May 3, 2013 at 4:00 PM ET
Microsoft announced Thursday that it had accomplished the herculean task of moving hundreds of millions of users from venerable webmail service Hotmail to the sleek new Outlook.com. Some 300 million users and 150 petabytes later, Hotmail is officially a ghost town.
And it's been a welcome change for most users: Hotmail was around since the early days of Web-based email, and while it got a few facelifts along the way, its age was apparent. Outlook.com, on the other hand, we found to be attractive, powerful, and generally a great option for emailers of all stripes.
So Microsoft may not have had the problem of users vehemently protesting relocation, but that doesn't mean it was easy. Hotmail was a popular service, and all those years of emails and attachments add up. The company had to migrate 150 petabytes of data to the new service — that's 150 million gigabytes.
It took about six weeks to do the job (as planned), but it's all finished now.
As Microsoft notes, you don't have to change your Hotmail address or update any settings on your phone or on other apps. "Since you keep using your same email address, there is no need to change any settings on your devices."
If you have a Hotmail Plus account, it will "continue to work with Outlook.com, no need to make any changes." (For answers to more Hotmail-related questions, visit this Microsoft page).
Like Hotmail before it, Outlook.com is free to use, so if you're tired of Gmail or Yahoo! and on the prowl for something new, give it a try.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.