February 8, 2007 12:02 PM PST

Microsoft sticks with Hotmail name

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After months of planning to kill off the Hotmail name, Microsoft has decided to keep the venerable brand, as it works to overhaul its free Web e-mail service.

Microsoft said on Thursday that the revamped service, still in beta testing phase, is being renamed "Windows Live Hotmail" rather than the originally planned "Windows Live Mail." In a blog posting, Senior Product Manager Richard Sim said some people had found the name change confusing.

"As we prepare to launch the final version of our new Web mail service, we recognize the importance of ensuring that our 260-plus million existing customers come over to the new service smoothly and without confusion," Sim said. "By adopting the name 'Windows Live Hotmail,' we believe we're bringing together the best of both worlds--new and old. We're able to offer the great new technology that Windows Live has to offer, while also bringing the emotional connection many existing and loyal users have with Hotmail."

The move is the latest in a series of shifts designed to make the revamped service more friendly to existing Hotmail users.

Microsoft had planned to go with an all-new interface that bears more similarity to the company's Outlook software for business users than to Hotmail. The company has added a number of familiar elements back into the revamped service, such as check boxes for marking which messages to delete. In addition, Microsoft has added a classic view that looks even more like the old Hotmail.

More recently, Microsoft has decided to make that classic view the default, meaning those who want the revamped service will have to actively choose it.

Microsoft had always planned to allow existing users to keep their Hotmail.com e-mail addresses. When Windows Live Hotmail launches later this year, customers establishing new accounts will be able to choose between having a Hotmail.com or a Live.com address.

The move to the new mail service is part of the company's most significant overhaul of Hotmail, which it acquired in 1998. The service has maintained a loyal user base, but many new Web mail users opt for rival services from Yahoo and Google.

Microsoft had initially hoped to have a final version of Windows Live Mail out last year. So far, however, the service has remained in beta everywhere except the Netherlands, where it launched in November. The latest test version, M9, was released earlier this week.

See more CNET content tagged:
MSN Hotmail, Microsoft Windows Live, Microsoft Windows Live Mail, Microsoft Corp., Microsoft Windows

11 comments

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Too little too late
It's good that Microsoft is keeping the hotmail name, because I have used it for the past 5 years. Too bad that 5 years ended a couple days ago when I switched to Google Mail. Sketchy reliability, and charging for features that others offer for free, such as POP access got hotmail the boot.

Too bad, so sad.... maybe next lifetime
Posted by robertsbt (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Too little too late
It's good that Microsoft is keeping the hotmail name, because I have used it for the past 5 years. Too bad that 5 years ended a couple days ago when I switched to Google Mail. Sketchy reliability, and charging for features that others offer for free, such as POP access got hotmail the boot.

Too bad, so sad.... maybe next lifetime
Posted by robertsbt (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hotmail Live Microsoft Mail...
Call it what you want. The best web based email out there is GMAIL.

No amount of renaming can change that fact.
Posted by t8 (3716 comments )
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gmale
Yeah geeks love gmail. All normal people who have friends on their contact lists use Hotmail.
Posted by nico774 (3 comments )
Link Flag
Hotmail Live Microsoft Mail...
Call it what you want. The best web based email out there is GMAIL.

No amount of renaming can change that fact.
Posted by t8 (3716 comments )
Reply Link Flag
gmale
Yeah geeks love gmail. All normal people who have friends on their contact lists use Hotmail.
Posted by nico774 (3 comments )
Link Flag
Everything in VISTA has a new name. Outlook Express now WINDOWS MAIL.
I am just a few days into Vista upgrade, and the biggest change so far has been the re-branding of many familiar products.

The willingness of USA management to dump valuable brands astonishes me.

Biggest surprise? The first email flagged by the new built-in Phishing Filter was from the NRCC.
Posted by disco-legend-zeke (448 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Everything in VISTA has a new name. Outlook Express now WINDOWS MAIL.
I am just a few days into Vista upgrade, and the biggest change so far has been the re-branding of many familiar products.

The willingness of USA management to dump valuable brands astonishes me.

Biggest surprise? The first email flagged by the new built-in Phishing Filter was from the NRCC.
Posted by disco-legend-zeke (448 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MSN Hotmail and Windows Live Hotmail
i think hotmail or wlm is still better than gmail. i am using several email service & try comparing them. interface is better too.

POP isn't really a good way to access messages through email clients. i think that they are more prone to errors. i can't even send a message through outlook using gmail's pop.

i think hotmail is more reliable but you also need to take care of your account so you will be able to enjoy it.
Posted by maryellengrace (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MSN Hotmail and Windows Live Hotmail
i think hotmail or wlm is still better than gmail. i am using several email service & try comparing them. interface is better too.

POP isn't really a good way to access messages through email clients. i think that they are more prone to errors. i can't even send a message through outlook using gmail's pop.

i think hotmail is more reliable but you also need to take care of your account so you will be able to enjoy it.
Posted by maryellengrace (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Windows live hotmail is one of the best email services that offer various features to their customers.. Most of emails are free of cost which means you do not have to pay even a penny to register with the website and starting sending emails.. There are several features of using hotmail. It provides scanning facility for spam, viruses, and phishing attempts.. <a href="http://microsoft-chat.com/">Microsoft Chat Support</a>
Posted by nivethas100 (1 comment )
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