The popular "Hotmail" web based e-mail facility from Microsoft is currently in the midst of undergoing its first major facelist in over a decade. To support the radical change to the Hotmail system will be an updated name change, the MSN-branding has been dropped in favour of Microsoft's new "Live" moniker.
Windows Live Hotmail will boast a much cleaner and more intuitive graphical interface with plenty of new features to boot. It does in fact somewhat emulate the characteristics of Microsoft Outlook, providing drag-and-drop capabilities, a more thorough spam blocker and a server capacity of 2GB per account. A 4GB account and the ability to add additional outsider POP3 accounts into the service can be had for $19.99 a year.
Another great aspect of the new Live Hotmail system is the fact that one can now access their hotmail e-mail for free using a standalone e-mail client such as Outlook, whereas for a while now one has had to pay to retain this once free ability.
Have a read of Microsoft's official press release here for full details.
REDMOND, Wash. - May 6, 2007 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that Windows Live™ Hotmail®, the successor to MSN® Hotmail, is launching globally in 36 languages. The most significant upgrade for Hotmail since it pioneered the webmail industry in 1996, the new service has been built to be a vast improvement over the previous Hotmail offering, having incorporated input from more than 20 million beta testers. Windows Live Hotmail will deliver a safer, more powerful and productive e-mail experience than previous versions with flexible access via the Web, on a mobile phone or with an e-mail client. Microsoft also announced that later this month Windows Live Hotmail customers will be able to access their Windows Live Hotmail e-mail and contacts for free* using Microsoft® Office Outlook® 2003 or Office Outlook 2007 via the new Microsoft Office Outlook Connector beta.