Hotmail becomes outlook.com, as you have read a gazillion times.
While outlook.com already existed for some time (for among others exchange users) as well as office365, end-users can now enjoy a more “Metro” experience.
You can ALREADY claim your unique id when logging in to outlook.com, and after that you make more @outlook.com aliases, which is nice feature (I just claimed the first name of my wife).
I like having that Microsoft account, especially for “Microsoft” related things (X-Box, MSDN, Developer stuff, and so on). So I keep it around but I’m still using Google Gmail as my main private account.
I wonder (like yourself) if ever the moment comes that we will switch back again to that old Hotmail. That same hotmail that some of our computer illiterate friends and family consider almost the same as the verb “computer” while you think of those mails you got from them when they were “mailing” from a country far away in an Internet bar.
I think it is not a good move to move to “outlook.com”, it may be so from a technical point of view: better integration with cloud services, consistent metro interface and all that…
But emotionally … it took “novice” users, you know the type “can you fix my computer it is so slow” or even “I never never touch a computer but on vacation it is handy to stay in touch with the kids with, what is called again, “hotmail” ” … YEARS to grasp the concept of electronic e-mail. For those users a “rename” is like an emotional hammer. They will get so confused that it will take them another year or two to come close to a computer.
For those users “hotmail” is equivalent to “computer”. They have never heard of Facebook. They have never heard of Twitter, let alone ‘outlook’, though some have experienced ‘outlook express’ (and it will all of us take some time to explain that outlook is something totally different than no-longer-existing-but-still-on-their-computers outlook express) (and whatever-you-do do NOT use the word “Exchange” or the conversation will end quickly).
So … from a technical point of view I think this is a good decision, none of “them” understood the “Live” concept anyway. Business wise probably also, who cares about those “free” users that will never convert to a business e-mail solution.
But from a “life experience” point of view, I think this is a totally wrong decision. Microsoft should do exactly the opposite: they should build further on the “Hotmail” brand. They should should rename Outlook to “Hotmail-for-on-your-computer” instead. Would be much smarter. They should then bring out “Hotmail-for-documents” and “Hotmail-for-presentations” and “Hotmail-device-to-play-games-on”.
Since it would not surprise me if a regular guy on the street in tikki-takki country would know only the words “coca cola” and “hotmail” as foreign words.
AND users who know “outlook” are in general much more mentally capable to switch to a new term “hotmail-for-on-your-computer”.
Which makes me think … how much MORE confusing it becomes now … to explain this… we now also have to explain that there is a “cloud” (which is “the internet”) where you can run programs like “Hotmail”. But… there are also programs that you run on your computer and GET and SEND things from and to the cloud. One such program is called “Outlook”. But since more and more programs are running in “the cloud”, the company behind “Hotmail” decided to rename it and give it the same name as that program that is running on one computer “Outlook”. (gets angry, ignores explanation: “I don’t understand it, you may be good with computer, but I have not a clue, computers is nothing for me.”).