After more than two years of overhauling its free Web e-mail service, Microsoft plans on Monday to drop the "beta" term from its Windows Live Hotmail service, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.
Microsoft has already dropped the beta tag in a few places, including the Netherlands where the service launched in final form back in November. The company also decided back in February not to completely drop the Hotmail name. Until then, Microsoft had been testing the product under the Windows Live Mail name.
Throughout the testing process, Microsoft has been adapting the product to make it more comfortable for its existing base of Hotmail users, including adding a classic mode that more closely resembles the existing MSN Hotmail service.
Earlier this week, Microsoft sent notes to testers thanking them for taking part in the beta program and saying that Windows Live Hotmail was "ready to launch." The company is not expected to make available Live.com addresses immediately at launch, however, a move that some enthusiasts have been hoping would happen.
Microsoft's move to take Windows Live Hotmail out of beta on Monday was reported earlier on Thursday by IDG News Service.