Hotmail redesign de-clutters the inbox

18 May 2010

Although still one of the leading webmail services, Microsoft’s Hotmail has fallen behind its competitor Gmail in terms of innovation but a big redesign is on the way that will reinvent it and make it easier than ever for users to sort through their inbox.

The new improved Hotmail, due to be rolled out later this summer, has a few big changes. First of all, Microsoft has recognised that the contents of the inbox have changed in the last few years, with mail from social networking services taking up 20pc of the average person’s daily email, while mail from online services, eg, retail sites, online banking, etc, make up another large portion.

New Hotmail

The new Hotmail will have document preview inside your emails

Hotmail will soon have a tabbed filtering system, whereby the user will see new email from friends and contacts, social network updates, shipping notices, appointments and birthday reminders – all sorted separately into categories for easy viewing with the ability to tab between them.

There will also be a Quick View folder for checking out attachments, including documents and images, because instead of having them viewable as attachments Hotmail will soon be using SkyDrive for storing images while the email will contain an embedded link and automatically show you a preview of your photo attachments, allowing you to view them as a slide show in a single click without leaving your inbox. This will work will services like Flickr and SmugMug.

Synchronisation is also a large part of the new Hotmail service and will support syncing of email, contacts, calendar and tasks between phone and PC, and it will support push email on the mobile phone.

There are also several other new features, including enhanced account protection, full-session SSL, multiple email accounts, subfolders, contact management, and ever-growing storage.

By Marie Boran