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New Hotmail Directly Challenges Gmail, Aims for Speedy and Slick

hotmail versus gmail
Although Gmail has only been around since 2004, it's gathered enough steam in recent years to come within arm's length of Hotmail as the world's top e-mail service. With Google hot on its trail, then, Microsoft has decided to unveil a new version of its mail provider, and, according to early reports, it's aiming straight for Gmail's jugular.

On Wednesday, Microsoft revealed its response to Google Docs, with the release of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010. But according to VentureBeat, that's only the beginning of Microsoft's Google attack. Next Monday, at a media event in Google's own San Francisco backyard, Microsoft will unveil a sleek new version of Hotmail, in what many are viewing as a bold attempt to steal some of Gmail's personal e-mail market dominance. Although many of the details remain hazy, VentureBeat's Paul Boutin highlights a few of the new features users should expect to see in the revamped service.

For one, Boutin says we should expect a speedier, more minimally designed Hotmail, similar to the new, more streamlined Windows Live Essential desktop apps. If Microsoft hopes to compete with Gmail, it'll also have to find a way to match its conversation-threading and message-tagging abilities, both of which have helped to separate Google's service from the herd. Boutin also points out that Microsoft will almost certainly have to re-brand Hotmail as a mobile-friendly service, perhaps by offering free mobile apps to its users. Boutin would love to see "natively written and compiled apps, not run-anywhere Java apps that bog down the phone even when you're not reading mail," but he also admits that such a scenario is unlikely. Finally, Boutin foresees a new Hotmail with greater social network integration, in line with the expansive links that the new Windows Live service offers.

Ultimately, it comes down to a question of domain. In the office, Microsoft continues to enjoy pretty much unrivaled hegemony with its SharePoint and Office platforms. But, in the living room, more people are turning to Web-based services for their personal e-mail, and this is where Gmail has thrived. By directly challenging Google, then, Microsoft is striving to not only distance Hotmail from its pursuers, but to re-market itself entirely. [From: VentureBeat]

What online e-mail service do you use?
Gmail699 (27.8%)
Windows Live Hotmail186 (7.4%)
Yahoo! Mail144 (5.7%)
AOL Mail1401 (55.6%)
Apple MobileMe23 (0.9%)
Other49 (1.9%)
I don't use an online service.16 (0.6%)

Tags: e-mail, email, Gmail, google, hotmail, Microsoft, microsoft hotmail, microsoft office, microsoft office 2010, MicrosoftHotmail, MicrosoftOffice, MicrosoftOffice2010, SharePoint, SocialNetworking, top, web, WindowsLive