Windows Live Email Service is a free new email service offered by Microsoft. It’s a simple but very useful tool. And, like Office Live, it is disruptive to the existing domain name registrar market (are they even paying attention?).

So the basic service is this: Microsoft will host email and instant messaging for you in a domain you own.

  • Create up to 20 e-mail accounts within your domain
  • Get a 250 MB inbox for each account
  • Check your e-mail from any Web-enabled PC
  • Junk e-mail filter protection using Microsoft SmartScreen technology
  • Virus scanning and cleaning of e-mail
  • Seamless access with MSN Messenger, MSN Spaces, etc.

More details on the Custom Domains blog.

Here are my thoughts:

First of all, this is great. Until now, generally only domain name registrars offered this kind of service, and it was both costly and had a very web 1.0 interface.

Second, when I look at services like this and Office Live, it seems to me that the industry that needs to be most concerned are the domain name registrars. Many of the services Microsoft is offereing for free are the types of things that reigstrars charge for today.

Microsoft is starting to create really impressive productity tools for the small business. And they aren’t charging for these tools. Competitors need to watch out.

Thanks Robert and Brian for the tip.