Outlook.com Surpasses 400 Million Active Accounts

Boosted by a multimillion-dollar ad campaign, Microsoft’s decision to replace Hotmail with Outlook.com appears to be going as planned.

Indeed, since the email service soft-launched last summer, Outlook.com has racked up over 400 million active accounts -- 300 million of which were migrated over from Hotmail, Microsoft said Thursday. 

The impressive figure includes 125 million users who are accessing email, calendar and contacts via mobile devices using Exchange ActiveSync, according to the software giant.

Dick Craddock, group program manager at Outlook.com, attributed the strong adoption rates to constant product innovation.

“The last two months have seen the release of a new, modern Outlook.com calendar, a refreshed Outlook.com app for Android devices, two-factor authentication for [user accounts], new international domains … and the release of a preview of Skype calling,” Craddock boasted.

Not stopping there, Microsoft on Thursday said it was adding two additional features to Outlook.com, including SMTP send, which will make it easier for users to send mail from different email addresses, and deeper integration with SkyDrive.

Last week, Microsoft Advertising rolled out a new ad format for Outlook.com called versaTiles. The new units consist of flexible "tiles" that give brands the chance to engage in “deep storytelling,” as Jennifer Creegan, general manager of digital advertising experiences at Microsoft Advertising, told MediaPost.

Added Creegan, versaTiles put Outlook users “in the driver's seat by offering varying levels of engagement.”

With versaTiles, Microsoft is currently offering brand partners three customizable templates, including the “online retailer,” which showcases a product or a service; the “media showcase,” which focuses on brand messages using a combination of video, image galleries, and text; and the “catalogue” for campaigns featuring multiple products.

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