updated 11:43 am EDT, Mon June 11, 2012
Metro UI, social features at forefront of redesign
A few leaked images of a new interface seem to confirm that Microsoft is working on a massive overhaul of its Hotmail e-mail service. Dubbed "Newmail," the new e-mail system integrates aspects of the tile-based UI found in Windows 8 and Windows Phone. According to liveside.net, Newmail will also feature increased integration of social networking services.
The leaked images show a minimalist interface said to be scalable from desktop to phone to tablet. The interface includes an icon-based header navigation option, which allows users to navigate to calendar, SkyDrive, inbox, and contacts sections.
The overhaul is said to include an option for users to port over their contacts and previous e-mails to a new email address. The Newmail address will reportedly continue to fetch emails from the old Hotmail address, as well.
Newmail is said to feature a great deal of social integration, as well. Users are said to be able to connect their Newmail accounts to their Facebook and Twitter accounts. It also appears that Newmail will allow users to sync contact information across these services and to chat with contacts from within Newmail.
For some time now, Microsoft has been making alterations to improve the standing of Hotmail, which has been overshadowed by Gmail.The company rolled out updates to the service last year, bringing Hotmail to Android and adjusting the user interface on the web version. There has been no word on the release schedule for the latest update.