Getting Started With, The New Email Service From Microsoft

Microsoft has finally woken up from the Google Gmail buzz as Gmail user base has finally surpassed Hotmail, the free Microsoft email service. Google, in a blog post, announced that there were more than 425 million Gmail user accounts while Hotmail user base is still 360 million.

Microsoft started overhauling all their products to embrace a new tiled interface which spans across all platforms, devices and products. Windows 8 was introduced with Metro interface and so has been Office 2013. Now it’s the turn of Hotmail to be revamped. Microsoft has finally rebranded their email service to match their popular product, Microsoft Outlook. will be the name for all email services like,, etc.

Hotmail was acquired by Microsoft in 1997 and was the most popular email provides until early 2000’s. Google’s Gmail was introduced in 2004 as a simple and effective email service which people started embracing quickly. And now Gmail stands on top of all free email providers including Hotmail.

It looked as if Microsoft had taken for granted that people will be using their Hotmail email service. But now Microsoft seems to have taken some measures to save their email service from further deterioration. has been introduced as a complete revamp of Microsoft’s email service. offers the same tiled and Metro style interface to match with other Microsoft products. Let’s go through the features of step by step.

The signup process signup

Since will be replacing all other Microsoft email services, the same Microsoft account can be used to sign into There is no need to signup for the service again. If you are a Hotmail user, you can easily sign in with your Hotmail credentials and you’ll get all your email in It you don’t have a Microsoft account then you’ll need to sign up with The signup process is very simple and is very similar to email signup process of any email service provider. Actually you’ll be taken to to create a Microsoft account rather than a dedicated account. But from now on, the new users will be able to create email addresses as

The Inbox layout Inbox layout

The layout of Inbox is somewhat similar to but with a clean and sleek look n feel. There is a top menu pane which consists of different action items like creating a new email, replying to open emails, delete, junk management, categorizing etc. The new categories of are very similar to Gmail tags. In fact both have the same functionality with different names. drop down menu

If you hover your mouse curser on the Outlook icon on the top left of the screen, you’ll get a new drop down menu showing the following items:

  1. Mail
  2. People
  3. Calendar
  4. SkyDrive apps

You can click on any tile to open the corresponding web app. Mail and People have been converted to the Metro interface while Calendar and SkyDrive are still sharing the old interface. Hopefully Microsoft will shift these to the new interface.

The First email from Microsoft

When you sign up with, you’ll get an email from Microsoft about what are the next steps you can take after signing up. The first thing you can do is add another email address to so that you will be able to send and receive emails from that email address right from interface.

Add an email account to

Add another email address to

Secondly you’ll be able to add people to your contact list using different methods including the following:

  1. Facebook friends
  2. Google contacts
  3. LinkedIn contacts
  4. Twitter contacts
  5. Import contacts

Add people to contact list

You can also connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts to account. When connected, you’ll see updates from Facebook and Twitter on the right hand pane of Inbox. This will allow you to get updates from Facebook and Twitter right within without ever opening other accounts. apps are available for Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad and Android. You can easily download the app on your favorite smartphone and start using right away.

Visit here to download smart phone apps of

Final thoughts

Although Microsoft has taken a positive step toward making their Hotmail email service a modern service but the effort is not enough in my opinion. When we look closely, Microsoft has revamped the interface of Hotmail under a different name but not much of the new functionality has been added. I still like the simple interface of Gmail and will not be shifting to in the near future. Yahoo email users may be tempted to use services because it is not cluttered with ads and offers a better anti-spam service.

What are your thoughts about this new service? Will you ditch your current email provide in favor of Tell us in comments below.