Just yesterday we showed you what’s new in the upcoming Messenger Wave 4. Today we were able to dig up the latest Hotmail Wave 4 press release information, and just like yesterday’s post, these are direct quotes from Microsoft which we think might most interest you (those marked with are new ones we haven’t mentioned before, other ones we have conveniently linked you to our previous coverage):
- Exchange ActiveSync Hotmail supports push email on the web, PC and now on mobile phones. Using Exchange ActiveSync, available on nearly 300 million phones, with the new Hotmail you can not only seamlessly synchronize email between your phone and the web, but also synchronize your calendar and contacts. This is a significant improvement over IMAP alternatives that support sync’ing of email only (not calendar and contacts).
- Full-session SSL In addition to providing SSL encryption at login for all accounts, the new Hotmail will soon support the option to maintain SSL encryption between you and our servers during your entire Hotmail session.
- Trusted senders With the new Hotmail, we help you to visually identify trusted senders in your inbox, particularly banks and the like, which are commonly used for phishing scams. We put safety logos next to those senders who we recognize as legitimate, not those who are malicious pretenders.
- Time traveling filters Through the new Hotmail, we’re fine-tuning our innovative ability to retroactively remove spam in real-time as we discern the signatures of a new spam effort.
- Hotmail highlights Immediately see if you have new email from friends, social network updates, shipments, appointments and birthday reminders — all in a single glance when you log in.
- One-click filters With a single click, conveniently filter your entire inbox to show only those messages that are from contacts or from social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn, etc. No setup required.
- Quick views Quickly see all email-containing photos across your entire account, including those stored in your inbox, folders and POP-aggregated email accounts, with one click. Or see all your documents. Or videos. Or shipping updates. Or messages you’ve flagged. The new Hotmail gives you complete freedom to choose what you want to see with the convenience of a single click.
- Conversation view We know how having a “conversation” with someone — or several people — via email over an extended period can leave pieces of that conversation haphazardly spread throughout the inbox in individual snippets. The new Hotmail brings all those snippets together so you can view the entire conversation in one place. (Note: Conversation view is an option that you can turn on or off because not everyone prefers to view their email in conversation view. This is flexibility that Gmail does not offer — Gmail has conversation threading permanently on — no way to turn it off, which many people told us they prefer.)
- Sweep Finally a tool that makes it super easy to get rid of the junk mail cluttering up your inbox — the No. 1 e-mail annoyance — at least according to the thousands of people we’ve asked. Sweep is a short menu of simple actions that lets you “sweep” the mail you don’t want out of your inbox into either folders or oblivion, leaving your inbox clean. If you sweep out some e-mails, we’ll even auto-sweep them in the future if you’d like. Just leave the box checked when we offer to do that for you. Zero clicks and that mail gets permanently swept.
- Active Views Thanks to our new partner platform, the new Hotmail saves you the inconvenience of having to hop from your inbox to different websites by integrating the content and functionality of other websites directly into the email you receive. For example, if your friend sends you a link to a YouTube video or Flickr photo album, you can now view the video or photo slide show right within the email message itself. Or if you receive a shipping update from Amazon.com with a package tracking code, Hotmail displays the real-time shipping status, so you don’t have to look it up on the shipper’s website. Hotmail is also partnering with companies such as Amazon.com and eBay to provide an interactive experience in email, letting you take actions right from the email you’re reading — getting more done with email than ever before. (LiveSide edit: Office Web Apps integration is also considered an Active View in Hotmail)
- Single contact list The new Hotmail brings all your online contacts into one convenient place — even those from services like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace. Send an email to anyone, and if you want to you can manage your contacts by creating categories such as Friends or Co-workers to easily organize your address book.
- Reply with edits to an attachment Normally, if a friend emailed you a document — like a resume — and asked you to make a few edits, you’d have to spend time downloading, saving, opening, resaving and re-attaching the document. And of course, you would need to make sure your PC had Office installed. The new Hotmail makes this much easier by letting you edit your friend’s document and reply back — all without leaving Hotmail.
- Rich mobile browse — mail, contacts, and calendar Many consumers who use mobile phones as their primary way to access email and the internet — and even those who do most of their email on the PC — demand a robust email experience from just about anywhere. With the new Hotmail, the mobile experience is optimized for rich browsers and touch, so that your experience feels seamless on the latest phones. The inbox supports filters, previews and quick views of your email, offline email viewing mode, conversation threading, the ability to flag messages, message header details on/off, and more. The rich content feature enables you to view HTML emails and insert or download attachments. Rich composition allows saved drafts and auto-complete for address input. And rich management lets you set an away message, manage junk mail filters and block lists, manage nested folders, and set email forwarding rules. A light version of mobile browse will continue to be available for feature phone browsers (phones that aren’t smartphones).
These are certainly very solid updates to Hotmail which we’ve been hearing many users had been requesting in the past. Forget IMAP, it seems like Windows Live Hotmail, Contacts and Calendar can now all be synced with your mobile devices. There are really exciting updates coming to Hotmail!
Stay tuned at http://www.hotmailpreview.com for more information!