New Windows Live Hotmail Rollout begins

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 17, 2010
Updated • Jan 8, 2015

Microsoft began to rollout the new Windows Live Hotmail yesterday to customers worldwide. Hotmail mail accounts are stored on cluster servers that will get updated one at a time which means that some users will already be able to experience the new Windows Live Hotmail while others have to wait until their cluster gets migrated to the new version of the service.

The new Hotmail project started with an analysis of today's email usage and how email providers catered to that. Microsoft discovered three major aspects that have changed over the past years:

  • The types of emails that users receive have changed. The average email user receives about 25% of mails from contacts, another 20% from social activities and networks, some personal and business emails, and other email which largely consists of what Microsoft classifies as junk and graymail.
  • The way email is accessed changed. The mobile accessibility continues to play a bigger role.
  • The contents of emails have changed. Users share files over email and send larger attachments.

Take back your inbox

The new Windows Live Hotmail categorizes emails by source. Hotmail Highlights sorts emails received from contacts, social updates and flagged emails directly after logging in. This feature is not only available for the Hotmail inbox but also those from other email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail Plus or AOL if integrated into Hotmail.

Hotmail highlights
Hotmail highlights

Filters are available in the inbox as well to only display emails from contacts, social updates, groups or everything else.

Filters contacts
Filters contacts

Sweep is a new option in the Hotmail inbox that can be used to automatically take care of emails that Hotmail classifies as graymail. Graymail is described as legitimate mail that the user agreed to receive in the past but that is no longer needed or wanted.

Sweep can be used to automatically move or delete graymail from the Hotmail inbox. It is possible to configure Hotmail to sweep messages automatically. It will be interesting to see how good this sweep service really especially if it will produce false positives.

hotmail Sweep
hotmail Sweep

Another new feature is Hotmail Active View which enables automatic previews of photo attachments including a slide-show option for viewing multiple photo attachments.

hotmail active view
hotmail active view

The preview works even for photos that are shared through links on sites like Flickr and SmugMug.

Attachment limits have been raised allowing users to share up to 200 photos and documents, each up to a size of 50 Megabytes which means it is possible to attach up to 10 Gigabytes of data per message. Attachments are stored on Windows Live Skydrive.

Documents can be viewed directly in Office Web Apps which means it is no longer necessary to save them to the local computer first to open them in a desktop document viewer. This feature is first only available to customers in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland.

Previews and additional information are offered for other types of email as well from videos to social updates and shipping information.

Hotmail now supports push email on the mobile phone. It seems to be limited to Windows Mobile phones as it requires Exchange ActiveSync.

There is a lot more to explore. Hotmail now offers full-session SSL, enhanced account protection, multiple email accounts and contact management features. We keep you posted

The Hotmail Preview website gives an outlook of what users can expect from the new Hotmail. The website requires Microsoft Silverlight though.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. JMGG said on January 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

    You said that Outlook isn’t your main email client, so which is your main one?

    1. BalaC said on January 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

      I think its thunderbird

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on January 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

      It is Mozilla Thunderbird.

  2. Salaam said on September 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Awesome! This actually solved my problem… what a stupid bug.

  3. Claud said on December 19, 2012 at 2:08 am

    If this is the same bug that I’ve encountered, there may be another fix: (1) hover over open Outlook item in Taskbar, cursor up to hover over Outlook window item, and right-click; (2) this should give you Restore / Move / Size / Minimize / Maximize — choose Move or Size; (3) use your cursor keys, going arbitrarily N/S/E/W, to try to move or size the Outlook window back into view. Basically, the app behaves as though it were open in a 0x0 window, or at a location that’s offscreen, and this will frequently work to resize and/or move the window. Don’t forget to close while resized/moved, so that Outlook remembers the size/position for next time.

    1. Lynda said on February 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      THANK YOU Claude!!! I could get the main window to launch but could not get any other message window to show on the desktop. You are my hero!!!!

    2. Chad said on November 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Solved my issue! 6 years later and this is still problem…

    3. Ivan X said on January 21, 2021 at 4:50 pm

      Fantastic. Thank you. Size did the trick.

  4. Andrew said on October 26, 2013 at 7:06 am

    This solved my Outlook problem, too. Thank you. :)

  5. Charles said on December 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you so much, this started happening to me today and was causing big problems. You are a life saver, I hope I can help you in some way some day.

  6. garth said on November 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    You are a god – thank you!

  7. Faisal said on February 9, 2015 at 10:09 am

    thanks a lot…. work like charm.. :-)

  8. Simon said on March 24, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Yah…thanks Claude. I’ve been having the same problem and tried all the suggestions…your solution was the answer. It had resized itself to a 0/0 box. Cheers

  9. Olu said on April 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Excellent post. This had me baffled even trying to accurately describe the problem. This fixed it for me.
    Thank you

  10. Coenig said on July 23, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Thanks a lot for the article. Don’t know why it happenend, don’t know how it got fixed, but it was really annoying and now it works :-)

  11. Fali said on January 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks a lot. I was facing this issue from past 3 week. I tried everything but no resolution. The issue was happening intermittently and mainly when I was changing the display of screen ( as i use 2 monitors). The only option i had was to do system restore. But thanks to you.

    1. MIki said on January 10, 2019 at 11:54 am

      I’ve been tried to sole this problem for 12hours. Your comment about changing the display of screen helped me a lot!! Thanks!!

  12. Christina said on January 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you…don’t know why this happened but your instructions helped me fix it. Running Windows 10 and office pro 2007

  13. Oz said on July 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Great tip! Thanks!

  14. Tracy said on September 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Worked for me, too – thank you!!!

  15. shawn said on September 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

    It’s Worked for me, too
    thank you very much!

  16. Jari said on October 31, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I had a similar issue with Outlook 2013 on Windows 10 and this helped me to fix it. Thank you very much!

  17. Michel H said on November 30, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you so much. Solved!
    Considering you published this in 2012, incredible not been debugged by Microsoft.
    Thank you again. M

  18. Ziad Bitar said on January 9, 2017 at 2:00 am

    This problem was faced by only one user logging to TS 2008 r2 using outlook 2010.The issue was resolved.


  19. Anonymous said on February 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Great tip. Thank you!!!! If it helps, I had to use the Control Key and the arrow keys at the same time to bring my window back into view. Worked like a charm.

  20. Rochelle said on March 6, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Thank you, this worked !!!!

  21. anom1234 said on May 20, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Man, you are a fucking god. Thanks a lot, what an annoying bug!!

  22. JC said on October 12, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Awesome, this post solved the issue. Many thanks!

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