Microsoft has introduced a preview of its Hotmail email service aimed at reducing inbox clutter and winning over users of other rival services such as Yahoo mail and Gmail.
Key highlights of the revamped Windows Live Hotmail include the ability to create and edit Office documents right in the inbox, view new emails from friends, social network updates, shipments and appointments upon logging in.
The new Hotmail will also come with a virtual broom to allow users to "sweep" unwanted mail out of their inbox and into folders or the trash. Hotmail will be able to do sweeps automatically with the check of a box. Users will be able to sweep mail from Gmail and Yahoo Mail accounts by adding them to their Hotmail inbox.
One click filters will allow users to manage their entire inbox to the show the mail that is most important to them including messages from contacts, social networks or mailing groups. Users can click once to find all messages that contain photos, documents, videos, shipping updates or messages that have been flagged.
Microsoft has added the ability for Hotmail users to view videos from YouTube or photos from Flickr directly from their inbox without having to go to another site.
"With over 360 million active Hotmail accounts worldwide, Microsoft has spent a lot of time listening to customer feedback and thoughtfully designing solutions to meet their needs," stated Owen Sagness, Vice President, Consumer and Online, Microsoft Canada Inc.
"Whether it's organizing events, managing commercial transactions, searching for jobs, sharing photos, or communicating with friends and family, the new Hotmail will help increase personal productivity."
Microsoft says its new Hotmail will begin to rollout in mid-summer to users worldwide.