Microsoft is overhauling its free webmail service, dropping the Hotmail brand it has used since acquiring the product in 1998, and adopting the name Outlook.com.
The revamped service will help sort messages as they arrive and allow users to make internet calls on Skype.
It said the move would help tackle the problem of “cluttered” inboxes.
Microsoft said that in many cases email had become a “chore” because its users accounts had become “overloaded” with material.The action may also be designed to win over users of Google’s rival Gmail service.
Its solution is to automatically sort messages into different areas to distinguish between emails from contacts,
newsletters, package delivery notices, social network posts and other identifiers determined by the account holder.
In addition it is taking steps to link the Outlook account with other services the user might have subscribed to.
“We are giving you the first email service that is connected to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google, and soon, Skype, to bring relevant context and communications to your email,” the firm’s Chris Jones said on its blog.
“In the Outlook.com inbox, your personal email comes alive with photos of your friends, recent status updates and tweets that your friend has shared with you, the ability to chat and video call – all powered by an always up-to-date contact list that is connected to your social networks.”