Era of Hotmail Ends, Microsoft Migrates 150 Petabytes of Email to Outlook.com

Hotmail era that begun in 1996 ends with Microsoft completed upgrading all Hotmail customers to Outlook.com. Rolls out new "SMTP send" as well as direct integration of SkyDrive into Outlook.com.

Microsoft has completed the transition from Hotmail to Outlook.com, in just six weeks. "This was a major undertaking, given the massive amount of data, emails and photos stored in Hotmail," Microsoft stated.

"This meant communicating with hundreds of millions of people that include over 300 million active Hotmail accounts, upgrading all their mailboxes--equaling more than 150 million gigabytes of data--and making sure that every person's mail, calendar, contacts, folders, and personal preferences were preserved in the upgrade," the company adds.

Outlook.com now has over 400 million active Outlook.com accounts, "including 125 million that are accessing email, calendar and contacts on a mobile device using Exchange ActiveSync."

In addition, it has also added two new features to Outlook.com: "SMTP send," that makes it easier to send mail from different email addresses. The feature streamlines the process of sending from an alias without having email recipients see a message that says "Sent on behalf of."

"(W)e've made it so that email sent from a different account goes through that account's SMTP server. So, that way, the recipient just sees that account's email address," the Office team writes.

This should work for any email provider that provides POP or IMAP access.

Outlook.com adds SMTP Send feature

"If you want to take advantage of this feature, in the Options menu , click More mail settings, click Your email accounts, and then scroll down to the section titled Add an email account. From there, you can add a send-only or a send-and-receive account, and we'll configure the SMTP server settings as part of that," explains Microsoft.

Another feature added today, is the "deeper integration with SkyDrive," which allow users to directly insert files from SkyDrive without having to leave their Outlook.com inbox.

Today, we're excited to release the direct integration of SkyDrive into the Outlook.com compose experience.

"When you're sending an email message, you can select files from your SkyDrive right from the compose experience in Outllok.com--which then would automatically turn into the right thumbnails with links that have the right permissions tied to people that receive the email," Microsoft Office team explains.

"When you insert pictures from SkyDrive, you automatically get a beautiful photo mail. And it's easy to edit the message, and add or remove files and pictures right from the new message compose experience," the team added.

This new integration is starting to roll out today and will be available worldwide in the coming weeks.

Integration of Skydrive into the Outlook.com compose window