Microsoft today announced that the migration from Hotmail to the new Outlook.com is officially complete and that there are now more than 400 million active Outlook accounts. The Redmond software giant also said that 125 million that are accessing email, calendar and contacts on a mobile device using Exchange ActiveSync.

Back in February, Microsoft added 1.5 million new Outlook.com users in less than 24 hours since it formally launched the new email service as a replacement for its longtime Hotmail brand. Since then, the company moved 300 million Hotmail accounts — 150 petabytes of data — in six weeks.

Microsoft also announced two new features for Outlook.com: SMTP send, which is available worldwide, and deeper integration with SkyDrive, which will be released gradually. SMTP send makes it easier to send messages from other email addresses, while the SkyDrive integration lets you insert files and pictures into emails directly from SkyDrive.

The company announced plans last year to retire Hotmail, Microsoft’s classic webmail service. The upgrade wasn’t optional, but you’re still allowed to keep your hotmail.com email address.

Hotmail pioneered web-based email prior to its acquisition by Microsoft in 1997. For years Hotmail was synonymous with spam, and even though Microsoft has made major strides on that front, the Hotmail brand continues to be hampered by that history in the minds of many users.

Here’s a comparison of the Hotmail look compared to the new Outlook.com design:



Microsoft is certainly up against tough competition with Google’s Gmail, but it’s spending big ad dollars and using an aggressive (and at times misleading) “Scroogled” campaign targeting Gmail and Google’s practice of automatically analyzing the contents of email messages to serve ads.

The company last month rolled out two-factor login to improve security on Microsoft Accounts for services including Outlook.com.

Previously on GeekWire: Microsoft starts to integrate Skype with Outlook.com

Post corrected on May 5 to clarify timing of two-factor authentication rollout.

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  • http://twitter.com/DanielQuLi Daniel Li

    I have been a Hotmail user since 1997 and the system was plagued by junk mails all these years. Since it’s upgraded to Outlook.com last year, the junk mails almost disappeared overnight. It feels weird for a while looking at my super clean inbox and worrying whether the mail server is doing too good a job that some of the normal emails might get blocked too. So far so good. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1313088813 Manolopoulos Apostolos

    Outlook email is amazing

  • http://twitter.com/coolsport00 Shane Williford

    I have Yahoo, GMAIL, & Hotmail accts. I think Hotmail (i.e. Outlook.com) is meh at best. No different than before IMO. I never liked Hotmail. But, regardless which one uses, it really is about user preference and, IMO, where folks started from on whether they stick with a service. I used Yahoo since ’96 or so, but the UI, etc. has deteriorated over the past couple yrs. As such, I’ve moved to GMAIL. It works well for me since I use Droid mobile devices.

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