Outlook Live connects MSN Hotmail with e-mail tools of Microsoft Office Outlook. This is the first Microsoft Office product to be made available as a downloadable subscription service. With Outlook Live, customers can view and manage all their personal information, including e-mail accounts, contacts and calendars, in one place, from virtually anywhere.
MSN Hotmail is the world's largest free Web-based e-mail service with 187 million accounts worldwide.
With an Outlook Live subscription customers will receive the latest version of Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 for Subscription Services, plus 2 GB of online storage, the ability to send 20MB attachments, and advanced spam and virus protection. All for an introductory price of US$44.95 until 19 April 2005. After this date the service will be priced at US$59.95 per year.
Users can access the information from anywhere from the MSN Hotmail website or locally with Microsoft Office Outlook 2003. Customers can access, send and receive e-mail messages from multiple e-mail accounts and manage different calendars and sets of contacts, such as work and personal.
Any updates made using Outlook are automatically synchronized and reflected in customers' MSN Mail or MSN Hotmail accounts when they are online. Even changes made or e-mail messages composed while working offline are captured and completed when the customer signs back online.
"Outlook Live is the most advanced consumer e-mail service available from Microsoft and is perfect for individuals who really want to get the most out of their e-mail," said Blake Irving, corporate vice president for the MSN Communication Services and Member Platform Group at Microsoft. "MSN is committed to delivering a range of free and subscription e-mail services to meet customer needs, and Outlook Live is the perfect addition to our portfolio. We're thrilled to offer the service to our customers."
As part of the service, an e-mail anti-virus software scans for and helps eliminate viruses before they reach the computer. The anti-virus definitions are automatically updated. In addition, improved and regularly updated junk e-mail filters in Outlook 2003 and MSN Hotmail, built on Microsoft SmartScreen Technology, help reduce unwanted spam e-mail.