New Hotmail updates on the way; shipment tracking, Facebook chat and more

The Hotmail team was hard a work over the summer, releasing a major update to Windows Live Hotmail that included a new design, faster inbox and many other cool features. Even though the update was released two months ago, the Hotmail team announced some more exciting changes, something that might just blow the competition away.

Shipment Tracking
First up on the changes is shipment tracking within your email. Hotmail will automatically detect the shipping tracking number and provide real-time shipping information. Once the update rolls out, users will be able to track USPS and Fedex shipments right from inside their email, without having to visit the shippers website. DHL and UPS are also supported, but will provide links to the shipper's website for more detailed information.

Facebook Chat
Earlier this month, Neowin posted information that Facebook Chat will soon be coming to Windows Live Hotmail, and now the Hotmail team is ready to roll out this major update. Users can already chat with Facebook friends through Windows Live Essentials 2011 and Windows Live Messenger for the iPhone.

Microsoft also mentioned that they will be making the signout button more noticeable for users to see, based on feedback from some users.

Attachment Upgrade
Windows Live Hotmail became the first email provider to allow up to 10GB of photos in a single email, by creating a new album inside of SkyDrive and connecting it with your email. This allows friends and family to share high resolution photos with one another. Hotmail users share more than 1.5 billion photos a month on Hotmail, and with the ever increasing demand, the Hotmail team is increasing total filesizes to 25MB per email. You'll now be able to have larger attachments per email.

Dailymotion & Justin.tv
During the summer rollout, Hotmail announced you'll be able to watch Hulu and YouTube videos right inside of an email. The next update rollout will now support videos from Dailymotion and Justin.tv.

Subfolders
The new Hotmail update will allow you to create subfolders in your inbox, so you can put folders in your folders (yo dawg yo). A great new feature for people wanting to stay organized, but have a massive list of folders in their inbox, now you'll be able to separate your email using the Hotmail filters but keep a neat and tidy inbox.

Hotmail didn't give an estimated time for the release, only saying they would be rolling out the update immediately. The process may take a few weeks to reflect on everyone's account.

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58 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

i might be crazy but when the last update came out it gave me shipment tracking?

if there's USPS or UPS or FEDEX tracking information in an email i receive there's a nice little window at the top of the email with all of the tracking info already loaded.

All this is well and good, but unfortunately Microsoft in it's infite wisdom decided not to support html pages in Exchange Active Sync with Hotmail. Thus now when I get emails on my phone via 'Exchange Active Sync' all I get is html links in the emails rather than the content of the html page. Why is Microsoft always taking two steps forward and then one step back. They have done similiar things with IE 9 too, by removing the search bar and combining it with the address bar and thus reducing it's utility and convenience a great deal.

Mainer82 said,
Woa, sub-folders! Excellent news for me!
Same here was so sad when i could not do this. Was going to sync all my emails to my Hotmail account and was not able to make folders in folder.. This change will be good and cant wait for it to be active

Microsoft Beta FTW!!

The thing I most appreciate is the increased file attachment size and subfolders. The big news of the day for me was support for embedding PowerPoint.

Give me real exchange support and I'll be happy (so I can use it on my desktop computer and not just on my iPhone)

so I have an accountwith @msn before they all went to @hotmail. I never use it but maybe with these changes I'll give it a try. is there a way to change the user name?

downhillrider said,
so I have an accountwith @msn before they all went to @hotmail. I never use it but maybe with these changes I'll give it a try. is there a way to change the user name?

I don't think so, you'll probably have to create a new one @hotmail or @live.

KaoDome said,

I don't think so, you'll probably have to create a new one @hotmail or @live.

Yup, but you can link accounts, so you can switch back and forth easily.

Updates are completely useless for me.

I want IMAP, POP3 sucks hard, pointless given us more things to do with folders if you can't see them outside of a web browser or their offical, Windows only client, and I shouldn't have to pay anything for some other program to get around it.

bobbba said,
Heard of Hotmail Exchange ActiveSync?

Yes, and to my knowledge it is mobile only, unless there is a way around that now?

I'm very happy subfolders are going to be allowed. I hope Windows Live Mail will support this.

I also hope they've upgraded conversations to function how they do in Windows Live Mail; they don't work well in Hotmail when it comes to Facebook emails and Neowin thread reply emails.

mikecel79 said,
Subfolders finally! I've been waiting years for this.

Could you please explain an use for them? I don't seem to be able to think of one.

mikecel79 said,
Subfolders finally! I've been waiting years for this.

+1, for some reason reading that made me giddy like a 5 year old

bobbba said,
Will the sub folders work with Exchange ActiveSync?

It should do if Hotmail supposed to support Exchange ActiveSync, connecting to an Exchange Server 2003 server from my iPhone supports it.

KaoDome said,

Could you please explain an use for them? I don't seem to be able to think of one.

Maybe just personal preference given Exchange Server and Outlook supports it. If Hotmail supports it when maybe it will please both parties. Nothing wrong with that is there?

StevenNT said,
Maybe just personal preference given Exchange Server and Outlook supports it. If Hotmail supports it when maybe it will please both parties. Nothing wrong with that is there?

Nope, I didn't mean to imply anything. I just wanted to know about possible uses .

KaoDome said,

Could you please explain an use for them? I don't seem to be able to think of one.

I get emails from a newsletter a couple times a day they are semi important i know i will need them eventually but dont want have to weed through them in my inbox so now I can create a folder and they will be filtered through to it leaving my inbox to more important emails

lostmongoose said,

[citation needed] using that logic MS is doing the same /tinfoilhat

Are you serious? Do you know what a citation truly is? A citation is not needed, a reference is.

Hmmm, i guess maybe only USPS works now then cuz i've always had the tracking feature I have a live folder on the left called "Shipping updates" and any of my items from eBay automatically got filtered in there and it shows it's current status. Wish i could pull down that to Outlook!

thenonhacker said,

This one is to directly show USPS and Fedex shipping info mashed-in the email.

That's what I meant. I got this "mashed-in" Shipment Tracking feature right after they upgraded to the new UI.

.KICK said,
IMAP, for the love of god, use it! It is about damn time!

Why? Now they support Excange for mobile phones and connector for Outlook. I don't see why they'd need to support IMAP

IMAP would be a good addition... What's Live Mail or Outlook using when dealing with Hotmail accounts? Is that Exchange?

Feels like IMAP...

.KICK said,
IMAP, for the love of god, use it! It is about damn time!

Don't think so, I'll use Exchange Activesync!!!

.KICK said,
IMAP, for the love of god, use it! It is about damn time!
Yeah I wish.. Outlook 2010 support for IMAP has improved 10 folder but still has issues. Once that I am sure that annoys many is that the default notify on new email feature does not work with IMAP. You have to create a new rule to do it, and even then it only works on the inbox folder.

Mr aldo said,
Yeah, Hotmail uses a proprietary protocol, but they added Exchange ActiveSync support to it as well...

Isn't ActiveSync just supported in mobile devices?

Dead'Soul said,
Microsoft and Facebook... Where is MySpace?

Yeah, and where's the Geocities and ICQ support?

Will I be able to recieve email from my friends on Fidonet with this release?

Neb Okla said,

Yeah, and where's the Geocities and ICQ support?

Will I be able to recieve email from my friends on Fidonet with this release?

deleted

Sraf said,
Sounds like a very nice and handy upgrade

I'm a Yahoo Mail user, and I envy these pro-active changes to Hotmail.

While I do have a Windows Live Mail account, I still must stick to Yahoo Mail, thanks to websites who asks for email addresses as logins.

thenonhacker said,

I'm a Yahoo Mail user, and I envy these pro-active changes to Hotmail.

While I do have a Windows Live Mail account, I still must stick to Yahoo Mail, thanks to websites who asks for email addresses as logins.


I'm sure once you've signed up to such sites, you're able to change your email address to a Hotmail one in the account settings. That's what I've done whenever a website requesed an email address which wasn't a Hotmail one.

thenonhacker said,

I'm a Yahoo Mail user, and I envy these pro-active changes to Hotmail.

While I do have a Windows Live Mail account, I still must stick to Yahoo Mail, thanks to websites who asks for email addresses as logins.

Forward from Yahoo! Mail to Windows Live Mail maybe?

Recon415 said,

That, or use a POP3 server. I'm sure Yahoo allows them.

Yahoo charges for POP3 access still. Lame!!