This is going to hurt corporate users who use the free hotmail service.
MSN had offered its 187 million active Hotmail users the ability to read and send e-mail through the e-mail clients rather than a Web interface using a protocol called Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning, or WebDAV.
But as of Monday, news users wanting to make use of WebDAV will have to pay for the service, said Brooke Richardson, product manager for MSN's communications services. MSN plans to transition current WebDAV users to subscription plans in the next few months as well.
"We really wanted to try and keep it available to customers for free," Richardson said. "[But] in the last few months we were seeing spammers going more and more after this particular protocol."
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