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Hotmail hops onto Kindle Fire

After the recent release of its Hotmail app for the Android Market, Microsoft has followed up with a specific version of its popular e-mail service for Amazon's Kindle Fire.

Microsoft's new Hotmail app for the Kindle Fire.
Microsoft's new Hotmail app for the Kindle Fire.

Microsoft is carving out a new niche for itself on the Amazon Kindle Fire.

A free mobile app for the company's Hotmail service is now available in the Kindle store for all Fire tablet owners.

Microsoft already offers an app for Google Android devices, which is up for grabs in the Android Market. But some tweaks were needed to make the software compatible with the Fire since Amazon uses its own customized version of Android.

The Hotmail app for the Fire boasts at least one advantage over the tablet's native e-mail app, according to a Microsoft blog. The built-in Kindle e-mail app downloads messages through a standard POP3 connection, but the Hotmail app can sync mail, contacts, calendars, and even folders courtesy of Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync.

The specs for the app also reveal other features.

Users can set up push notifications to be alerted when new messages arrive. Multiple Hotmail accounts can be configured. Both folders and subfolders can be viewed. And attachments can be sent, received, and viewed within the app.

Fresh to the Amazon store, the Hotmail app as of this writing has so far received four reviews--two five stars, one four star, and a single lone one star.

Beyond the 3 million users of the Hotmail Android app, Microsoft has also captured 12 million Apple iOS users, the blog noted. Last year's release of iOS5 found Hotmail added as one of the default e-mail options listed when you set up a new account on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

With 360 million users, Hotmail has become the most popular e-mail service around the world, according to recent stats provided by Pingdom.