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Microsoft unleashes as Hotmail successor

31 Jul 2012

Microsoft has rebranded the Hotmail service to become

Currently in preview, is being heralded as a re-imagined email service by Microsoft.

The new email service is packaged with tools to organise emails based on content and sender. also includes Facebook, Free Office Web apps and SkyDrive integration.

"We think the time is right to re-imagine email. So today, we're introducing a preview of," Microsoft Windows Live division head Chris Jones explained in a blog post.

"We realised that we needed to take a bold step, break from the past and build you a brand new service from the ground up." is being pegged as the eventual successor to the longstanding Hotmail service. Microsoft has yet to announce a full launch date, but the preview period has officially kicked off today.

Hotmail users will be offered the opportunity to make the switch to the new service, but an upgrade isn't necessary at this time. The Outlook email client application will continue to be available in conjunction with the new browser email service.

Microsoft claims that up to 50 per cent of emails are newsletters and the company says will organise email inboxes to streamline the process. can be connected to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google accounts. Plans are also being set in motion to add Skype integration in the near future.

The new email service comes fully integrated with Office Web apps and the SkyDrive cloud service. The new integration will allow users to edit emailed documents in the browser and send files through Microsoft's cloud.

Microsoft was forced to release a fix for a critical security flaw for the Hotmail login earlier this year. The flaw allowed for hackers to control user email accounts by resetting a user's password.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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