Under a Hawaiian-like code name, Kahuna, Microsoft has prepared the new graphical interface for its Hotmail service. The tests for the Mail Beta version have started today and any user with a Hotmail account can join in.
The upgrade announced for Hotmail will propose an AJAX interface, which was rewritten completely using Microsoft's Atlas framework and a new architecture called FireAnt.
Imran Qureshi, Program Manager for the Hotmail project, has talked about the basic criteria which led to the webmail interface. "The users' demands have focused mainly on a faster, simpler and more secure interface."
Hotmail is clearly inspired from Outlook's interface, the message viewing window consisting of three columns. The first column displays the Inbox, in the second column, the service lists the messages and the last column displays the content of every selected e-mail.
For now, the service can be tested only by those who register at this address, http://test.msn.ignia.com/minisites/hotmail/default.aspx?locale=en-us and have a Hotmail account.
Yahoo is also testing its new e-mail interface, so we can say without mistaking that this is a "who's the first to finish and launch the interface?" type competition.
Google, on the other hand, has a different view on what web e-mail is all about, so it has introduced a new function, which allows the unfinished messages to be recovered with the help of the Auto-Save" feature.