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Hotmail becomes Newmail, leaked screens show Metro refresh

Hotmail will be rebranded as Newmail with a Metro-style interface according to reports

This is the new-look Hotmail, The Verge reports. German site WinFuture has snaffled a batch of screenshots in German, while LiveSide has the English-language versions.

It's a minimalist new look for Hotmail, looking closer to Gmail's redesign a few months ago, with a conspicuous absence of shadows and mirrored effects, much like the new Windows 8 desktop Microsoft is pinning its hopes on. And the service will be renamed Newmail, according to the above grab. Jolly good.

Hotmail does make me think of the Internet pre-2000, so the name change is welcome.

Tile-style icons make it easy to flick between Mail, Contacts, Calender and SkyDrive for cloud storage. There are some blank spaces though, hinting there could be more features on the way. According to WinFuture, there's a mysterious vertical bar you can't see in the screenshot too.

There's no word on when we'll see an official release, but I think it's reasonable to expect it around the same time Windows 8 gets kicked out the door, so sometime around October.

It'll also be usable across PCs, smart phones and tablets. "The simple, fluid and interactive design of Newmail makes it easy to use whether you're on a desktop, phone or tablet," according to the blurb.

A slew of Windows 8 tablets made their debuts at Computex in Taipei last week, with some pretty nifty shape-shifting designs going on. This one has a screen on the lid, while this one has a detachable keyboard to turn it into a laptop.

The Windows 8 Release Preview was released a couple of weeks ago, so you can give it a try right now if you fancy.

What do you think of Hotmail's new look Newmail? Do you still use Hotmail? If not, what would it have to do to win you back? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.