A new challenger has appeared! Today, Microsoft has launched a completely new e-mail service, Outlook.com, that will exist completely separately from Hotmail, at least for now. The features are nearly the same between the two services, but Microsoft is trying its best to distance itself from the bad rep that Hotmail has acquired.
Outlook.com has very discrete ads as opposed to Hotmail's extremely intrusive banner ads. Furthermore, there won't be any targeted ads on personal conversations, however, newsletters and similar e-mails are still fair game. It also brings a nice, minimalist interface in the hopes of drawing Gmail users away from Google.
Outlook.com is open to the public, no invites or beta keys required. Storage at the new service is "virtually" unlimited as Microsoft didn't want to offer spammers a limitless account. Twitter and Facebook integration are already live and Skype integration will be coming as well. Users can sign in with existing Hotmail logins or create a new account.