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Hotmail gets a new look

Microsoft's Web-based email service, which has been riddled over the past year with outages and service problems, announces an interface redesign in hopes of giving its users a faster and more intuitive experience.

MSN Hotmail, Microsoft's Web-based email service, which has been riddled over the past year with outages and service problems, today announced an interface redesign in hopes of giving its users a faster and more intuitive experience.

Hotmail will have a new navigation scheme, giving its members easy access to the tools they need to read, compose, and organize their messages more quickly, the company said. The redesign also provides greater onscreen work space for reading and composing messages. In addition, the new interface is more consistent with other MSN features across the company's Internet services, according to Microsoft.

The interface also improves speed with its slim, high-performance design, which eliminates HTML frames and high-resolution graphics, the company said. As a result, Hotmail customers may see faster page-load times when using the service.

"Although Hotmail has just celebrated its three-year anniversary, we're still very focused on the original goal--to provide a service that is fast and reliable, with easy-to-use features that help our members get things done online," Don Bradford, general manager for MSN Hotmail, said in a statement.

Whether the redesign stems the number of service problems and outages remains to be seen. Hotmail, the hugely popular service with more than 40 million active members, has stumbled repeatedly trying to keep pace with surging demand.

The new Hotmail interface is available in all four versions of the service, including English, French, German, and Japanese.