Published: May 18, 2010 10:54 AM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Microsoft is trying to make Hotmail cool again. The free Web mail service will be switching to a new approach that Microsoft hopes will give Hotmail an edge over rival offerings from Yahoo and Google.

Microsoft is announcing the Hotmail upgrade Tuesday, although the service's 360 million worldwide users won't see the changes until July or August.

It will be the most extensive overhaul to Hotmail since Microsoft bought the service 12 years ago. Hotmail's new features are supposed to enable people to spend less time managing their inboxes and more time enjoying and digesting what's in the messages.

Microsoft is hoping the added convenience will help overcome the perception that Hotmail was growing stale.