SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Microsoft is rebranding its Hotmail service to bring it make it more in line with Office Suite.The new service is already up and running at and users can log in with their old Hotmail user ID’s and passwords.

When I attended the announcement about Office 2013, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer kept saying it’s as much a service as it is a software application.

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Hotmail’s been around for a while, but it’s kind of maligned. Part of the reason it has a bad reputation is because years ago it was a SPAM magnet and considered old fashioned, but they’ve been updating it and it doesn’t deserve that bad wrap anymore.

Now, by associating with the very popular Microsoft Office Outlook program, they’re hoping they can generate some interest in the product and get more people to use it.

The interface appears cleaner than the old Hotmail and I think it’s even cleaner than Google’s Gmail. There’s more spacing where you need it, you can see more and you’re less likely to get confused by being overwhelmed with information.

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KCBS Tech Report:

It’s a very good design and it’s noteworthy that Yahoo and AOL have also re-designed their email interfaces as well.

Hotmail started in 1996, which is light years ago by internet standards. Now a lot of people kind of made fun of it as the first email program people jumped on. So I think this is a good idea to rebrand, especially since Microsoft is putting so much effort into web-based, cloud intensive Office.

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