Microsoft & #BANNER1 & # has put its next-generation email service out of beta status. The Windows Live Hotmail service comes with 2GB of space. Users can customise the layout and colours of their inbox. Security has been stepped up to protect against spam, and junk messages will be identified by colour coding. The look is not a drastic change from the earlier Hotmail design, but the service is supposed to be faster.
The official announcement from the company is awaited Monday.
A paid version of the service, Windows Live Hotmail Plus, will be available for $19.99 a year. It will offer users 4GB of storage space and a feature to download from other POP3 email accounts into their account.
Email is a hot product in the Indian market, with Rediffmail offering unlimited storage. Yahoo! and AOL have also launched the latest versions of email here. Indiatimes is expected to make an announcement soon and Zapak, the online gaming site, has introduced 'easy-to-use' email.
Recently, Microsoft introduced advertising options on its Live Messenger, as part of its Digital Advertising Solutions. Similar plans must be on the table for Live Hotmail.
Microsoft is also looking at strengthening its Live Search product. Of course, there's considerable speculation regarding its interest in Yahoo!'s search engine. The spokespersons of both companies denied any merger plans.
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