Tuesday, May 18, 2010
ninemsn previews the next generation of webmail

Tuesday 18th May, Sydney, Australia: ninemsn today previewed the new version of Windows Live Hotmail, set to launch in Australia later this year, showcasing a number of innovative new features and Microsoft product integrations.

With 350 million Microsoft Office documents shared on Hotmail each month, the new Hotmail will include access to Office web applications. This will enable people to view, edit and share Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents from directly within their Hotmail, regardless of their browser or even if they have Office installed on their computer.

Hotmail will also launch several new features and smart tools to eliminate inbox clutter and simplify daily tasks, making it even easier for the 7.5 million Australians* who use Hotmail each month to communicate.

For the first time, emails received in Hotmail will incorporate Hotmail ActiveView, a function which enables linked content from specific providers to be viewed directly within the email body. Hotmail ActiveView applies to YouTube video links, Flickr photo album links and LinkedIN notifications, which can be responded to without leaving Hotmail.

Commenting on today's announcement, Alex Parsons, Director of Marketing and MSN Products at ninemsn said: "We are really excited about the innovative changes coming to Hotmail and delivering an experience that will help Australians manage their inbox, work on Office Docs via the cloud, watch videos and share photos.

"With an increasing percentage of personal emails resulting from social networking updates, 50% of people miss important messages in their inbox because of clutter. Helping people manage their inboxes was really important in this release of Hotmail, and we have included a series of features like the Sweep functionality, one click filters and social highlights to address this."

New features coming to Hotmail to help manage inbox clutter include:

  • Social email highlights: Hotmail identifies and categorises emails from social networks in your inbox, making it easier to sort through your emails.

  • One click filters: Filter your entire inbox to only show messages from specific contacts or companies.

  • Sweep functionality: A virtual broom that allows people to easily remove or file emails from a specific sender in their inbox into folders. Auto-sweep can archive any future emails from that sender so they do not appear as clutter in the inbox.

  • Optional conversation view: Hotmail gives people the option to view messages by threaded conversation to view an entire conversation series in one go.

  • Advanced search and automated search suggestions. Hotmail has added an advanced search pane and made advanced search easy with inbox search auto-complete. People can type a single letter into the search box and Hotmail automatically suggests a number of searches to help people find the email they are looking for.

The new Hotmail also lets people send up 10 GB of attachments in a single message via SkyDrive. People can send up to 200 attachments – each up to 50 MB in size – in a single message.

"We know that people share about 1.5 billion photos each month on Hotmail, and now, as well as making photo sharing even simpler, we have addressed the issue of file size limits by allowing people to send attachments and slideshows via SkyDrive," said Alex.

Other features coming to Hotmail include:

  • Web messenger: Use instant messenger with contacts directly through Hotmail.

  • Single contact list. Enables people to bring all their online contacts into one address book stored in Hotmail, including contacts from Facebook, LinkedIn and other email providers.

  • Rich mobile browse. With the new Hotmail, the mobile experience is optimised for rich browsers and touch, so that the experience feels seamless on the latest phones. The inbox supports filters, in-line message previews, HTML messages, offline e-mail viewing, conversation threading, the ability to flag messages, the option to turn header details on or off, and more.

    The new Hotmail will roll-out in Australia in the coming months.

    To learn more about today’s preview visit

    –ENDS –

    *Internal Microsoft Data