Hotmail users will soon be forced to switch over to Outlook.com, as Microsoft looks to regain lost ground to Google’s Gmail with the largest ever ad camapign for an email service. Microsoft has set aside $90m for a US campaign promoting Outlook.com as it exits its ‘preview phase’. As part of the process, all users [...]

Hotmail users will soon be forced to switch over to Outlook.com, as Microsoft looks to regain lost ground to Google’s Gmail with the largest ever ad camapign for an email service.


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Microsoft has set aside $90m for a US campaign promoting Outlook.com as it exits its ‘preview phase’.
As part of the process, all users of Microsoft’s Hotmail and other email services operating under different domains such as MSN.com will be automatically converted to Outlook.com by the summer, if they don’t voluntarily switch before then.
All the old messages, contacts and settings in the old inboxes will be exported to Outlook.com. Users will also be able to keep their old addresses.
Microsoft announced that in the six months since Outlook.com debut, the service has attracted to 60 million users.
In an effort to attract more, the company is launching its largest marketing ever for an e-mail service
Microsoft expects to spend somewhere between $30 million to $90 million on the Outlook campaign, which will run for at least three months. Outlook.com will be featured in ads running on primetime TV, radio stations, websites, billboards and buses.
The Outlook ads will overlap with an anti-Gmail marketing campaign that Microsoft launched earlier this month. The ”Scroogled” attacks depict Gmail as a snoopy service that scans the contents of messages to deliver ads related to topics being discussed.
Email remains a key battleground, even at a time when more people are texting each other on phones.
After keeping Outlook.com in a ”preview” phase since July 31, Microsoft Corp. is ready to accept all comers.
The latest data from research firm comScore, which doesn’t include mobile traffic, shows Gmail with 306 million worldwide users through December, up 21 percent from the previous year. Yahoo’s email ranked second with 293 million users, a 2 percent decrease from the previous year, followed by Hotmail at 267 million users, a 16 percent decline from the previous year.