Hotmail gets better – but it’s still not for businesses (nor is AOL)

Record Numbers of Consumers Are Reaching for MSN Hotmail And MSN Messenger As New Version of Hotmail Debuts
New Features for Reporting and Bypassing Junk E-Mail, Microsoft SmartScreen Spam Filtering Technology, Updated Look and New PIM Features Make E-Mail Management Easier
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) today announced that more consumers than ever are taking advantage of MSN(R) communications services, with more than 145 million customers worldwide visiting MSN Hotmail(R) and 110 million customers worldwide logging on to the MSN Messenger instant messaging service each month. The company also announced the availability of a new version of MSN Hotmail that brings key functionality of other Microsoft(R) and MSN products to customers of the world’s most popular free Web-based e-mail service, including vast improvements for reporting and managing junk e-mail, contact lists and schedules. These changes — including a more consumer-friendly Outlook(R)-like interface, more integration for customers of MSN Messenger, a new Today page and new contact-management features — come together to make sending, receiving and managing e-mail more convenient than ever with MSN Hotmail.
The new version of MSN Hotmail puts more control into consumers’ hands by adding features that help consumers bypass and report unwanted e-mail. MSN Hotmail uses Microsoft-patented SmartScreen spam-filtering technology, which uses machine-learning technology to not only help protect a customer’s own inbox from junk e-mail, but also help others who use MSN Hotmail. With a single click of an on-screen Report Junk E-Mail button, Hotmail customers can now help Microsoft more effectively root out spam before it gets sent to other customers. To date, Microsoft has used more than 5 million pieces of spam — identified by 200,000 volunteer MSN Hotmail customers in a filter-training program — to define the criteria used by SmartScreen Technology to help block spam. On-going feedback from MSN Hotmail volunteers helps ensure that the SmartScreen Technology is continually trained and improved.

My spin: In a move to beat AOL, MSN’s Hotmail is definitely a new improvement. HOWEVER, I hope businesses who are serious about their technology don’t go for this. For personal use – sure check out Hotmail but for business use, get a domain name ( and an email client.