Microsoft’s Hotmail celebrates its 15th birthday

By Tom Warren, on 5th Jul 11 4:24 pm with 13 Comments

Microsoft’s webmail service, Hotmail, turned 15 years old this week.

The service launched in July 1996 as just “HoTMaiL” and was the first web-based email service of its kind. The original capitilzation of HoTMaiL refers to HTML. Microsoft acquired the service in 1997 for around $400 million and rebranded it as MSN Hotmail. The company now refers to the service as just Hotmail after rebranding it in 2007 to Windows Live Hotmail.

Microsoft is celebrating the 15 years of Hotmail by highlighting 15 things you might not know about the service:

  1. Hotmail in 2011 is not Hotmail in 2005 (or Hotmail in 2010, for that matter.)
  2. Hotmail is really, really fast – 10-20x faster than last year, and even faster than Gmail in certain areas.
  3. Hotmail filters out more than 98% of spam – 5.5 billion messages a day
  4. Hotmail works great on your smartphone, (Windows Phone especially but iOS and many other smartphones too) – syncing email, calendar, and contacts.
  5. You can chat with your Facebook friends right from Hotmail
  6. Watch videos linked from YouTube, Hulu, and many other services right from within your email message.
  7. Like conversation view? We’ve got it. Hate it? It’s easy to disable
  8. You can import your current account and continue to use the address while Hotmail manages your inbox (Gmail, Y! Plus, AOL.)
  9. “Sweep” allows you to filter hundreds of messages from multiple senders withonly a few clicks
  10. Get unread email notifications on your Windows 7 taskbar by pinning with IE9.
  11. Why worry about low attachment limits when sending photos? SkyDrive support lets you send hundreds of photos per mail.
  12. Hotmail utilizes Office Web Apps for easy document editing and sharing – don’t settle for lesser software.
  13. Use Netflix? Hotmail ActiveViews let you get more done in your inbox with interactive email from a number of partners.
  14. We’re the largest free email service on the planet – with 360 million unique users per month.
  15. We’re 15 years old – and the best is yet to come.
Microsoft has been improving Hotmail rapidly over the last 12 months. The software maker recently announced a number of new Outlook-like features and a 10x speed improvement on Hotmail from six months ago. The company isn’t going to stop there though, Microsoft plans to keep adding new features to Hotmail over the coming weeks and months to make the service even better for its millions of users.
  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    Break out the cake!

  • http://twitter.com/Daniel_H_UK Daniel Hartshorn

    Happy Birthday hotmail heres to the next 15

  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    Hotmail is amazing… I hope it lasts for many years to come :-)

  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    Hotmail is amazing… I hope it lasts for many years to come :-)

  • Grannyville7989

    Now if only Microsoft made it so I can use IMAP with Hotmail so I can sync my email with Mail.app on my OS X machines, as well as my Windows computers. I’m not a fan of using the web browser compared to an app.

    • MATTHEW

      Can’t you use POP3? If you’re app doesn’t support multiple standards, I would DEFINITELY get a new app…

    • Grannyville7989

      You can use POP3 with Hotmail but I use multiple devices to access my email which I would like to sync across. Plus, there are no apps that I’m aware of that support whatever standard Microsoft use to sync email with Hotmail, other than Windows Live Mail and Outlook, both with are on Windows. Microsoft Outlook for Mac doesn’t have Hotmail support, oddly.

  • Grannyville7989

    Now if only Microsoft made it so I can use IMAP with Hotmail so I can sync my email with Mail.app on my OS X machines, as well as my Windows computers. I’m not a fan of using the web browser compared to an app.

  • Adam Robinson

    Mozilla needs to send THEM a cake for a happy 15.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FXVVMG3BBLSGHGETL372VNFRTM Francisco Lara

    5 years ago I got an email thanking me for being on Hotmail for 10 years… Cheers Hotmail!  Here’s to another 10 years!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FXVVMG3BBLSGHGETL372VNFRTM Francisco Lara

    5 years ago I got an email thanking me for being on Hotmail for 10 years… Cheers Hotmail!  Here’s to another 10 years!

    • Tonious

      Got the same Thanks for using Hotmail for 10 yrs from Microsoft almost 5 yrs ago too, with my other hotmail accounts. Nice!

  • blackletter

    Let’s compare. Microsoft has Outlook, Exchange, Lync, and the free web based hotmail (live mail). In contrast, Apple has….iCloud. Apple is far behind in terms of offering anything other than music storage. When these Apple fan boys create their iTunes ID, I bet you they’re registering a hotmail email address.