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Microsoft launches the all new

Hotmail is all set to be an history. Microsoft recently announced the launch of, a move that is seen to be aimed at taking on increasing competition from Gmail, Facebook and Yahoo.

The first thing you will notice right away is the new interface. As more than a billion people use Office products hence the layout is familiar and comfortable.

The service – which has already attracted more than a million sign-ups – has a maximum password length of 16 characters, the same as has a few key enhancements with attachments which is a game changer, especially if you like to email photos or videos. The attachment size is 300 MB but even better is that you can view slideshows, videos, and edit documents all from within Outlook.

If you get sent an Excel, PowerPoint or Word file, you are given two options: You can download the file or open it using web apps. has deep ties with SkyDrive which makes it easy to share large photosets as the files get loaded on to Skydrive first (free account when you sign up for Outlook gives you 7GB of storage) and then provisions the content to your email.

The new Web-based e-mail service will eventually integrate Skype, delivering a new rival to Gmail-embedded Google's Talk service. Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion last year after European regulators signed off on the deal.

Give a spin and let us know what you think below. Do you like it, love it, or hate it? or you can email me at --  r i s h i l b a b u @

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