The move form Hotmail to Outlook.com is over. It's official. According to a post on the Microsoft Office blog, everyone on Hotmail has been upgraded and everyone that doesn't already have access to the features Microsoft has been adding over the past months will be given access in the coming months.
Hotmail, Outlook.com Migration
While this has been a process that started last August and was expected to continue into the summer, Dick Craddock, Group Program Manager at Outlook.com says it is now finished and that there are over 400 million active Outlook.com accounts.
This, he says, includes 125 million that are accessing all the different function like calendaring and contacts on top of basic email through mobile devices. Craddock also said that it has introduced two new features as of yesterday including SMTP send and deeper integration with SkyDrive.
What is quite astounding, is the rate at which the data has been moved from Hotmail across to Outlook.com. According to Craddock in the blog post, when Outlook.com came out of preview in February it already had 60 million active accounts.
A final look at Hotmail
Hotmail, however, at that point had 300 million accounts, all of which Microsoft has updated and moved. This involved migrating 150 million gigabytes of data and ensuring that everything was preserved in the upgrade, including inboxes, calendars, contacts, folders and personal preferences -- and all of this done while both Hotmail and Outlook.com were still live. Craddock says that has all been done and it only took six weeks.
Outlook.com May 2013
And that’s all there is to it -- Hotmail is dead, long live Outlook.com. Over the coming months, Craddock also promises more interesting features that will slowly become available depending on where you live.
The ability to send and receive emails from other accounts using Outlook.com account has been perfected so that so that an email sent from a different account through Outlook.com goes through that account's SMTP server. That way, the recipient just sees the account's email address.
Deeper SkyDrive integration means that when you're sending an email message, you can select files from your SkyDrive and Outlook.com will automatically turn those into the right thumbnails with links that have the right permissions tied to people that receive the email.
Over the past months, we've been following Outllook.com closely to see where Microsoft would bring it, and at this point with everything it has added, built and integrated with Outllook.com, Microsoft has created not just a formidable marketing tool for things like Skype or SkyDrive, but also a service that should over the coming months pull a lot more people Microsoft's way.
For SkyDrive, for example, if you sign up to Office 365 on the Home package you get 20 GBs of storage on top of the free 7 GB you get for signing up to SkyDrive in the first place, which should satisfy even the heaviest data-happy home user.
There is Skype integration that is currently being unrolled and should add a whole pile of new users to the service, while a refreshed Outlook.com app for Android devices, two-factor authentication for s accounts as well as new international domains for people around the world should also boost numbers.
The question is whether it will be enough to poach enough Google users to make any difference. According to Google, there are 400 million users signed up to Google+ and 100 million using it on a monthly basis.