Microsoft To Enhance Hotmail and Search

    July 29, 2005
    Chris Crum

Microsoft is making some big changes to its free e-mail service Hotmail. The company plans to make Hotmail’s interface more like its Outlook and Outlook Express programs.

New potential features for Hotmail will include the ability to block senders and preview messages without opening them, much like outlook. It will also get new anti-phishing features.

In an effort to stay competitive with Google’s G-Mail and Yahoo Mail, Microsoft also plans to beef up the amount of the user’s storage to 2 gigabytes.

Yesterday, Microsoft previewed its new version of Hotmail as Senior Vice President Yusuf Mehdi presented at the company’s Financial Analysts Meeting. Ina Fried of CNET explains:

The antiphishing feature parallels work Microsoft is doing with the next version of Internet Explorer. If a suspicious e-mail arrives, the test version of Hotmail does not display the message. Instead, it warns the user that the e-mail appears to be potentially fraudulent and asks them if they want to block or allow that message and any other e-mails from that sender.

Microsoft also showed potential new features for its MSN Messenger instant-messaging service. These include a shared file folder that is available to buddies and an indicator that shows the virus condition of another user’s PC, provided that buddy is using Microsoft’s OneCare subscription antivirus service.

Microsoft obviously wants to better compete with Google and Yahoo in areas other than e-mail. The company is currently working on getting MSN SERPs to provide answers to specific questions rather than just links.

Microsoft at least admits that it is not quite up to par in all areas of competition, but seems to be working hard at changing that. Mehdi was quoted as saying, “I wouldn’t say everything is rosy…We are still behind on some things.”

Chris is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.