Outlook.com on Reddit: AUsA, condensed

By Kip Kniskern | Posted July 31, 2012 14 comments

reddit_logoThis morning, as part of the announcement of Outlook.com, “the engineers and product managers from Microsoft behind the new Outlook.com email service” took to Reddit for an “Ask Us Anything”, and answered a number of questions about the new service.  While there are lots of gems here, it’s a bit daunting to go through all 800+ comments, so we’ve been scanning the thread and pulling out some of the best info.  Somewhat randomly, here’s a sampling of the session (you can read all of “OutlookonReddit”’s answers here):

Under consideration / stay tuned:

Stay tuned for IMAP
GTalk on Outlook.com? maybe
Drag-n-Drop attachments as part of expanded HTML5 usage
Archiving?
Looking into fixing the 16 character password limit
Options / settings cleanup is “on the agenda”
Developer platform: stay tuned
Working on enabling IPv6, like Bing has

Info

You can rename, but not merge accounts
Connecting to Facebook takes you to Windows Live to avoid “pre-revealing” the service, hope to fix soon Outlook.com features coming to Windows 8 Outlook app
A workaround for renaming your account back to its original name
The 270 day login requirement is still active
…and Hotmail Plus is still around
Calendar Metro is “on the way”
Marketing will be for Outlook.com only – “Hotmail is 16 years old…it’s time for something new”

An explanation of the technology behind Hotmail Outlook.com:

Our web front-ends are C# running on ASP.NET and IIS. The front-end is JS, HTML, and CSS using jQuery and jsViews. We use both ajax and server-rendered pages depending on which is more performant for the situation. Our back-end is a mixture of C# and C++ built on-top of the largest SQLServer installation in the world.

more on the technology:

we reimagined our storage system much in the same way we did our user experience for Outlook.com. our storage technology was upgraded recently to support this launch. in doing so, we moved away from relying on hardware raid replication (software controlled replication now), leveraged solid state storage for hot content, and put in new reliability additions to our software. we do store blobs on top of NTFS and strip out pertinent meta-data for quick retrieval of your information and store that on our SSDs in SQL Server.

we have some details on our architectural changes here, if you’d like to read further (although we’ve made improvements since this post): http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_live/b/windowslive/archive/2011/09/22/a-petabyte-per-week.aspx

Outlook means “mail from Microsoft”:

As a company we’ve been simplifying our approach for individuals. You’ve seen it with the “metro-style” design. You’ve seen it with SkyDrive. We’re taking the same approach with mail – we want to have a brand that means mail from Microsoft. Outlook means that today for many people, and is in general a very strong brand.

We’re still digging through the comments, and may do a “round two”, but lots of good info so far!

Posted July 31st, 2012 at 1:59 pm
Category: News
Tags: Hotmail, Outlook.com
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000386235192 Iain Berryman

    No @outlook.co.uk for the United Kingdom, http://www.outlook.co.uk already exists and their support email is sales@outlook.co.uk so it seems impossible for Microsoft to be able to use it.

    • Calum James

      These kind of things aren’t always impossible. Microsoft could buy their domain off them, if they’re willing :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000386235192 Iain Berryman

    No @outlook.co.uk for the United Kingdom, http://www.outlook.co.uk already exists and their support email is sales@outlook.co.uk so it seems impossible for Microsoft to be able to use it.

    • Calum James

      These kind of things aren’t always impossible. Microsoft could buy their domain off them, if they’re willing :)

  • Robert

    Mail for my domain has been managed by Hotmail/Live Mail for nearly ten years now.  I hesitantly clicked the “upgrade to outlook.com” link and within five minutes realized it’s absolutely snazzy.  I’m looking forward to all the rest of the stew they’re planning.  The news I’ve read so far about Win8 has me pretty jazzed too.  I’m even giving some thought to rooting my Asus Transformer tablet and loading Win8 on it.

  • Robert

    Mail for my domain has been managed by Hotmail/Live Mail for nearly ten years now.  I hesitantly clicked the “upgrade to outlook.com” link and within five minutes realized it’s absolutely snazzy.  I’m looking forward to all the rest of the stew they’re planning.  The news I’ve read so far about Win8 has me pretty jazzed too.  I’m even giving some thought to rooting my Asus Transformer tablet and loading Win8 on it.

  • gerryrivers86

    i love this new interface and its about time to switch from live.com as all of live is about to disappear, best to stay on the right page and integrate everything (names and all) into one source

    • http://www.LiveSide.net Kip Kniskern – LiveSide.net

      @Hotmail.com and @live.com domains won’t be going away, you’ll be able to use them as long as you want.  But you’re right, now might be a good time to clean up our email usage and get a fresh start

  • gerryrivers86

    i love this new interface and its about time to switch from live.com as all of live is about to disappear, best to stay on the right page and integrate everything (names and all) into one source

    • http://www.LiveSide.net Kip Kniskern – LiveSide.net

      @Hotmail.com and @live.com domains won’t be going away, you’ll be able to use them as long as you want.  But you’re right, now might be a good time to clean up our email usage and get a fresh start

  • /|/|ichael

    Did anyone see the weather widget during the “hello” intro video? Are widgets available for the sidebar now? I don’t see an option for it anywhere.

  • /|/|ichael

    Did anyone see the weather widget during the “hello” intro video? Are widgets available for the sidebar now? I don’t see an option for it anywhere.

  • rafael913

    *gasp* they said Metro-style. I thought they weren’t allowed to say that anymore

  • rafael913

    *gasp* they said Metro-style. I thought they weren’t allowed to say that anymore