Outlook.com, Hotmail’s successor, launched early yesterday morning. In less than six hours, the website received over 1 million new signups.
Hotmail addresses will now be changed from @hotmail.com to @outlook.com. The @hotmail.com domain is used by millions of users across the world, and has existed for more than a decade. Existing users can choose to upgrade from their @hotmail.com emails to the new @outlook.com, with no hassle or charge.
Outlook.com will eventually include embedded Skype talk and video, presenting a direct rival to Google’s embedded Google Talk service. Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion last year, and have yet to change the service or include it in any new programming. The new Outlook e-mail is supposed to change that.
Most Hotmail users have yet to make the jump over to Outlook.com – the company expects to solidly lose half to competitors such as Google and Yahoo. With many of the new integrated features and upgrades that Outlook.com offers, Microsoft is hoping to generate enough interest to keep most of its current Hotmail users.
Gmail supports some 425 million users as of current, and Hotmail remains in a solid second with 350 million supported.