Changes made to fight off competition
Microsoft will be making a number of changes to its Hotmail service in an effort to keep competition from e-mail rivals Google and Yahoo at bay.
Hotmail is the world's biggest e-mail and internet news provider, but has found itself under increasing pressure from Google's Gmail and Yahoo Mail in recent years. Indeed, Yahoo Mail is currently the biggest free e-mail provider in the US.
New features being employed by Microsoft include incorporating videos and photographs into its service more, as well as updates from social networking sites.
In addition, postal package delivery notifications and the ability to sort messages by conversation (in a similar fashion to Googlemail) will also be included in the new Hotmail.
Windows Live director Walt Harp remarked that it was important to synchronise e-mail with other media as "that's where you manage your personal life".
E-mail battle heats up
The news comes after Google announced the end of a five-year trademark dispute which meant UK users were unable to use the @gmail.com suffix.
UK Googlemail users can now choose to switch to the suffix