Microsoft Overhauling Hotmail in October
With a bicoastal relaunch event planned for next month, Microsoft has some big plans for Hotmail to better compete against the likes of Gmail and Yahoo.

But It's Only Mail

Do we actually care about features in our email service? Who really uses all those sidebar extras that the creators are throwing in by the dozen? Sure, some businesses find the attempts at unified communication a welcome freebie, but most have Outlook or Cisco for that.

For the rest of us, there's the email service that we've used since, well, forever, be it Gmail or Yahoo's service (which, if it does merge with AOL will have a potentially massive userbase). Despite all the relaunches, reinventions and so on, it doesn't look as if there are massed herds of users migrating from one to the other when an upgrade gets announced.

An Event for Event's Sake?

But, that's not stopping Microsoft trying with another revamp of Hotmail, to be announced at a pair of events in New York and San Francisco on October 3. Upgrades are likely to include performance boosts, new features, plus security and extra spam skills. But has anyone really been bothered by spam in the last couple of years, beyond that easily cleaned spam folder?

Learning Opportunities

Microsoft is promising a reinvention of the service, so we wait to see what it can offer, but have to wonder if it's part of a wider effort to transform into an all-cloud player with unified access across all Microsoft services like Office 365 and others.

That would make sense for users, and increase competition in the cloud space, but by the time Microsoft launches this service, the ever-evolving Google offering and those from other competitors could well have moved on.