Hotmail gets handy new features, gets faster

Microsoft has just announced some minor, but welcomed improvements to its free Hotmail service. We've seen the company improving its Live services incrementally recently, and this update is no different.

Hotmail users now have even more "right click actions." Where they previously had "Delete," "Junk" and "View Message Source," Microsoft has added "Reply," "Reply-All" and "Forward messages."

The company also added email shortcuts many users are used to in Outlook at work such as Ctrl+Enter for sending a message, Ctrl+N for a new one. They've also added shortcuts from other popular email services, such as # to delete a message (Gmail) and you can hit N to create a new one (full list of new shortcuts here).

Microsoft also added the ability to set the default font in the Hotmail web interface, a long-requested feature, as well as enabling a personal signature for all emails (which most other services already have). They also have tweaked the back button so that it always does what's expected, and have made it possible to recover accidentally deleted email messages.

Finally, the company says they've been making speed improvements over the last few weeks by optimizing the way they program and making the most of HTML5 to speed up the inbox. Apparently, there's more news to come on this, so stay tuned.

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