Exactly a year ago, Microsoft launched the preview of Outlook.com, and today the company is looking back and celebrating how far it’s come. In fact, Microsoft has revealed it has made over 600 additions, changes, and improvements to the service thanks to 34 feature releases in the last 12 months.

The biggest driver of these tweaks, according to Microsoft, has been user feedback, in addition to all the usual focus groups, research, events, and blog comments. Compared to Hotmail, Outlook.com far more prominently places user-feedback requests, and as a result the average number of monthly feedback submissions for Outlook.com is about 50 times what Microsoft used to receive with Hotmail.

Dick Craddock, Outlook.com’s Group Program Manager, revealed how Microsoft handles all this data:

All of this feedback is triaged daily or weekly to provide a list of what we’re hearing, the current status on investigation, and the plan for what we’re going to do. Some feedback is pretty clear, like “can you add ?” When feedback is less clear, we’ll often reach out directly to the person giving the feedback, to understand more about what they’re asking for. We also work very closely with our support team to parse this info, because one person’s feature request can be another person’s support issue.

Microsoft also emphasized that Outlook.com is “the world’s fastest growing email service.” We had the opportunity to talk to Dharmesh Mehta, Sr. Director of Product Management for Outlook.com and SkyDrive, to dig into this a bit more.

Mehta admitted to TNW that as Hotmail users moved to Outlook.com, the growth of the new service understandably peaked. That being said, he noted the number has still been growing steadily, though he wouldn’t reveal new figures beyond the 400 million active user milestone the company revealed in May.

Nevertheless, Mehta insisted there has been no dip in users at all, even despite some parts of the email services have been drastically changed. In fact, he insisted that customer satisfaction is “excellent” and noted this is likely because Outlook.com is “designed by the people for the people.”

Going forward, Mehta wouldn’t reveal what Microsoft has up its sleeve. Today’s blog post did hint that some users, however, will soon get something they’ve sorely wanted:

We know there are 1 or 2 big ones you’ve asked for that we haven’t quite gotten to yet. We hear you and we’re working on it.

When asked if there would ever be a pay-for version of Outlook.com with premium features, aside from the ad-free option, we got a resounding “no.”

See also – Outlook.com now has 400m active accounts as Microsoft completes Hotmail migration, including 125m mobile users and Microsoft to stop supporting Outlook.com linked accounts in late July, will move users over to aliases instead

Top Image Credit: ilco