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Windows Live Hotmail Fact Sheet
A brief overview of the features and technologies in Windows Live Hotmail.

May 2007

Windows Live™ Hotmail®, the successor to MSN® Hotmail — one of the largest e-mail services in the world with more than 280 million active accounts — was built from the ground up to enable a safer, more productive and more powerful Web mail experience than previous versions. Windows Live Hotmail offers customers flexible access to their e-mail — whether via the Web, a mobile phone or a PC. Updating an account from MSN Hotmail to Windows Live Hotmail is easy; when customers update their e-mail address, their contacts and saved information go with them automatically. Best of all, it works seamlessly with other Windows Live services such as Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Contacts and Live Search.

Windows Live Hotmail is available in 36 languages in the following worldwide markets: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium (in French and Dutch), Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada (in English and French), Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India (in English), Indonesia (in English), Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia (in English), Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines (in English), Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore (in English), Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa (in English), Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (in German and French), Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States (in English and Spanish).

New customers can sign up for Windows Live Hotmail at, and existing customers can update from MSN Hotmail to Windows Live Hotmail once they log into their account.

New Windows Live Hotmail features are designed to make Hotmail e-mail safer and more productive, and enable customers to better manage and customize their communication experience. And with 2 GB of storage as a starting point for every account, it’s difficult to run out of space.

Keeping Users Productive

Windows Live Hotmail is familiar, fast and powerful, helping customers get more done on the Web:

Works more like Outlook. Designed for optimal productivity, Windows Live Hotmail looks and feels more like the Microsoft® Office Outlook® software millions use at work every day.

Reading pane. The reading pane allows customers to quickly view e-mail from known senders and more safely view e-mail from unknown senders by blocking images to help avoid notifying spammers. It is easy to quickly go from message to message without opening and reloading the page each time. Double-clicking the message will open it up in the full window, and the inbox layout can be changed to make the reading pane appear on the right or bottom of the screen, or turn it off altogether.

Drag–and-drop capabilities. Customers can select an e-mail message and drag it and drop it into a folder to organize messages or clean out their inbox.

Right-clicking. Customers can right-click on a message to reply, delete or print, or on folders to rename, delete, empty or create new ones.

Automatic address completion. When composing a new message, customers can select from a list of names in their Contact list once they begin to type the recipient’s name.

Spelling check. While a new message or reply is being composed, Windows Live Hotmail automatically spell checks the e-mail and highlights misspelled words. By right-clicking on the highlighted word, users can choose from a list of suggested replacements, ignore the word, or add it to their dictionary. Windows Live Hotmail uses the same dictionaries that are used by Microsoft Office Word and PowerPoint®.

Inline audio player. Customers can listen to a received audio file from within an e-mail message by simply clicking on the play button in the message.

Change “from” address. Customers can add up to five of their e-mail addresses and change their “from” address.

Custom filters. Customers can organize their inbox by directing incoming messages to be stored in specific folders.

Rich photo upload tool. Using this downloadable application, customers can easily upload and label multiple photos at one time (includes ActiveX® installation).

Windows Live Calendar. Windows Live Hotmail has moved beyond just e-mail to become a true Web-based organizer. Key life management features include a calendar, task list, notes and reminders, as well as the ability to share calendars and send meeting requests.

Enabling Increased Protection

Windows Live Hotmail gives customers the control they need to help them keep their e-mail private, safe and more secure:

Improved spam protection. By clicking on the “mark as unsafe” link, customers automatically report the sender to junk e-mail filters and delete the message. The sender will be blocked from sending future e-mail and will receive notification that the address is not valid.

Safety bar. Windows Live Hotmail makes security so simple customers don’t even have to think about it. The bar at the top of each message comes in three colors: Red means the message appears to be fraudulent, yellow means the message is from someone who’s not in the customer’s contacts list, and white means the message is from a known contact.

Junk mail. To help protect customers from spam and phishing scams, in Windows Live Hotmail messages delivered to the junk mail folder will not automatically show or render message content. Windows Live Hotmail allows customers to report and delete spam with a single button while automatically updating their personalized block list.

Virus scanning of e-mail attachments. Every incoming e-mail message with an attachment is automatically scanned to help protect customers from viruses.

Account expiration. In Windows Live Hotmail, customers have four times longer than with MSN Hotmail before their account expires: 120 days of inactivity instead of 30 days.

Providing Access

Today’s Windows Live Hotmail customers don’t necessarily sit behind a computer screen all day. They want flexibility for their busy lives, and as a result Microsoft Corp. has developed new technologies to meet their needs, including these:

Works with Outlook. Customers will soon be able to connect their Windows Live Hotmail account to Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2003 with the Outlook Connector.* By connecting and organizing their e-mail in Outlook 2007, customers can take advantage of the rich capabilities that Outlook 2007 offers, such as Instant Search, the To-Do Bar for managing daily priorities, and access to information even when they’re offline. In addition, any changes customers make to e-mail and contact information in Outlook will automatically be synchronized with the Web version of their Windows Live Hotmail account.

Mobility. Using Windows Live Hotmail for mobile (, customers can access their e-mail on the go on a Web-enabled mobile phone or PDA. In the future, Windows Mobile® customers will get richer online and offline Windows Live Hotmail experiences with Windows Live for Windows Mobile, which will ship with Windows Mobile 6. Mobile Alerts and access to e-mail is available from a Web-enabled cell phone or other mobile device.**

Enhancing Personalization

As a direct result of customer feedback, Microsoft is giving Windows Live Hotmail customers more control of the look and feel of their e-mail:

Choice of view. Customers can choose to view their mail either with the full or classic version of Windows Live Hotmail:

The full version of Windows Live Hotmail is recommended for customers who use a broadband connection to access e-mail. It provides customers with an advanced way to view their account, making it quick and easy to read and manage messages. And it’s perfect for customers familiar with Outlook.

The classic version of Windows Live Hotmail is recommended for customers who use a narrowband or slower connection to access e-mail and those who feel more comfortable with the classic look of MSN Hotmail. The classic view provides a traditional inbox view and a fast, simple way to read and manage e-mail.

Choice of color. Customers can make their Windows Live Hotmail inbox their own with a choice of color themes.

Getting More Through Windows Live Services

Windows Live Hotmail is part of the Windows Live family of services and works seamlessly with those services to help keep customers connected and productive:

Messenger integration. Windows Live Messenger presence information is built into e-mail so customers can see if their contacts are online from their inbox.

Mail search. Customers can quickly search for keywords in all e-mail message content, including the body of messages, and also search the Web from within Hotmail by clicking on the Web search button.

Windows Live Contacts. Windows Live Hotmail taps into the unified contact list that sits under all Windows Live services. Windows Live Hotmail customers can use Windows Live Contacts, which enables them to share their up-to-date contact information with the people they choose. It also enables them to have a single Windows Live contact list that is the same in Windows Live Messenger and other applications.

* Outlook Connector will be available in the coming weeks. Separate download required. Requires Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 or later.

** Mobile providers may charge a fee. Refer to the wireless service plan for details.

Microsoft, Windows Live, Hotmail, MSN, Outlook, PowerPoint, ActiveX and Windows Mobile are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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