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RealTime IT News

MSN Hotmail Adds New Languages

Targeting a total new user group of 18 million, Microsoft Corp. Wednesday added three new language versions to its MSN Hotmail e-mail services.

The popular Web-based e-mail site will now be available in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

The company said the move is part of its "Everyday Web" strategy which stresses the fact the Internet is becoming ingrained in the daily life of its users.

"These new language versions are a significant step forward in helping deliver the Everyday Web to consumers around the world," said Steven Guggenheimer, director of international marketing for Microsoft's (MSFT) consumer group. "Spanish is the third most-spoken language in the world. With the release of these new language versions, we're focused on users in Latin America, North America and Europe."

Guggenheimer added that the language groups also represent some of the fastest growing online populations. With a new total of seven languages offered, the company is targeting 200 million users. The e-mail service first introduces Japanese, French and German services.

Hotmail recently announced it had more than 52 million active users of its domestic and international editions, with more than 50 percent of usage from outside the United States.

Microsoft intends for the next version of its messenger service to be available in 26 languages, ranging from the usual offerings of Chinese, French, German and Spanish to the less common Greek, Slovenian and Turkish.