Ashlee Vance from The New York Times recently reported that Microsoft is launching a cool, new version of Hotmail this summer. Hotmail? I was in middle school the last time I heard about Hotmail. Most people have the same reaction – it’s a lackluster email service and it’s hard to believe it will be better this time around.

The article reports that according to comScore and Microsoft, Hotmail is the top Web email service worldwide with more than 360 million users. Hard to believe because most people’s perception of the service is that it is, according to Vance, “plagued by spam, has underwhelming storage, is missing a lot of features and is basically yesteryear’s e-mail service.”

Microsoft’s vice president Chris Jones has taken the backlash into consideration and is looking to make the necessary adjustments to update the service to more aggressively compete with the likes of Gmail and Yahoo mail.

The most interesting feature of the retooled Hotmail is the message filter. Incoming email will be sorted into four buckets – mail from people you know, mail from social networks, personal business and spam. This option would be really helpful when determining what emails are most important.   

Spam was always an issue when I had a Hotmail account and unfortunately it doesn’t seem like the new update addresses that issue. I’m a proud Gmail user and I can honestly say I have nothing but great things to say about the user experience.

What are your thoughts? Will you give Hotmail another shot?
Contributed by Jena Coletti.  Follow her @jmcoletti