Microsoft had first introduced Outlook.com as a preview service back in July, as an alternative to Hotmail. Now the company has stripped off the preview tag and is ready to fully unveil the new email service to the world. It’s ready to market Outlook.com as an alternative to other web-based email services, such as Google in a multi-million dollar advertising campaign. The company will advertise Outlook.com on TV, radio, online, and everywhere else starting in the US and gradually to other countries. It had previously kicked off introducing the Outlook.com with its recent “Scroogled” ads that touted Outlook.com as a more private alternative to Gmail.
Within the six month preview period, the Microsoft Outlook.com team has already managed to gather 60 million users, making it one of the fastest growing email services around. Of those 60 million, Microsoft says that about a third have come from Gmail, while the others are a mix of those signing up for a new email address and those switching from other mail services.
The preview period was where the team worked on getting the product ready for the public with only a few features included, but now that it’s officially released, more features will start rolling out. Existing Hotmail users will be getting the update gradually, though it will be seamless and instant; customers will retain all their information including their @hotmail.com email address, passwords, and contacts but get the added benefits of the redesigned Outlook.com. The turnover will start gradually after February 19th, along with added features such as a calendar UI upgrade, Skype integration, and an update Android app.