(The Hosting News) – A transformation is in the works for Microsoft services including Outlook and Hotmail. Yesterday the company unveiled Outlook.com, setting up a preview for a browser-based Outlook email service. The move creates competition with Google’s increasingly popular Gmail ahead of Microsoft’s expected October release of Windows 8.
So what will become of Hotmail, the company’s current browser-based email system? Microsoft has signaled that it will phase out of that service, according to a report from Bloomber Businessweek. That same news story noted that Homtail had recently gained less users than competitors such as Yahoo! Mail and Gmail, despite still leading the browser-based email field.
Meanwhile, a report from Mashable.com signaled that the preview version of the new Outlook browser service had already received 1 million signups within the first six hours of its availability.
“We think the time is right to reimagine personal email, from the datacenter to the user experience,” commented Microsoft corporate VP of Windows Live Chris Jones in a Microsoft press release regarding the matter.
Outlook.com preview accounts feature a clean interface and feature integration with top social networking tools including Facebook and Twitter. Microsoft-owned Skype is expected to become available in the platform soon.
Users can make use of Office Web Apps, organize and sort through email items and rely on Microsoft cloud service SkyDrive with the new email system.
Outlook has traditionally been Microsoft’s desktop email client. The coalescing of the company’s email services could provide a simplified platform as users increasingly look to other means for communication in an era dominated by tablets and smartphones.