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Microsoft introduces Outlook.com, a new free email service to challenge Gmail

Hotmail is a pioneer of web e-mail and still commands millions of users around the world. However, Hotmail is so last year. Despite Microsoft’s attempts at modernizing Hotmail and bringing it up to speed with the competition (namely Gmail), Hotmail continues to have a bad rap in the digital world (and for good reason, those damn flash ads). It appears Microsoft has realized Hotmail needs to be rebranded. What better way to rebrand Hotmail than by replacing it with a new service, Outlook.com.

Outlook.com is a new free e-mail by Microsoft [1] that uses the foundation laid by Hotmail over the years and creates a more user-friendly, feature-filled product. Major attractions to Outlook.com include:

At this time Outlook.com is in the ‘Preview’ stage but anyone that wants to give it a whirl can do so. If you already have a Hotmail account, you can migrate to the new Outlook.com by clicking an “Upgrade” button from the Hotmail menu; all your e-mails, contacts, etc. will be migrated to Outlook.com, your e-mail address and password will remain the same, and you will have the option of creating a new @outlook.com e-mail if desired. If you don’t already have a Hotmail account but you have an account with Microsoft (e.g. Windows Live), then you can login to Outlook.com with that account and create a new @outlook.com e-mail. If you don’t have a Hotmail or Microsoft account, you can simply start fresh with a new Outlook.com account.

You can get started with Outlook.com from the link below. Take note if registering a new Outlook.com account, it may not instantly take you to Outlook.com, instead pushing you to Hotmail. If this happens to you, you can either manually “Upgrade” to Outlook.com or wait a few hours until Microsoft automatically upgrades you. And be sure to share your thoughts and experiences on Microsoft’s new toy in the comments [10] below.

Outlook.com homepage [11]