Microsoft To Upgrade MSN Hotmail
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
MSN Hotmail, will undergo a major upgrade, delivering customers world-class e-mail protection as well as enhanced storage to satisfy all their needs. Starting in early July, MSN will roll out free e-mail anti-virus protection to all the 170 million MSN Hotmail customers worldwide, making MSN Hotmail the only free global e-mail service to both scan and clean incoming and outgoing e-mail for viruses and worms before they can enter a customer's inbox. MSN also announced it will bring increased storage - 250MB inboxes - to free MSN Hotmail customers in multiple markets and will introduce MSN Hotmail Plus, an upgraded premium Web service to help customers get the most out of MSN Hotmail.
"We know from talking with our customers that online safety is their No. 1 concern," said Blake Irving, corporate vice president of Communication Services and Member Platform for MSN. "MSN is intensely focused on providing a safer and more robust communications experience for consumers. Providing free anti-virus cleaning helps protect our Hotmail customers while guarding members of the overall Hotmail community and the friends and family they e-mail."
Later this summer, MSN will begin increasing storage limits for free MSN Hotmail accounts in multiple markets around the world. Customers will receive 125 times their current e mail storage with the introduction of 250MB inboxes and have the ability to send attachments up to 10 MB. Upon upgrade, MSN Hotmail customers will also receive MSN Calendar free, enabling both individual and shared calendaring. Previously, the free Hotmail service provided just 10MB of storage, although customers could pay $29.95 a year for 25MB of storage.
The upgraded premium Web service called MSN Hotmail Plus is designed for customers who want to get more out of their MSN Hotmail account. MSN Hotmail Plus will be priced at $19.95 per year in the United States and will provide customers with virtually infinite storage - 2 GB of online storage and the ability to send 20MB attachments, as well as additional offline storage limited only by the size of their computer hard drive. MSN Hotmail Plus subscribers will receive additional benefits, including a more streamlined Web e-mail experience with no graphical advertisements and no account expiration. All current MSN Hotmail Extra Storage subscribers worldwide will be upgraded to MSN Hotmail Plus when it launches globally later this summer. MSN Premium subscribers will also receive these added storage benefits later this year.
"By boosting MSN Hotmail storage, we're helping ensure that customers can pick their e-mail service by looking at the overall quality of the service experience," Irving said. "With these new offers, storage will not be an issue for MSN Hotmail customers."
When you first look at the announcement it looks like a reaction to Google's Gmail service, which promises to offer a full gigabyte of email storage. But what makes Microsoft offer more interesting is the virus scanning & Anti-Spam capabilities. People are getting bombarded with virus-ridden email, so it's a good thing to have virus protection on your email. Also the Anti-Spam software at Hotmail seems to be doing quite a good job. Although spam volume fluctuates daily, Microsoft says they typically block nearly 3 billion pieces of spam a day from reaching customers' inboxes. Also, MSN Hotmail provides several levels of enhanced filtering that enable customers to set the level of spam control for their e-mail. By setting spam filters to the Exclusive level, customers will receive e-mail only from addresses appearing in their contacts, service announcements from MSN Hotmail, and messages they have requested.
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