Microsoft preps Live Hotmail refresh

Microsoft has been doing a lot this week to help boost the image of the future for their Live services, along with the recently released "wave 3" of Windows Live utilities, Microsoft has sent an email out to their Live Hotmail subscribers outlining some of the changes they have planned to give a boost to the service.

Based on customer feedback, Microsoft has focused on making the next version of Live Hotmail faster, in fact they claim the next version will be nearly 70% faster when signing in, opening and viewing messages when used with a broadband connection and up to 56% faster on slower connections.

To add a new twist to the ever increasing storage-size war between Microsoft, Google and Yahoo... Microsoft has upped the ante by planning to introduce a storage system that "will grow with you" -- while not mentioning specifics, they claim that as you need more storage for your messages, you'll get it and while there will be a limit it will be "so large that chances are you won't even come close to them."

Other new features include the ability to IM directly from the Hotmail interface, improvements to the calendaring system and a revamped UI. Rumor has it that the UI will attempt to merge some of the innovations of the latest version with the more familiar, simpler, Hotmail that layout users were used to before the last upgrade.

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41 Comments

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funny - from au I cant get into any of the Live services including Live (HOT) Mail - not a very "live" way of doing a refresh - If that is what is happening - with MS who knows?

I have to say I don't really use the Hotmail bits for my account anymore; Windows Live Mail works well, and only deletes mail from the server when you do.

I can't wait for the refresh. I'm already using the new Live Calendar beta and it loosks great. As far as POP3 access goes, this is available for Hotmail Plus subscribers -- $20/yr. All Hotmail subscribers can access their account from the desktop, for free, using Windows Live Mail. And for those with the iPhone or other mobile devices, don't forget that there is a free mobile interface for Hotmail and other Windows Live services.

Thought I would say that my live hotmail for my .@live.com address has already gotten some of the refresh. The interface for hotmail has slightly different icons for folders. The live calendar is completely different.

Sounds cool, just wish they could find a style to stick to...they keep changing that top menu bar section with different styles, rather annoying to say the least.

(Sam Symons Live said @ #3)
Any news of POP support...?

It's been available through Windows Live Mail or Office Outlook Connector for over a year.

(Admodieus said @ #3.1)

It's been available through Windows Live Mail or Office Outlook Connector for over a year.

Windows Live Mail or Office Outlook Connector does "IMAP"

Let me reword that. Will free users be able to access their hotmail accounts on the iPhone (without using any third party solutions)? I'd pay for it but it's not available for us in NZ.

Yeah, my iPod Touch is definately missing my 2 hotmail accounts. And it's certainly not because OS X mobile is very crippled and limited in functionality... MS really needs to do something about it, and enabling POP support would fix the problem.

(PsykX said @ #3.5)
Yeah, my iPod Touch is definately missing my 2 hotmail accounts. And it's certainly not because OS X mobile is very crippled and limited in functionality... MS really needs to do something about it, and enabling POP support would fix the problem.

go with Windows Mobile 6.1

Yeah,that's not really a solution if he already has an iPhone. I would also like to see native support for the iPhone like Yahoo and Gmail already have. I have a paid account and it's not available.

(Ironman273 said @ #3.7)
Yeah,that's not really a solution if he already has an iPhone. I would also like to see native support for the iPhone like Yahoo and Gmail already have. I have a paid account and it's not available.

So you do have a paid account and it's still not available? Hmm.

(Sam Symons Live said @ #3.8)
So you do have a paid account and it's still not available? Hmm.

Yeah, I have a @msn.com address and I've called tech support. They told me they don't offer it but may in the future. They've rolled all msn accounts into what is basically hotmail now.

(Faisal Islam said @ #3.3)

Windows Live Mail or Office Outlook Connector does "IMAP"

They use MAPI, actually. You can't use a regular IMAP client to access them.

I know I've been using it more than Gmail lately.. GMail used to be cool cause I was one of the only ones using it in like 2005-6, but now everyone uses it so its not that special. But @live is awesome haha.

But I think they should've lied about "infinite storage" like Yahoo, in which the size only grows when you put files in it, then decreases when you take them out.