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) --



shares dropped slightly, falling 0.11% to $29.44, a day after the software giant announced the launch of

as a personal email service. will replace Microsoft's Hotmail, which competes with



Gmail, as well as






email services.

"We realized that we needed to take a bold step, break from the past and build you a brand new service from the ground up," Microsoft said, on the

Outlook Blog

. "You already know Outlook via the Outlook desktop application-for PCs and Macs-as the world's most popular application for reading email, managing a calendar, and connecting to people."

Electronic Arts


shares rose 3.63% to $11.42 on Wednesday after announcing preliminary first-quarter earnings. The Redwood City, Calif.-based video game maker generated 41 cents of earnings on $491 million of revenue during the quarter ended June 30th.

"We have established an unmatched diversity in our business with multiple brands performing across several channels, business models and geographies," said CEO John Riccitiello in the company press release. "This allows us to drive profitable growth in a rapidly transforming marketplace for games."

In addition to the earnings release, EA also announced a $500 million buyback program. Shares have fallen 45.58% year-to-date.


Activision Blizzard


reports quarterly earnings on Thursday.



Google Maps will now display the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's service advisories for the city subway system, the company said on its

Google Lat Long Blog


Publishing the information will help the 1 billion New York City subway riders each year avoid trains that are canceled, skipping stops or rerouted on another line.

Google shares rose marginally, up 0.39% to $635.47 on Wednesday.

--Written by Nathalie Pierrepont in New York.

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