I forgot to mention it last week, but the new Outlook.com was launched and is one of the first publicly available applications to use the Metro interface. Like I’ve mentioned before on the blog, people haven’t gotten many opportunities to use Metro. They’ll want to try using Metro soon because it’s going to be launched on Windows 8th this October.
Except for the Zune and Windows Phone 7, devices using Metro haven’t been successful, though Metro hasn’t been as accessible to users either. A free online e-mail service should give many new customers the opportunity to use it for the first time. That’s why this Outlook.com launch is so interesting. If the new Outlook.com is successful in attracting users, and people adopt Metro successfully, maybe they’ll be more driven to buy Windows 8.
The launch of Outlook.com seemed to be a success, with The Verge reporting over 1 million new users signing up hours after launch.
Hopefully Microsoft will quickly roll out this new Metro interface to all of its web apps to all of its properties. So far only Mail and Contacts have been switched over to Metro while sky Drive and Calendar still maintain the old UI. It’s actually very jarring to go from a Metro interface to the messy interface they used to have.
I don’t use web interfaces for my e-mails anymore, and instead prefer to use desktop clients, but if I were to use a web client I would definitely be using Outlook.com. It’s way ahead of its competitors, even Gmail whose minimal UI feels to me like a failure as it blends minimal graphics but still manages to feel cluttered and complex.