: 10 Things You Should Know About It

NEWS ANALYSIS: Microsoft has officially launched, ending the days of Hotmail Internet email and launching a new cloud email platform linked to its desktop Office productivity applications. Here’s what users know about the new service.

Microsoft has officially flipped on the switch, marking a significant change in the company€™s email strategy. Soon, Hotmail will be a thing of the past and will be the service that Microsoft€™s online email subscribers use. is just the latest change that has come to Microsoft€™s ecosystem and includes everything from Windows 8 launching in October to improved versions of Office and Windows Phone.

But for now, the focus should be on After all, it marks a major shift for Microsoft, and could dramatically impact how Microsoft€™s customers interact with their email. offers the same basic features as Hotmail€“sending and receiving emails€“but it comes with so many interesting features and backend strategies that current and potential users should know more about how it works.

Read on to learn more about

1. Hotmail is dead

With the launch of Outlook, Hotmail users can all but kiss goodbye their former service. Eventually, Hotmail will be discontinued in favor of, meaning an era is officially ending. So, get ready for it.

2. It€™s a new design

One of the nice things about is that it delivers an all-new look that should help users easily navigate through emails. The service comes with a clean look, streamlined navigation and overall looks much nicer. That€™s important as Microsoft attempts to keep customers using its service.

3. Get ready for the land grab

According to some reports, users are grabbing all kinds of email addresses from the domain, including some that nabbed possible aliases for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates. Those looking to sign up for Outlook that don€™t have Hotmail accounts now should act quickly to get their own preferred address.

4. Slide shows are built-in

Since sharing photos has become a popular exploit for email users, Microsoft has built a slide show feature into It€™s a nice addition that will appeal to many folks who commonly share photos over email.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...