Microsoft will overhaul its free email services and in doing so will drop the Hotmail brand in exchange for the newly acquired domain Outlook.com.
The hotmail domain has been in use since the company acquired the product in 1998, but will make way for a revamped service which will help sort messages as they arrive and also allow users to make internet calls via Skype.
The company believes the move will help to eradicate the problem of ‘cluttered’ inboxes, and the move is likely to help the company to win over users of the rival service Google Gmail.
Tech giant Microsoft said that email had become a chore due to the large volume of information and material available, and the new outlook webmail service will combat this by automatically sorting emails into different areas, distinguishing between emails from contacts, newsletters, social network updates and more.
User Outlook accounts will also link to other services the user might be subscribed to, providing greater connectivity with Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google and Skype.
Web versions of the company’s Microsoft Office applications are also built in to the service.
Another important improvement is the Microsoft Skydrive cloud storage application which will allow users to send photos and other documents to without being subject to attachment size limitations.
Microsoft is offering the service in a ‘preview’ mode until an official release date is announced. The company is advising that users upgrade, but existing Hotmail subscribers can continue to use the old system. Whether or not they will be allowed to continue remains to be seen.