London: IT giant Microsoft has decided to give Hotmail, its free email service, a makeover, in an attempt to retain its market share over rivals Google’s Gmail and Yahoo! Mail.
The makeover goes live in either July or August of this year and will allow users to view or edit sent documents using web versions of its Office software, reports the Telegraph.
This will allow users to preview and collaborate on documents in real-time, while saving them in the cloud – a service already provided by Gmail through Google Docs.
A new feature that will be incorporated in Hotmail is ‘Active View’ – a function that will allow users to preview photo attachments and view them as a slide show with a single click.
They can also watch videos, which have been sent using links, to a site such as YouTube, without leaving the inbox.
Hotmail users will be able to see their inbox in different ways – either to show messages only received by a user’s contacts, or only unread messages.
Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, which has been integrated further into the email experience – will appear with a new “from Bing” feature which lets users search for images, videos, or any other content which they may wish to share, and embed the material into an email with one click.
Additional capabilities such as enhanced account protection and increased storage levels will also be looked at.
Walt Harp, one of Windows Live’s directors said that the makeover was to help Hotmail users to become better equipped to deal with the huge amounts of information flowing through their inboxes on a daily basis.