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Microsoft switches Hotmail accounts to

Published on Feb 20, 2013 5:55 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Microsoft began moving Hotmail users to a free, beefed up email service on Tuesday, aiming to grab back territory largely dominated by Google's multi-faceted online offering.

Microsoft's move follows a test phase in which it adapted the service to try and better serve lifestyles that now increasingly revolve around smartphones, tablets, social media, and software "rented" as a service online.

The number of active accounts on grew to 60 million in just six months during the preview period, Microsoft said, stressing that it lets users connect to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The US software titan plans to gradually coax owners of the approximately 360 million Hotmail accounts globally to new addresses, which will be better synched to other Microsoft services, such as its Bing search engine.

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