It's true: The day before we created this tip (in mid-summer 2012) Microsoft released a pre-release version of their new Outlook.com email product. It's free, and it has a nice clean interface that looks like Outlook 2013, which I'm guessing most people haven't seen yet. It includes Facebook and Twitter integration so that if you have a Facebook account you'll be able to view photos of the senders of the email right there in the email interface.
Large attachments that you might want to send can be sent via SkyDrive, another free Microsoft service. You attach the file to the email, but Outlook.com stores the document on SkyDrive and inserts a link instead. Instead of emailing large files, you email links to large files that the receiver of your email can download at will.
Another nice feature: Because it's a new service, there's a better chance you'll be able to log on and select an email address that matches your name. For example I logged on the first day and I had no problem getting my own name at Outlook.com. That's a nice feature because certainly all the straight-forward names are gone at Gmail.com.
Give Outlook.com a look. It's a nice, new, free email service from Microsoft.