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Microsoft introduces a new personal e-mail service will eventually replace Hotmail.

Microsoft's ongoing sparring match with Google continues, as it launches a preview of, an update of its now-antiquated Hotmail service, which launched in 1996.

The new service features no display ads or large search boxes that take up extra space and can be synchronised with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It also offers an inbox with virtually unlimited storage and spam protection.

Chris Jones, corporate vice-president of Windows Live services at Microsoft, said: “We think the time is right to reimagine personal e-mail, from the data centre to the user experience.”

The interface will be available for touch-screen devices based on Android, Windows Phone and iOS.