It’s no secret that Hotmail’s success as a service is due, in part, to its incredibly useful and attractive features. The idea that you could send and receive webmail online to anyone for free… well, let’s just say the service caught on like wildfire!
It may surprise you to know that Hotmail has since been replaced with Microsoft Outlook!
Microsoft has completely phased out the Hotmail brand all together.
To understand why we have to go back to the beginning.
Hotmail was originally founded in 1996 by Sabheer Bhatia and Jack Smith in Mountain View, California and headquartered in Sunnyvale.
The very next year in 1997:
Microsoft would go on to acquire Hotmail for an estimated $400 million!
Think about how insane of a price tag that is!
We’re talking about an email service provider (not a pile of gold) that was purchased for nearly half a billion US dollars!
That’s absolutely insane!
In any case:
That’s economics for you.
Where there’s demand, the money is sure to follow.
Microsoft would go on to rebrand Hotmail as MSN Hotmail and later Windows Live Hotmail as part of their Windows Live suite of products.
The last version of Microsoft Hotmail would release in 2011.
The service it self was available in 36 different languages!
After 2 years:
Microsoft finally decided to pull the plug on Hotmail and replace it with www Outlook com in 2013.
We’ve tried Outlook and, let me tell you, there are some real strengths to the service.
First of all:
It has a very modern and clean design.
We’re not big fans of clunky overstuffed software (most people aren’t).
So the uncluttered look and feel of Outlook is a welcome feature.
Possibly the best part of Outlook is that it’s owned by Microsoft.
If you’re a big fan of Microsoft’s software (i.e. Skype, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) then you’ll be happy to know that all of these programs are easily accessible via Outlook.
It’s good to stay organized.
By 2015 www Outlook com had over 400 million active users!
Think about this:
If Microsoft made just $1 net off of each active user, then that means they’ve at least broken even with its purchase price of $400 million.
Here are some more facts and figures we’re sure you’ll find interesting.
Hotmail’s success was so huge that the service actually grew faster than any media company in history!
Think about it:
All of sudden, there was a service available online for anyone to be able to message anyone else across the web for the price of free!
That’s an incredibly useful tool to have.
The idea behind calling it Hotmail is actually quite the story.
There were many possibilities to choose from for naming it and they all ended with -mail.
It was decided that the service be named Hotmail because all the letters of HTML were included inside the name!
The venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson backed Hotmail and by December 1997:
Hotmail had gained over 8.5 million subscribers!
That’s quite a prolific rate of growth considering that it was only last year in 1996 that Hotmail was released to the public.
Upon acquisition of Hotmail by Microsoft:
The email service provider’s popularity continued to soar globally becoming the world’s largest web mail service.
By February 1999:
Hotmail had grown to over 30 million active users.
Emails are just so much more convenient than postal.
Hotmail came under scrutiny in 1999.
It was discovered that a security flaw in the service allowed anyone to log into any Hotmail account by simply using the password ‘eh.’
The security flaw was revealed by a group of hackers.
Hotmail came under fire for a second round in 2001 when it was revealed by hackers that
anyone could log into their Hotmail account and retrieve messages from other user’s
accounts by crafting a URL with the second account’s username and a valid message
In 2005, spurred on by the success of Google’s Gmail:
Microsoft felt the need to redesign an email service from scratch.
Codenamed “Kahuna,” Microsoft wanted to focus on creating the service to be “faster, simpler, and safer.”
Two years later:
The beta was completed and released to the market.
Before Outlook was ever conceived:
Windows Live Hotmail was around and included:
“Good junk email tools, free alias email addresses, and a clean, customizable user interface.”
Windows Live Hotmail was praised by PC Magazine numerous times for its standards of excellence.
It gets better:
The service would continue to see improvements made to its usability and speed over the years.
Hotmail remained as quite a popular email service for a long time.
On July 31, 2012, Microsoft introduced Outlook to the public.
Current Hotmail users were given the option to upgrade to a preview version of Outlook if they liked.
The following year in 2013:
Outlook had become a fully-fledged service for the public to use.
One of Outlook’s best features is Windows Live Calendar which is similar to Windows Calendar on the desktop.
Here’s the deal:
The ease of use by which users could drag and drop events from one date to another without reloading the page made the service user-friendly and attractive to many.
This is one of Outlook’s best features:
Active view on Outlook allows users the ability to interact directly with content inside an email.
This is especially useful if you receive tons of social media messages.
You can respond to those Facebook messages or accept friend requests from Twitter right from your inbox thanks to Active view on Outlook!
For those of us that value their personal contacts:
Outlook helps users to manage them via Windows Live People.
The service provides users with access to their contacts’ profiles and information.
You can even view the interactions you’ve had with your contacts.
Who hasn’t used Skype?
For people that simply can’t do without Skype:
Outlook allows users to directly initiate a Skype call while inside of Outlook.
This simple feature makes it possible to stay connected to both your emails and contacts at the same time!
Here’s one of the greatest features of using Outlook:
Integration with Microsoft Office allows users the ability to view and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files attached directly to emails within their current browser.
Users then have the option to save them onto OneDrive.
For many people that rely heavily on emails for their work, one email address is simply not enough.
Outlook provides users with the option to create up to 10 aliases per year for a total of up to 10 email addresses.
Now, you can get some serious work done!
Become more efficient at categorizing different emails into groups with the “sweep” feature on Outlook.
What this allows users to do is delete or move large amounts of emails into specified folders based on the sender’s information.
How incredibly useful is that?
Outlook has had its fair share of controversy.
Some sources have revealed that the NSA has allegedly been allowed by Microsoft to access chats and emails on Outlook.
This was done by implementing a bypass of its advertised encryption in order to facilitate government access.
What are your thoughts on all of this?
Is there an email service provider that you prefer over Outlook (formerly Hotmail)?