Microsoft is putting a lot behind its new Metro-style email service, and with it comes a new chance to claim an email address that could actually be your real name, a proper noun, a proper word, or at least something devoid of random numbers tacked on to the end of it. (And to be clear, is different than — plan accordingly.)

If you have a Hotmail account, that doesn't give you an advantage of reserving the same name@. Microsoft will give you the chance to use your Hotmail address as an alias and "rename" to an address, but that name isn't guaranteed to be the same. The race is on. The gold rush begins. Other phrases of encouragement... why are you still reading this? Hurry it up!