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A guided tour of the new Outlook.com

Eventually, Outlook.com will replace Hotmail. For now, though, Microsoft is releasing its new email service (previously code-named NewMail) as a preview that's open to the public. Here's what's inside.
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Getting started

Visit Outlook.com to sign in with an existing account (including Hotmail and Live.com addresses) or sign up for a new Outlook.com address here.


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Get a new Outlook.com address

The only domain available when you sign up for a new account here is Outlook.com. Use the legacy Hotmail.com page to sign up for or manage older addresses.

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A new empty inbox

You can forward email from another account to your new Inbox or link it with an existing Hotmail account.

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Account settings


Click here to open the Account Settings page and link the new address to an existing account.

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Link accounts


The top menu choice lets you connect multiple Hotmail/Live/Outlook accounts.

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Three panes


The Outlook.com interface uses the familiar three-pane view.Ads appear in the right when you're not viewing content associated with a friend or contact.

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Instant Messaging


Click the Chat icon (to the left of the Gear icon in the top right corner) to chat with an available contact. You can use any connected service, using the menu at the bottom of the chat pane.

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Universal address book


The People app contains traditional contacts as well as live links to contacts in your social media circles.

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Connect multiple contact cards


Outlook normally does a pretty good job of connecting contact information from different sources. You can manually link or unlink cards here.

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Cleanup almost-junk mail

Newsletters, advertisements, and other time-sensitive messages can be easily managed by clicking Scheduled cleanup. The result is a stored rule, although the interface doesn't use that term.

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Automatic unsubscribe


Clicking this link at the bottom of a newsletter lets you unsubscribe from (and block) further mailings.

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Threaded conversations

This simplified view of long mail threads lets you expans a single message as needed.

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Did you forget the attachment?

Gmail users are already familiar with this feature. If you type a phrase that suggests you included an attachment but forgot the file, you'll see this warning after you click Send.

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