Microsoft has unveiled a subscription-based version of its Outlook email client for users not wishing to invest in the desktop version of the software.

The web-based application dubbed Microsoft Office Outlook Live will be a subscription based service offering “the power” of Microsoft Office Outlook with MSN Hotmail in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

This is the first Microsoft Office product to be made available as a downloadable subscription service. With Outlook Live, customers can now view and manage all their personal information -- e-mail accounts, contacts and calendars -- in one convenient place, from virtually anywhere. With an Outlook Live subscription customers will receive the latest version of Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 for Subscription Services, plus 2 GB of online storage, the ability to send 20MB attachments, and advanced spam and virus protection.

"Outlook Live is the most advanced consumer e-mail service available from Microsoft and is perfect for individuals who really want to get the most out of their e-mail," said Blake Irving, corporate vice president for the MSN Communication Services and Member Platform Group at Microsoft.

The service will cost $59.99 in the US and £39.99 in the UK.

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