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Wednesday, November 02, 2011, 11:43 pm PT (02:43 am ET)

Microsoft raking in 100k users a day from easier Hotmail setup in iOS 5

The addition of easier Hotmail setup in the Mail app of Apple's iOS 5 has led to a surge in activations for Microsoft, with almost 100,000 new iOS 5 devices logging in to the email service every day.

Microsoft's Chris Jones revealed in an official blog post on Wednesday that over 2 million iOS 5 users have linked their Hotmail accounts to iPhones or iPads. That number continues to increase rapidly, at the rate of nearly 100,000 iOS 5 devices a day.

The majority of those devices are iPhones. 40 percent are using the iPhone 4 to log in, while 24 percent already have the iPhone 4S. Another 12 percent of Hotmail connections to iOS 5 come from the iPhone 3GS.

Pre-iOS 5 devices can still set up Hotmail, but they have to go through a slightly more complicated Microsoft Exchange setup process.

News of the Redmond, Wash., software company's success comes as rival Google has faced a backlash over its official Gmail app. After reports surfaced on Tuesday pointing to an imminent launch of a long-awaited native app for Gmail, Google released the application on Wednesday, but quickly pulled it when a bug in the software's push notification feature was discovered.

Hotmail setup


Hotmail statistics

Distribution of iOS 5 devices for Hotmail.


Users who had obtained the app before it was taken down were quick to pan it as half-baked. TechCrunch's Sarah Perez called it "unusable" and a big disappointment." Others pointed out that, since the program was just a wrapper around the UIWebView, it offered little more than buggy push notifications.

According to research group ComScore, Hotmail is the world's largest web-based email service, with Yahoo Mail in second and Gmail in third. Apple is also pushing its own email service as part of iCloud. Users who sign up for iCloud receive a free me.com email account that will automatically sync messages across all their devices.

However, some users report having trouble creating new me.com accounts or merging old MobileMe accounts with their AppleIDs.

Also, Microsoft's not the only company to see a jump in users due to iOS 5. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said last month that iOS signups jumped by more than three times previous rates following the release of iOS 5. Apple worked closely with Twitter to integrate the social network at a system-wide level for iOS 5.