Windows Live Hotmail Evolution: Interactive and Dynamic Email with Active Views

By on December 17th, 2010 09:30 GMT

Microsoft is ushering in a new stage in the evolution of email, citing similarities with the transition from plain vanilla text to HTML in messages.

The company is currently running a limited pilot program designed to test Hotmail Active Views, a new platform designed to enable users to take advantage of rich content right in their inbox beyond what’s possible today with just HTML.

Essentially, with the new Active Views platform, Windows Live Hotmail customers will be able to enjoy interactive and dynamic content in their messages.

Make sure to watch the video embedded at the bottom of this article in order to get an idea of the new step in evolution that’s being introduced for Windows Live Hotmail.

“It’s time for email to evolve again to address today’s challenges, becoming more dynamic so the content is up to date when you open it, and more interactive so you can save time by taking actions from right inside the email itself,” revealed Dick Craddock, Group Program Manager, Windows Live Hotmail.

Orbitz and Monster.com are the first companies that Microsoft has partnered with to test drive Hotmail Active Views.

In the video below, the software giant demonstrates new interactive and dynamic emails coming from both Orbitz and Monster.com.

Fact is that this new technology makes it possible for end users to perform a series of tasks without ever having to leave their Hotmail inbox.

“In the coming weeks, we will introduce additional pilot partners so that you will be able to take actions more quickly and easily, like managing your Netflix accounts or accepting invitations to connect on LinkedIn, from right inside your inbox,” Craddock promised.

“We are also working with top email service providers like Responsys, who are taking advantage of the Active Views platform for their clients, like Orbitz.”

Craddock explained that limitations and concerns related to the security of allowing messages to include JavaScript code have been responsible for delaying the advent of capabilities such as those made possible through Active Views.

However, this is no longer the case, although, at least for the time being, emails that leverage Active Views will be available only to participants in the pilot testing program.

“There has simply been no way to run JavaScript code within email messages in such a way that it’s isolated and not allowed to do malicious things on your computer,” Craddock said.

“Hotmail is solving this problem with its new Active Views platform, technology that allows senders to run code securely in their email messages. It protects you AND gives you access to information on the sender’s website through forms and inline actions built directly into the email itself.

“This keeps the content up to date and provides a more engaging and time-saving experience.”

Microsoft did not offer any details related to when it plans to roll out Active Views to the public.


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