#NewHotmailHere sightings around the world – Hotmail Wave 4 rollout expanded

Windows Live HotmailWe’ve been noticing a significant increase in the number of #NewHotmailHere tags on Twitter since Monday morning, as well as receiving many tips and comments from our readers about sightings of the new Hotmail. (Thanks to everyone who tipped us! Keep them coming!) It seems like users from all over the world are starting to see their Hotmail inbox being transformed into Wave 4. In fact, checking my own Windows Live accounts I’ve noticed that 1 out of my 4 Hotmail accounts (including Windows Live Admin Center ones) had been upgraded to Wave 4 just today:

Hotmail Wave 4

Together with upgrades to your Hotmail inbox, you would’ve noticed that as part of the upgrade, Windows Live Contacts and Windows Live Home are upgraded as well. For Contacts, you should notice that the old Windows Live People is now Windows Live Contacts, and you’re now able to filter your contact list by the service it is from (Messenger, Facebook, MySpace…etc.). For Windows Live Home, you should see the “Hotmail highlights” heading on the top instead, as well as the ability to update your status message, and the integration of Web Messenger (Messenger friends) on the right-column. Disappointingly, news feeds have been removed, and this includes the LiveSide.net one. Here’s what you should see if your account has been upgraded:

Home Wave 4 

Unfortunately, several big features for Hotmail Wave 4 such as Full-session SSL and Exchange ActiveSync are not part of this update. This is what Ben Vincent from the Hotmail team has to say on the Inside Windows Live blog:

Is full-session SSL part of the Hotmail updates happening right now?
SSL is not part of this release, we’ll share more details on it’s availability on this blog in due course.

Why not? When will it take place?
Hotmail isn’t one big monolithic platform built by a single engineering team. As a result we ship different parts at different times based on the schedule we built when we started the Wave. We’re going to continue to update everyone through this blog when we have news to share. Thanks for your interest in Hotmail, we appreciate it.

While the number of users being upgraded to Wave 4 had been significantly expanded today, there are still quite a large proportion of accounts that haven’t been upgraded. Are you seeing the new updates to your Hotmail? Let us know by either tweeting #NewHotmailHere or #NoHotmailYet to @liveside, or simply leave us a comment below!

Update: Mike Schackwitz has posted an update on the Inside Windows Live blog, saying that over 100 million customers has been upgraded to the new Hotmail, and the pace is picking up faster as we speak. All customers should be upgraded within the next week. In fact, just 24 hours from when I wrote this post, all 4 of my four Hotmail accounts have been upgraded. Schackwitz also mentioned that when this stage of rollout is complete, the rollout for Exchange ActiveSync should begin soon later this summer.