MS to buy Hotmail free e-mail service

Microsoft is spending its way to Internet power once again by acquiring leading free e-mail provider Hotmail.

The world's largest ISV will gain access to nine million Hotmail subscribers and plans to extensively promote Hotmail via its Microsoft Network service.

Yahoo! recently bought two-year-old Hotmail's smaller rival Four11 for $92 million but Microsoft did not disclose details of the Hotmail deal.