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Upcoming Hotmail Features Targetes ‘Gray’ Email

Microsoft is adding more granular spam-fighting features and organization tools to Hotmail in coming weeks. According to a October 3 blog post, by Dick Craddock, the Hotmail team would be adding following new features that help customers take back control of their inbox from the menace of graymail.

New newsletter category
In additon to exisiting automatic categorization of social updates, messages that contain Office documents, messages with photos, and even shipping notifications. Microsoft is adding special category for newsletters that’ll automatically filter incoming mail as “newsletters” and sweep all messages categorized this way into a folder which can be deleted altogether.

“Right out of the gate, we’re 95% accurate with the mail we categorize as newsletters, now every time you categorizeg or un-categorize an email as a newsletter, you help make our filtering better for yourself and every other customer,” Craddock said.

One-click unsubscribe
If you don’t want a newsletter, now in Hotmail — just click on “unsubscribe,” will cue Hotmail to ask a company to stop mailing you. “Use Sweep to immediately clean up your mail and remove all the old newsletters from that sender, and finally send any new ones that come in to your junk mail until the sender takes you off their list.”

More advanced folder management, with “categories” designation: Users will be able to create and apply their own categories to individual mail messages inline. Users can use Hotmail’s Sweep with categories, too. Users will be able to manage folders inline and right-click on them to rename, delete, empty or mark a whole folder as “unread.”

Scheduled Cleanup will help users automatically get rid of emails “of a certain age.” With Schedule Cleanup, you can, “Keep only the latest message from a given sender; Delete messages as they get old (3 days, 10 days, 30 days, or 60 days); or Move messages to a folder as they get old.”

Users can subscribe to a site and delete everything except the most recent message (if so desired).

Flags done right
Now when you flag a message, it gets “pinned” to the top of your inbox and stays there, even as new email comes in. This means it is easy to keep track of your most important messages, right up front, all the time. What’s more, you can even set up rules to automatically flag incoming mail from certain senders, so that your most important mail is always right there at the top of your inbox.

Flags also work with Sweep.

Custom categories
Hotmail adding support to let you create custom categories, which are powered by Sweep and Schedule Cleanup. “You can quickly create a new category and apply that category to all related messages at the same time – no searching for mail, no complex rules to create. You can categorize messages right in the message list with the new categories column. And categories show up as QuickViews right next to folders, so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for,” explains Craddock.

Folders for filers
Now if you’re a filer and use folders, “Categories, Sweep, and Schedule Cleanup work great for folders. Simply click on a message, click Sweep or Schedule cleanup, and move all messages from that sender (or in a category), including future messages, to a folder. And of course, you’ve also the ability to create folders and sub-folders, along with newl added advanced folder management tools,” added Craddock:

  • nested folder with drag and drop
  • creating new folders right inline
  • new right-click menu for folders that lets you mark everything in the folder as read
  • or rename, empty, or even delete the folder.

Instant actions
Users will see buttons appear for the most common taks when they hover over a message, enabling quicker delete, flag, Sweep and other functions. Users can add or remove buttons, customize the order of buttons or turn off Instant Actions completely.

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