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Delivering a faster and more responsive Outlook.com

Making your email experience as fast as possible is a goal shared across the Outlook.com team—from product designers to storage architects. Some of that work happens in the UI—an example of this is the significantly speedier web experience we introduced in the new Outlook.com beta. Other work involves the way we operate our networks and datacenters. A key part of keeping performance snappy is to store your data in a region that optimizes performance, which is typically based on the proximity of datacenters to where you are located. Today, we’re excited to share ways we’ve updated Outlook.com to be more intelligent about where your mailbox data is stored.

Outlook.com is hosted from multiple datacenters across the world, which provides fault tolerance, load balancing, and performance advantages. Our goal is to set up your Outlook.com account in datacenters that provide you with the best performance. In the U.S. and Europe, that means we will set up your account in datacenters that are in the region where you reside. Historically, we have determined these locations based on the country you selected as your place of residence when you created the account.

But in a world where migration is increasingly common, relying on you to manually keep that place of residence information up to date doesn’t make sense. Our datacenter capacity is also increasing, providing more opportunities to host your data closer to where you are located. Accordingly, we made updates that improve our ability to maintain your Outlook.com data closer to you with greater accuracy.

When you create a new Outlook.com account, we now determine the appropriate datacenters automatically, rather than relying on the country of residence stored in your account profile. So, if you are physically located in the U.S. when setting up your Outlook.com account, your email will be stored in the U.S. Similarly, if you are in Europe when setting up your account, your email will be stored in Europe.

We are also making Outlook.com smart enough to automatically move your account to closer datacenters when the service determines over a period of time that you have changed the region of your primary residence and performance would be improved. For example, if you set up an Outlook.com account in Spain and later relocate your residence to the U.S., your account will be migrated to U.S. datacenters to optimize your access.

Note that we will not continuously move data back and forth between regions every time you travel abroad—the intent here is to improve performance by keeping your data in proximity to where you are primarily located.

We’re always working to ensure you have the best and fastest experience when using our service. Give us your feedback and ask your questions at the Outlook.com UserVoice site.

—The Outlook.com team

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