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Microsoft’s Web Mail Gets Overhaul

October 11th, 2005 by Patrick S

The Hotmail millions (Microsoft reports 200 million users) know and perhaps love could be replaced. For the last seven months, Microsoft has been beta testing a radically different Web mail client, one that makes Hotmail’s largely standard HTML interface look like yesterday’s news. Kahuna supports drag and drop, right-clicking, multi-select and, in general, a much more Outlook-like look and feel.

Today the beta program expands to over 200,000 users and should roll out to the general Hotmail user population next year. Microsoft officials told PC Magazine that the new Hotmail, code named “Kahuna”, has been built from the ground up with AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) technology. It also includes enhanced phish and spam-detecting techniques, better virus detection and better search.

The virus, phish detection and spam management tools will be housed in a new “InfoBar”, and the Calendar has a more Outlook-like feel. Microsoft has also made a more powerful Contacts area, simplified new contact management and added auto-recipient complete (for when you have matching contacts in your contact database) for new e-mail. Mail creation has also been enhanced, with Rich Text Editing features. Baseline storage space for the free service will be 2GB.

Microsoft’s announcement comes close on the heels of the introduction of Yahoo’s beta preview of its new Yahoo WebMail client, which also uses AJAX to create a far more desktop e-mail client look and feel

Source PC MAG

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