Microsoft are releasing new improvements to Hotmail web mail … trying to reduce interface confusion while making it easier to send pictures to people while incorporating a new system to deal with Office documents.
This latest version of Hotmail means you can read and alter Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Onenote documents ‘on the fly’ without needing to download and open in a full desktop based application. The only catch is that if you wish to adjust rich document graphics then you need to install a plugin for Microsoft’s Silverlight – their proprietary multimedia app.
As well as offering live editing Hotmail users can also save documents using Microsoft’s SkyDrive online storage and even adjust specific permissions to open editing up to multiple users. SkyDrive is going to be a big focus for Microsoft as the system automatically creates a folder for SkyDrive when someone sends an email with photo attachments. Behind the scenes Hotmail instead creates a thumbnail of the photographs while sending the raw files to SkyDrive. The consumer then can view the image within a photo viewer built into Hotmail or download the zip file with all of the photos saved into the system.
Microsoft have also implemented a new option called “Hotmail active views” which allows the user to view Youtube or Flickr links from within Hotmail rather than having to click a link to open a new browser tab. It seems bizarre it has taken this long to implement but we are glad to see it.
In regards to security, Microsoft have implemented DKIM, which stands for Domain Keys Identified Mail which links email with a cryptographic authentication – making it easier to filter out spam.
KitGuru says: Quite a list of improvements for Hotmail users and we like to see Microsoft making the effort, especially with stiff competition from Gmail.
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