I was bashing Microsoft pretty hard the other day, but today I will give them credit where credit is due.
Microsoft has officially launched Outlook.com, their free web-based email service that replaces Hotmail, Windows Live, MSN, etc. It looks pretty nice, with a clean and familiar layout for Windows users.
Basically, you set up a Microsoft Account (if you have an existing Windows Live or Hotmail account you already have one), log in, navigate to outlook.com, and Bob's your uncle.
You can set up multiple accounts, like one for personal and another for business/professional use. You can connect other e-mail accounts to your outlook.com account for a "universal inbox."
There are mobile apps for Windows, iPhone and Android. You can also connect to it from the desktop Windows Live Mail client.
You can import contacts from a variety of sources, and it also has a nice calendar feature.
Outlook.com is an attractive and free alternative to GMail that is especially nice for Windows users. It will work with any modern browser. (Microsoft lists Chrome as one of the recommended browsers.)
BONUS: Your Microsoft Account also gives you SkyDrive, Microsoft's free cloud storage with 7GB of storage and a fully integrated desktop folder that that automatically syncs to/from your PC, plus free web-based Office apps (Word, Excel and Powerpoint.) Another nice, free alternative to Google Drive with features familiar to Windows users. (And it works fine with Chrome.)
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