01/08/2012 08:27 BST | Updated 30/09/2012 10:12 BST

Microsoft Replaces Hotmail With New Mail Service

Hotmail is dead.

Microsoft has replaced its ageing free email system with a new service using the 'Outlook' name shared by its desktop email program.

The switch ends Microsoft's use of the Hotmail name 14 years after it acquired the webmail service.

Users can sign up for new addresses at Microsoft says the service will sort mail as it arrives - labelling messages as newsletters, social network updates and emails from trusted contacts.

Outlook account holders will also be able to make video calls with Skype, which Microsoft purchased for $8.5bn in 2011.

It is also linking email accounts to other sites, including Twitter and Facebook, so you can update all of your services from one account.

On its blog, Microsoft said was a "bold new step".

"We needed to take a bold step, break from the past and build you a brand new service from the ground up.

"You already know Outlook via the Outlook desktop application-for PCs and Macs-as the world's most popular application for reading email, managing a calendar, and connecting to people. And you may have used the Outlook Web App connected to Exchange Server in your organisation.

"Now, in addition to a desktop application and a service for businesses, we're offering Outlook as a personal email service."

Microsoft said it would not scan emails to sell targeted ads - something Google does as standard.

However, others have criticised the new product for lacking truly innovative new features.