Hotmail Messenger – MSN Hotmail

Hotmail Messenger – MSN Hotmail

Outlook is one of the first webmail services in the world. It is a free web-orientd email service from Microsoft. Outlook.com was launched as Hotmail Messenger in 1996 by Jack Smith and Sabeer Bhatia. In 1997, Microsoft bought over Hotmail for a whooping sum of about $400 million and unveiled as MSN Hotmail, which was later rebranded to Windows Live Hotmail as one of the products of Windows Live.


In October 2011, the final version of Hotmail was released by Microsoft and it is available in 36 languages. In 2013, Hotmail was replaced by Outlook.com and by 2014, the service boasted 400 million active users.

Launch of Hotmail

Hotmail service was one of the first webmail services on the Internet and it was launched officially on July 4 1996. It can be used to gain right of entry to a user’s inbox from anywhere across the globe and also symbolized independence from ISP-based email.

The name Hotmail was selected from a number of possibilities ending in –mail as it is added in the HTML letters – the markup language used in building web pages. Hotmail Messenger was originally supported by Draper Fisher Jurvetson (venture capital firm). Hotmail Messenger reported more 8.5 million subscribers by December 1997.

Using Windows Services for UNIX in the migration path, Hotmail first seek refuge with Solaris for mail services prior to being partially changed to Microsoft products.

MSN Hotmail

As pointed out earlier, Hotmail was acquired by Microsoft in December 1997 and joined the MSN group of services. As Hotmail was localized for different markets all over the world, it gained popularity very quickly and thus became the largest webmail service in the world with over 30 million active users by February 1999.

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Hotmail initially ran on a combination of Solaris operating systems and FreeBSD, which was a project started to take Hotmail to Windows 2000. Microsoft however claimed that this had been completed in June 2001. Just a few days later, Microsoft retracted and acknowledged that DNS functions of the Hotmail system were still dependent on FreeBSD.

Hotmail still ran its infrastructure on UNIX servers in 2002; the front-end was purely changed to Windows 2000. Later improvement saw the service coupled with the Microsoft web verification scheme, Microsoft Passport (presently Microsoft account) and incorporation with the Microsoft instant messaging as well the social networking programs, MSN Spaces and MSN Messenger (presently Windows Live Spaces and Windows Live Messenger, respectively

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