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Microsoft starts rolling out new Hotmail

The software maker has begun its launch of the revamped Web mail, which includes support for larger attachments and new views for photos and documents.

Microsoft has started upgrading Hotmail users to the new version of the Web mail service, an update that includes support for larger attachments and new views for looking at attached photos and documents.

The company is upgrading to the new service one server cluster at a time--and it has hundreds of such clusters--so not everyone will get the upgrade right away.

"If you don't see these features today, please hold on just a little while longer--everybody will be upgraded this summer," program manager Mike Schackwitz said in a blog post on Tuesday.

The company previewed the new-look Hotmail at an event last month.

Among its new features, the Hotmail update now allows attachments of up to 10GB, the creation and viewing of slideshows from attached photos as well as integration with the new Office Web Apps for viewing and editing document attachments.

The new version also allows users to view photos or videos from third-party services, such as Flickr, SmugMug, Hulu, and YouTube, all without having to leave Hotmail. It also adds a new "sweep" option that lets users easily divert mail from a particular sender into either a new folder or into the trash.

If not the biggest-ever update to Hotmail, it's at least the biggest since a major overhaul four years ago.