Microsoft has long held a popular spot with email users. Its Hotmail and Windows Live brands have done very well and now compete against Google’s Gmail. The previous mail look has gotten an update to match the Metro style coming with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Along with the facelift, it introduces a new domain name so the gold rush is on for getting your preferred email@example.com
Beyond just a nice email address and a clean design, Outlook.com is aligning itself to be direct competition to Gmail and addresses some user complaints. Outlook can be tied to your contact’s photos, Twitter accounts, and Facebook updates. It also provides 7GB of free cloud storage and access to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint web apps. The ads shown on the right side of the screen are rather not intrusive visually or to your privacy. Your messages are not used to display ads, with the current ads seeming to come from Bing Shopping.
With the stance on ads and the above video, Outlook.com is definitely gearing up and aiming for Gmail’s users.
I got hung up on the signup process on my Android phone but Outlook.com also supports Exchange ActiveSync, making it easy to access your email on most devices after you’re signed up.
Go sign up at Outlook.com to get your own @outlook.com address and check out the preview of the new service.
(via Office Blog)