Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Microsoft Rebrands Hotmail as Outlook

Microsoft is rebranding its market-leading Hotmail Web-based e-mail service, naming it after the company's well-known Outlook e-mail software.

More than 300 million people use Hotmail, which has an estimated 36% share of the global market for online e-mail. Gmail has been catching up quickly, with an estimated 31% of the market (Yahoo! mail has an estimated 32% share). AOL is still hanging in, with about 24 million users, and it's just redesigned its interface.

Despite Gmail's rapid growth and tight integration with Google's offerings, Outlook has a real opportunity to capture more share, for several reasons:
  • The brand is familiar to millions of Microsoft users, both consumers and businesspeople.
  • Microsoft says it won't display ads geared to e-mail content, the way Gmail does--a plus for people irritated by overexposure to ads.
  • The Outlook e-mail interface is clean and uncluttered, easy to navigate.
  • Outlook will have a social media look/feel/functionality and, just as important, it will connect with SkyDrive and (soon) Skype.

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