Microsoft Introduces New Windows 8 Inspired Free Email Service Outlook.Com is the latest free email service on the block and it is inspired by Windows 8 apparently.

Hotmail Live Mail Rebranded As Outlook.Com Is Windows 8 Inside Your Browser is the new avatar of Windows Live Mail, which was the reincarnation of Hotmail. So is the new Hotmail. It is Microsoft’s attempt at settings things right. It is also part of the whole Windows 8 wave o changes that is continuing to sweep across all of Microsoft’s software holdings. Signing in to proved to be as simple as typing the url in to browser because we were already signed in to Hotmail/Windows Live Mail. Outlook seems to have plugged in to that account and is unmistakably Windows 8 in its approach.

You are welcomed by a simple and flat interface that is minimal on the surface with contextual options like deleting and marking as read/unread only when you hover over your email. The Outlook logo on the top left sits on a blue bar on top, which is the only hint of color on an otherwise grey interface. There’s a little grey arrow beside the logo. Click it and you will suddenly find yourself looking at a Windows 8 app bar like bar coming down from the top and obscuring the top bar on the website.

Instead of icons for functions and options that are usually found on the actual Windows 8, this bar has four tiles as of now. These tiles are — Mail, People, Calendar and SkyDrive. These represent the online version of these apps that are found on Windows 8. And if you are using the same account, this means you will never be too far away from your updates, messages and emails. Right beside the Outlook logo on the app bar is a Windows 8 plus sign icon that is meant for new messages. And the new message Windows is the same as on Windows 8 Mail app.

Looking the right of the little blue bar on top will show you the (by now) familiar smiling messages icon. Clicking this will present you with a list of your current conversations and options to start a new one. A gear icon next to it represents settings. Here you can choose between 12 different colors for the app bar on top. And you can switch the reading pane from off (default) to right (just like the Windows 8 Mail default) and bottom.

Over all, if you are getting too used to Windows 8, you will be happy to know that you will never be too far from it as long as you are connected to the Internet.

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