One year ago today, Microsoft launched Outlook.com, its successor to Hotmail and a service I use every day and recommend to others. I had sort of zoned on the anniversary—Outlook.com came out of preview on February 18, 2013, but I sort of date it back to the preview from the previous summer, I guess—but since Microsoft forced my hand by celebrating this day, what the heck, here's a little announcement: My next book will be about Outlook.com.
You may recall that last year in Vote for the Next Book, I asked readers to, well, vote for the next book. The end result was Windows 8.1 Book (final name TBD), which I started writing with Rafael Rivera in September and should be finishing up as soon as this coming weekend. (At least the 1.0 version; as a living book, it will be updated regularly going forward as well.) It's currently over 550 pages.
But that voting wasn't so straightforward. As I noted in The Next Book: Windows 8.1, the single biggest vote-getter was in fact ... Outlook.com. I justified going with Windows for a few reasons, the key one being that Windows is a big topic and needed to be addressed quickly, and before it got too far past the initial Windows 8 release. (Rafael and I had previously written "Windows 8 Secrets," and the new book is a more modern replacement for that title.)
But the intention was always for there to be a foundation of Microsoft books. I've got Windows 8.1 Book, Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8, and Paul Thurrott's Xbox Music so far. The latter two are both undergoing updates that have been slowed by the completion of Windows 8.1 Book, but those will pick up again soon too. And then there's Outlook.com. That's the next new book.
Given the roughly 5 month development time for Windows 8.1 Book, I'm hoping to finish what I'm now thinking of as Outlook.com Book in roughly 3 months. It will cover Outlook.com and SkyDrive and be applicable across all modern platforms, including web, Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. The model for the structure of the book can be found in the in-progress Paul Thurrott's Xbox Music 2.0, so if you've not taken a look at that, please do. I think it's going to come together nicely.
Since I originally want to wait until I completed Windows 8.1 Book, I'll have more about this book in the future. But it will be made the same way, publicly and transparently, and I'm hoping for feedback to drive the direction it takes. It will be super-inexpensive, like Windows 8.1 Book, and updated regularly going forward as the service evolves. You get the idea.
In the meantime, you can check out this celebratory video that describes just a few of the many changes that have occurred over the past year thanks to customer feedback.