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Outlook.com: Can ditching Hotmail help fend off Gmail and Yahoo?

Microsoft announces a new email client, Outlook.com. One million people sign up in the first six hours.

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at a Microsoft event in San Francisco, Monday, July 16, 2012. Microsoft unveiled a new version of its widely used, lucrative suite of word processing, spreadsheet and email programs Monday, one designed specifically with tablet computers and Internet-based storage in mind.

Jeff Chiu/AP

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Microsoft introduced a new email client Tuesday called Outlook.com, a personal version of its already widely used brand.

Outlook.com is Microsoft’s latest stab at an email service and essentially replaces Hotmail as the company’s primary email service.

“We realized that we needed to take a bold step, break from the past and build you a brand new service from the ground up,” Microsoft said in a post. “Now, in addition to a desktop application and a service for businesses, we’re offering Outlook as a personal email service — Outlook.com.”

Microsoft said Outlook.com is a “modern email designed for the next billion mailboxes.”

Outlook.com will let users sync their accounts with various social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as Skype eventually.

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