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Microsoft Updates Hotmail

Techstination feature for Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Microsoft updates Hotmail. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Microsoft is out with what it calls the biggest overhaul of its Web based email service….since it arrived more than ten years ago. It is now called Windows Live Hotmail and the director of the service, Paul Major says the list of improvements is long…but among the most significant…

"On the safety side, one of the things we're most excited about is the thing we've added called the safety bar. And the best way to think about it is we're making security incredibly simple so a glance at your inbox will let you know what kind of messages you have in there. So if you think about the safety bar, it sits at the top of your message and it really comes in three colors. If it's red, it looks like it appears fraudulent so tread with caution. If you see a little yellow bar, it basically means the message is okay but it's just not from someone that's in your contacts list. And if it comes in white, that means, hey, we know exactly who that came from, it's someone that's in your contacts list. All the message comes through, all the photos come through, so it's very easy for you to at a one glance of your inbox, get a sense of what kind of messages you're looking at."

Microsoft says a connector for Outlook users will soon be available. It is also making it simple to access email, contacts and calendar items from browser equipped mobile phones.

"If you want to get alerts for email that comes from people on your contact list and you want those to arrive on your mobile phone, you can do that."

Microsoft says there are 280 million Hotmail accounts. It faces competition from AOL, Yahoo, Google and others. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.