Microsoft kills off Hotmail brand

Microsoft is to drop the Hotmail brand it has used since 1998 and replace it with a new email service called Outlook.com.

outlook

Microsoft said the new email service – designed to attract users of Google’s rival service Gmail – will help sort messages as they arrive and allow users to make internet calls on Skype. It will also include free Office web Apps including Word and PowerPoint to let users view and edit attachments without leaving their inbox.

The new product, available from today (1 August) in preview form, will help tackle the problem of “cluttered” inboxes, Microsoft said, as in many cases email had become a “chore” with users’ accounts “overloaded” with material.

The new email product will automatically sort messages into different areas to distinguish between emails from contacts, newsletters, package delivery notices, social network posts and other identifiers determined by the account holder.

“Email is becoming less and less useful as inboxes become cluttered with newsletters and social updates, and people increasingly keep up their personal connections in social networks instead of their email address books,” Microsoft’s Chris Jones wrote in the company’s official blog.

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