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Rollout of new Hotmail domains stopped - for now

Those keen to acquire international domain Hotmail addresses for countries other than those announced last week look to be in for a bit of a wait

Hotmail users keen to acquire an address@hotmail.com.au better not hold their breath, despite moves by MSN to introduce country-specific addresses in several European countries last week.

A spokesperson for the joint venture between MSN and Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd, ninemsn, told ZDNet UK sister site ZDNet Australia there were "currently no plans for Australia" despite the organisation's move to introduce country-specific addresses to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

MSN would "evaluate the success" of the move in those countries before deciding whether or not to roll it out to additional markets, she said.

The size of a country's Internet market was a key contributor to whether or not it was selected, she added.

Until now, users around the world have vied for the ever-diminishing number of addresses @hotmail.com -- with the most popular combinations of names being taken long, long, ago and many people having to suffix their names with lengthy numbers and underscores in order to find an address which has not yet been taken.

In the United Kingdom, the first addresses@hotmail.co.uk are being auctioned off for charity.

The accounts will all be starting off with 250MB of space in line with the recent upgrade to Hotmail.com accounts.