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Hotmail to Outlook automatic upgrades take users by surprise

Hotmail users hit out at Outlook.com switchover.

The migration of Hotmail users onto Microsoft's new Outlook.com email client is now in full swing, but the software giant's decision to automatically upgrade users seems to be taking many by surprise.

The switchover has been heavily publicised in the press and through email alerts from Microsoft to existing Hotmail customers, since the automatic upgrade process was first announced in February.

Even so, a quick search of the terms "Hotmail" and "Outlook" on social networking site Twitter throws up hundreds of disgruntled responses from users who claim to have logged into Hotmail, only to be greeted by the new Windows 8-like user interface of Outlook.com.

However, Microsoft has confirmed, because the Hotmail brand is being retired, switching back from Outlook.com will not be possible.

"Hotmail will be phased out by the summer and Outlook.com will be the free email service from Microsoft. As part of this transition, we've removed the option to switch back to Hotmail," thecompany stated in a recent advisory document.

This isn't the first time the Hotmail switchover has incurred the wrath of users. Back in August, when the preview version of Outlook.com was first launched, users complained they had been automatically upgraded without being asked, and had lost access to emails.

Meanwhile, existing Hotmail users that had upgraded suffered a service outage earlier this month, which prevented them from logging into their accounts. Microsoft claimed the problem only affected a small proportion of users, and that it was quickly resolved.

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