By the end of the summer, Hotmail will be no more. Its parent, Microsoft, is converting Hotmail to a new 21st century emailer called Outlook.com.
By the end of the summer, Hotmail will be no more. Its parent, Microsoft, is converting Hotmail to a new 21st century emailer called Outlook.com. - 
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By the end of this summer, Hotmail will be no more. Its parent, Microsoft, is converting Hotmail to a new 21st century emailer called Outlook.com, which integrates well with Word, Excel, and the presentation software Powerpoint.

The move may seem surprising in a world of Google’s Gmail, but there are still some 350 million Hotmail accounts out there. 

"Hotmail is a little old... [and] embarrassing," says CNET executive editor Molly Wood, who adds that switching to a new email account has other benefits beyond looking hip and current.

"If you have an old email address that you've been using for a long time, it gets overrun with spam, it's just not possible to avoid,” Wood says. “A lot of times people just declare 'email bankruptcy', get rid of that old email. It's a new way to start fresh with a new email that maybe the spammers don't know about."

Microsoft boasts one more interesting selling point for its new Internet-based email: Outlook.com "doesn't serve targeted ads based on email contents."

This seems to be an attempt to win over email users concerned by Google’s email advertising, which customizes messages based on the contents of a user’s Gmail inbox. Google's privacy policy says its advertising system is "fully automated" and "no humans read your email or Google Account information in order to show you advertisements or related information."

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Follow Molly Wood at @mollywood