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Friday, December 17, 2010
Hotmail Introduces Interactive Email Using Active Views


Starting today, Hotmail is introducing a new type of interactive and dynamic email that runs on the Hotmail Active Views platform.

Early email services evolved from supporting just plain text and attachments to supporting rich, HTML-based email. Today, nearly all messages sent by businesses and websites use HTML.

There are many benefits of this richer format, but also some limitations. One challenge is that the content is static, so when you open the email, the content may already be out of date. Additionally, most of these messages require you to click out of them to the sender?s website in order to complete a key action or take the next step. In some cases, this works just fine, but it can become a hassle, especially if you?re trying to get through your inbox quickly.

Like the transition that took us from text to HTML, today's email is evolving 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.

These enhancements haven't happened before today due to security concerns by email services. 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.

Hotmail is solving this problem with its new Active Views platform, a technology that allows senders to run code securely in their email messages. It protects users AND gives them 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.

Starting this week, Orbitz and Monster.com will be the first Microsoft's partners to pilot this new type of email message for some of their communications.

In the coming weeks, Microsoft will introduce additional pilot partners so that users will be able to take actions more quickly, like managing their Netflix accounts or accepting invitations to connect on LinkedIn, from right inside their inbox. The company is are also working with top email service providers like Responsys, who are taking advantage of the Active Views platform for their clients, like Orbitz.


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