Microsoft's Hotmail free email service is officially dead. The company announced that it has transitioned all users over to Outlook.com, which now has 400 million active users.
Fast Company's Addy Dugdale reported, "Earlier this year Microsoft announced it was pensioning off the backend of Hotmail and replacing it with its Outlook mail system. Well, it's now done. All 300 million-plus Hotmail accounts have been switched to the newer, fancier system, laying to rest the original freemail that started in 1996."
PCMag's Jamie Cifuentes noted, "But in February, there were 300 million active Hotmail accounts; 'This meant communicating with hundreds of millions of people, upgrading all their mailboxes - equaling more than 150 million gigabytes of data - and making sure that every person's mail, calendar, contacts, folders, and personal preferences were preserved in the upgrade,' Microsoft said today. That was accomplished in just over six weeks, and the migration means that there are now more than 400 million active Outlook.com accounts, 125 million of which access the service on mobile via Exchange ActiveSync."
USA Today quoted Microsoft's Dick Craddock, who said, "Our belief is that as people start using the new experience, they will come to love it even more than they loved Hotmail. We are keenly listening to what our customers have to say, and we'll make the right set of adjustments to ensure that we make the experience as great as it can be."
Janet I. Tu with The Seattle Times added, "The company is also adding two new features: SMTP send to make it easier to send mail from different email addresses and deeper integration with SkyDrive."