Updated: 13 September 2013
Hotmail is one of the very first services to offer free web-based e-mail in the world started back in 1996, founded by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith and later acquired by Microsoft in 1997. Dick Craddock, Group Program Manager for Windows Live Hotmail, Microsoft made an interesting posts on short history of Hotmail, its architecture.
Hotmail was acquired by Microsoft in 1997 for an estimated $400 million US$ and launched as MSN Hotmail and later rebranded as Windows Live Hotmail and now in 2013 as – ‘Outlook’.
…user interface has changed pretty dramatically, too. Hotmail was the first to offer safety innovations like anti-virus scanning for attachments. We integrated the calendar service, built in a reading pane, and added rules, spell checking, search, web messenger, and lots more.
As of 2011, Hotmail had 360 million users per month. It was available in 36 different languages. This year in 2013, Hotmail was replaced with Outlook.com, which features Microsoft’s Metro design language, and closely mimics the interface of Microsoft Outlook.
As per the transition of Hotmail to Outlook, on April 3, 2013 existing Hotmail users have been forcibly upgraded to Outlook.com while retaining their ‘@hotmail.com’ email address, password, messages, folders, contacts, rules, vacation replies, etc. and thoough they have the option to convert to ‘@outlook.com’ email address.