When Microsoft announced that it was killing Hotmail in favour Outlook.com geeks around the world sighed with relief. A few months on, the service has 60-million users and has dropped the “preview” tag.
Microsoft is also set to sound the final death-knell for Hotmail with a massive advertising push telling people to mover over to Outlook.com. At the same time it will begin forcing Hotmail users onto the new service.
What Microsoft is saying, in effect, is Outlook.com is ready to start running at full capacity and it is ready to leave Hotmail behind as a relic of its staid, uncool past. It won’t exactly be a sad, lingering goodbye either. The Redmond-based giant says that all Hotmail users will be moved over by the middle of this year.
The fact that Microsoft has already signed up 60-million users up to the site to date is fairly impressive, especially given the way it’s chosen to target its advertising. For the most part, Outlook.comn’s advertising has been targeted at the high-nerd set. Changing that to cover the general public, as well as the forced Hotmail push could see a significant bump in numbers.
How big? Well Microsoft says the service is “ready to scale to a billion people” although its unlikely that it’ll become the Facebook of email.
The Skype connection
As The Next Web points out however Microsoft does have an ace up its sleeve in the form of Skype.
Once the VoIP service completely subsumes Windows Live Messenger, it will take its place within Outlook.com allowing everybody’s favourite video-chat platform to find a new space on the web.
All in all then, things are looking good for Outlook.com and the relationship with Skype means that two Microsoft products stand to win big. And after disappointing Surface sales the tech giant will be grateful for any victory it can get. Expect fireworks when Outlook.com hits the 100-million user mark.