As with the recent major update to SkyDrive, Microsoft this week updated Hotmail, this time to sport some nice Windows native app-like features based on Outlook. Here’s the word from the Inside Windows Live team blog: 

Mouse & keyboard shortcuts   

When you right-click a message in your inbox, you’ll see a new menu that allows you to Reply, Reply all, or Forward the message. This expands on other right-click actions that Hotmail already supported like Mark as unread, Delete, Junk, Move, and View message source. So now, just like in Outlook, it’s even quicker to take care some of your most common tasks using that second button on your mouse.

Hotmail also supports many of the keyboard shortcuts that you’re used to in Outlook, such as Ctrl+N for a new message, and Ctrl+Enter to send a message. And if you’re one of the millions of people who’ve recently switched from Yahoo! Mail or Gmail to Hotmail, we’ve also made popular shortcuts from those email services work in Hotmail. So # (from Gmail) can be used to delete a message and N (from Yahoo! Mail) will create a new message. You can see a full list of Hotmail keyboard shortcuts here. To switch your inbox from using standard Hotmail shortcuts to Gmail or Yahoo! shortcuts, go to the keyboard shortcuts options page from your inbox.

Personalization

For a long time, Hotmail has had the ability to customize an individual email message by doing things like changing your font and signature. But now, you can go into your Hotmail options and set a default font and personal signature for all your email messages, much like you would in Outlook.

And lots more... 

We’ve also recently fixed some common complaints including improving how the Back button works, and how attachments get saved with your email drafts.

If you happen to accidentally delete a message, it is now possible to recover some lost messages through a new link in the Deleted folder.

And as some of you may have noticed, we’ve started rolling out speed improvements that combine smart programming with the best of HTML5 to make your inbox super fast. We’ll tell you more about this in the coming days.

There’s a nice video demo of the new features available as well: