Microsoft Hotmail Is Going Metro (But Won’t Be Called “Newmail”)

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Microsoft Hotmail is getting a makeover. At least, that’s what some leaked screenshots are showing. The service, which today is still branded under the “Windows Live” umbrella, is going to be slimmed down and simplified, giving it a  Metro-style look and feel.

The details were obtained yesterday via Microsoft enthusiast site LiveSide, and they’ve now amassed a whole collection of screenshots showing the new Hotmail in action. In the photos, the service is oddly branded “Newmail.” (“Get a Newmail email address for your new inbox…” reads the welcome message, for example.)

What, “Newmail?” Not not to worry – Microsoft isn’t attempting to rename its webmail service yet again. (That whole “Windows Live Mail” thing never really panned out, you know). “Newmail” is just a placeholder, we’re hearing, so you won’t be signing up for @newmail.com email addresses anytime soon. WHEW.

The folks at LiveSide note that Metro UI is clearly apparent at the top of the screen, in new Hotmail/Newmail’s nav bar. When you tap on the “Newmail” logo, you can then navigate between People, Calendar and SkyDrive, as well. (Maybe they’re all getting makeovers, then?)

Also of note, in a screenshot they’ve obtained, the service’s new look is described as having a “simple, fluid and interactive design,” which is “faster and cleaner” whether you’re on a “desktop, phone or tablet,” – the latter hinting at new Hotmail’s purported touch-friendliness.

Below, a few screenshots from the update, via LiveSide. (Head over there to see the rest). But first, the horror that is Hotmail today, for comparison purposes (admittedly, the theme selection was my fault):

Newmail/New Hotmail: