“We think the time is right to reimagine email,” Microsoft’s Chris Jones wrote in a blog post. “So today, we’re introducing a preview of Outlook.com. We realized that we needed to take a bold step, break from the past and build you a brand new service from the ground up.”
Outlook.com’s UI takes visual design cues from Microsoft’s Metro UI. It also includes access to Office Web Apps: the online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
Outlook.com also features native integration to a variety of social networking sites like Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter.
When Microsoft launched Hotmail — or HoTMaiL as it was then known — there was no major competition on the market. Now, Microsoft’s once market dominating Hotmail faces userbase encroachment from Google and Yahoo’s competing mail services. With Outlook.com, Microsoft hopes to be the dominant webmail provider once again.
“While today’s preview is just the start, Outlook.com is ready now to become your primary email service. We’re expecting millions of people to try it out. Starting today, you can get an @Outlook.com email address, and we’ve also made it easy to get started with your current email address if you want to,” Mr. Jones wrote.