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Facebook set to unveil 'Gmail killer'

'Zuckerbergian email with Microsoft hooks'

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Facebook is hosting a press event in San Francisco on Monday, and the rumor is that the social networking giant will introduce its very own online email service.

The invitation sent to The Reg indicates that Monday's event involves Facebook's on-site email-like "Inbox" tool — the invite includes the Inbox icon — and the word across the interwebs is that Facebook will unveil some sort of "Gmail killer." According to one report, this Facebook email contraption will integrate with Microsoft's online Office tools.

Microsoft already offers a Facebook-meets-Redmond-Office-apps service. It's called Microsoft Docs. But this is merely a means of sharing Office docs with Facebook "friends." The word from ZDNet blogger and friend of The Reg Mary Jo Foley is that Microsoft has worked with Facebook to plug the Redmond online Office apps directly into a brand new online email service built by Mark Zuckerberg and company.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook has long been at work on an online email service dubbed Project Titan. The bloggy thing says that the service will offer users their own @facebook.com email address.

In 2007, Microsoft stuffed $240 million dollars into Mark Zuckerberg's social-networking site, and though Redmond has stopped serving display ads on the site — as it originally specified it would — the two companies continue be close partners, banding together in the war on Google. In addition to Doc.com, Bing now includes Facebook-powered search tools.

Facebook has already become a de facto email service for many, and it's only natural that the company would roll out a bona fide service. Clearly, Facebook's aim is to become a central point for web communication — all web communication. ®

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