Microsoft Corp. today announced that Windows Live Hotmail®, the successor to MSN® Hotmail, is launching globally in 36 languages. The most significant upgrade for Hotmail since it pioneered the webmail industry in 1996, the new service has been built to be a vast improvement over the previous Hotmail offering, having incorporated input from more than 20 million beta testers. Windows Live Hotmail will deliver a safer, more powerful and productive e-mail experience than previous versions with flexible access via the Web, on a mobile phone or with an e-mail client. Microsoft also announced that later this month Windows Live Hotmail customers will be able to access their Windows Live Hotmail e-mail and contacts for free* using Microsoft® Office Outlook® 2003 or Office Outlook 2007 via the new Microsoft Office Outlook Connector beta.
As Windows Live Hotmail begins rolling out on May 7 and continues over the coming days, consumers will be able to visit http://www.hotmail.com to sign up for a new Windows Live Hotmail account. Current MSN Hotmail customers can also update their existing account to Windows Live Hotmail by logging into their account and clicking on the green Join Windows Live Hotmail button.
"We're thrilled to deliver Windows Live Hotmail to the more than 280 million active MSN Hotmail accounts around the world," said Steve Berkowitz, senior vice president of the Online Services Group at Microsoft. "Windows Live Hotmail represents an extremely compelling end-to-end e-mail experience that makes it easy for customers to get best-of-breed e-mail access across PCs, mobile devices and the Web. Windows Live Hotmail is a cornerstone online service for Microsoft and a critical part of our online advertising business because e-mail is a key point of influence for consumer purchases. We're pleased to announce the launch of the service to advertisers in addition to consumers on the eve of the Microsoft Strategic Account Summit."