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May 25, 2006 at 3:25 PM

Mehdi: Hotmail, it’s not so hot


MICROSOFT

Yusuf Mehdi, head of MSN

Microsoft’s MSN group hasn’t done as good a job as it could have on e-mail, MSN honcho Yusuf Mehdi said Wednesday in an interview with analysts at the Goldman Sachs Internet Conference. A snippet of the conversation, according to a transcript:

We’ve not done a great job on mail. We’ve lost some share on that. We have not turned Hotmail into a primary mail brand yet. It’s still — I think it’s still probably the most popular mail product out there, but it’s mostly a secondary mail account and it’s really explosively growing outside the U.S., but in the U.S., where we can monetize it, we need to turn the corner. We need to make it a primary mail.

One way Microsoft is trying to do that, Mehdi said, is through the new Windows Live Mail service launching this summer. The service will have more storage, better usability and faster performance, he said.

Mehdi also said Microsoft is embarking on a “dual portal strategy” with MSN.com, which it’s beefing up, and Live.com, the portal for Windows Live. The idea is for MSN to evolve as a content brand and Windows Live to become a software brand for Microsoft’s Internet services.

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