Outlook.com completes upgrade for all Hotmail users, adds features

outlook_com-logo-smOnly six weeks after starting an upgrade process to bring all 300 million + Hotmail users over to Outlook.com, the newly rebranded and refreshed consumer online email experience, Microsoft announced today in a blog post over at the Outlook blog that the process is complete.  There are now over 400 million users active on Outlook.com, including “125 million that are accessing email, calendar and contacts on a mobile device using Exchange ActiveSync”.

In addition to the completed transformation, which included migrating 150 petabytes of email, Outlook.com has added two new features: SMTP send (meaning an end to those “on behalf of” emails) and deeper integration with SkyDrive.

SMTP Send:

Previously in Outlook.com or Hotmail before it, you could send and receive email from other (for example gmail) accounts.  However, when sending, these mailings would not go through the original email service provider’s SMTP servers, and so would require that a “on behalf of” message be added to the outgoing email address, like this:


Outlook.com has fixed the issue by routing your emails through the original account’s SMTP server, and so once you configure your accounts in Options>More Mail Settings>Your email accounts>add an email account, you can set your 3rd party email accounts as “send only” or “send and receive”, and Outlook.com will configure the SMTP servers properly.  Your 3rd party accounts must support POP or IMAP access (which almost everyone does).  SMTP Send is available worldwide now.

SkyDrive – insert files and pictures directly:

From the blog post:

Today, we’re excited to release the direct integration of SkyDrive into the Outlook.com compose experience. When you’re sending an email message, you can select files from your SkyDrive and we’ll automatically turn those into the right thumbnails with links that have the right permissions tied to people that receive the email. When you insert pictures from SkyDrive, you automatically get a beautiful photo mail. And it’s easy to edit the message, and add or remove files and pictures right from the new message compose experience.  This new integration is starting to roll out today and will be available worldwide in the coming weeks.

Congratulations to the Outlook.com team for completing the transition!