The Microsoft Network will offer subscribers free Email following the software giant's acquisition of US start-up Hotmail after the Christmas break. Financial details of the acquisition were not released, but Wall Street analysts estimate the deal is worth hundreds of million of dollars. Hotmail will be integrated into sites on the Microsoft Network including the Expedia travel site and the CarPoint car-buying site which both generate revenue for Microsoft. Microsoft is hoping the technology, which allows Email to be read on any browser without the need for a mail client, will generate more traffic on those sites, thus attracting more advertisers in the process. Hotmail's nine million users can access Email over the Internet from any computer with a Hotmail account. Laura Jennings, MSN vice president, said: "Our goal is to combine the benefits of Hotmail with Microsoft services and technology to provide consumers the best combination of free and premium Email services." Hotmail will be run as a subsidiary company of Microsoft from its existing headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. Its management team will report to Jennings.
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