In a strategic move aimed at overturning market share losses to Google's increasingly popular email service Gmail, Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it was renaming its Hotmail service Outlook. com; and also launched a preview version of the new personal, free Web-based email service.
According to the Microsoft announcement, the company's Hotmail service - which was one of the first, popular free Web-based email services - will get a new name; and will essentially be converted into an overhauled, Facebook-friendly free online email service.
Boasting a new look, the Hotmail service - renamed as Outlook. com - will not only include social network links, but will also bring on some new features which will help the users handle the flood of junk and mass mail which they are frequently inundated with.
While Microsoft eventually plans to shift all its Hotmail users to Outlook. com, which will apparently be a combination of the familiar and the new --- a branding of Microsoft's personal and business email offerings.
With Outlook - the email, contacts, calendar and task-management system from Microsoft - already being used by millions of people, basically for work purposes, Dharmesh Mehta - a senior director at Microsoft - said that branding of Hotmail and Outlook with the same name will be "very simplifying" for the users.
Terming Outlook. com as Outlook engineers' effort based on their views about what it means to have "a modern email," Mehta said that the new Hotmail version took shape when Microsoft apprehended that "Web mail hasn't kept up with what people are doing."
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