What is Hotmail? Hotmail history and features

What is Hotmail? Hotmail history and features
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With so many web mail services available today; it is hard to decide which one best satisfies your needs and provides a reliable and secure experience. If you are not a Windows Live or Outlook user or Hotmail user, here are some useful facts that may add some food for thought about this mail service. Otherwise you can read this article for  step-by-step Hot.mail  sign in guide

The history of Hotmail

Hotmail is a free email service that was started in 1995 by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith. The term was inspired by the letters as an homage to HTML (HoTMaiL).

In December of 1997,Microsoft acquired Hotmail; it growed fast and became one of the most popular email services in 2001 with over 100 million users. At this time, Hotmail only offer some basic email features as send email, read email,  spam filters, enhanced virus scanning,schedule calendar, user are able to save contact lists in an address book.. They also provide a free storage up to 250MB.

This picture show interface of Microsoft’s email service in 1998

Hotmail 2008 sign in interface
Hotmail 2008 sign in interface

Microsoft made a number of changes over the next decade. Nowaday they provides a variety of features to their users: spam filtering, audio players, organization tools.

Transition to Windows Live Hotmail

In the aim of making a safer, faster and simpler email service; Microsoft decided to build a new email service from scratch on November 1, 2005. By the end of 2006, there are millions active users using new Windows Live Hotmail

Re-Branding to Outlook

In 2012, Hotmail has over 300 million users, as a result it became one of the most popular email services on the world  and Microsoft decided to re-branded their Email service from Hotmail to Outlook.

From this time, Hotmail no longer available. While the main domain was redirected to the new one, all old e-mail addresses still working with new user interface. In addition, old user have an option to upgrade there email address to the new.

New design, new interface in 2017 – New Hotmail interface

Until 2017, there are so many updates were made on Outlook and as a result Outlook became the simplest and the most powerful email service on the internet world. Furthermore, users can subscribe for “Outlook.com Premium” subscription. It’s another service which have large storage and no ads on user interface. Outlook users can now decided to pay for a better email service.

Outlook 2018 interface
Outlook 2018 interface

Hotmail features

Active View

Active view is a way for user to direct interact with their email. Outlook’s partner platform allow content from external services (like Twitter, Youtube, Flickr…) can be served direct from mail viewer screen. If you received an email contain Youtube link so you can watch this video without navigate to youtube.com. This feature is not unique to Hotmail, many other mail services also provide the same feature; consequently almost  Outlook user may not notice to the present of this feature.

Furthermore, Active View is one of the most favorite tool for real time tracking of Shipping status from United States Postal Service. If you are using Shipping service from United States Postal, you can checking your shipping status instantly within your hotmail account.

Since you are an active member of LinkedIn or other Social Networking, you can also interact with these sites with many common actions as like, share or comment.


Outlook Calendar is the same as Windows Calendar. Both of them have similar UI and features.It was first time released in 2008 and used to called Windows Live Calendar. If you are a fan of ICalendar, you can export or import it’s file to Outlook Calendar. With Outlook Calendar, you can create, view and share your Calendar to anyone you want at any where. All shared Calendar will have it’s own permission. Outlook Calendar support Drag-Drop feature, and it’s smart UI will let you manage your calendar in pleasant.

People / Outlook Contacts

In the pass, Outlook Contacts used to be called as Windows Live Contacts or Windows Live People. It allow users to manage their contacts list, create group and remove duplicated contact information. Outlook Contacts will help you connect with your friends via multi Social Networking as Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. When Window Phone OS still active, People App is the best app support Contact feature. This app is another way to interact with Outlook Contacts feature.  With People App, you can view friend list, their update status without open Facebook or Twitter app.

Office integration with Hotmail

Outlook allow it’s user to integrate with MS Office offline and online. You can login to all Office product with your Hotmail account, your documents can be saved into Onedrive storage. While MS Office online are sync with all offline products, you can login to MS Office online with Hotmail account and use them by the same way with Office offline.


Suppose you have some works to do or some events to join, all of them need to be tracking until they are done. In Outlook, they are TASK item. You can create Task item as a normal email with an actionable flag. Another way to create tasks in Outlook is to add them in a to-do list.

Sweep/Virtual Broom

Outlook Sweep is a function to do a bulk-of-works, it include rule(s) to filter your emails and perform an action on them. For example, you want to delete all email from a single sender, you can create a Sweep with sender name as your rule and perform it. Outlook can save your rule for later use. Sweep rules is a collection conditions as: sender name, recipient, subject, attachments or received time. Outlook Sweep is very helpful if you are busy and have a large mount of email to process. Bulk-delete, bulk-move emails are very simple with Sweep support.

Skype integration

This feature seem like “Active View” function, it allow user to read, send Skype message or make Skype video call directly in Outlook email screen without opening Skype application.


ALIAS is the most interesting feature of Outlook, you will have chance to create up to 10 unique email addresses with share the same inbox, contact list and settings. Alias address can send  normal email without any information related to main address.

Quick views and one-click filters

With so many type of emails in your inbox, some time you will want to have a custom filter that fit your favorite conditions. Quick View is a function help you do that.

Pros and Cons of Hotmail

There are so many email services today and all of them provide many benefits to there user. On the other side, there are still downside points on all existing email services. Hotmail (Outlook) isn’t an exception, it have great features but still contain some disadvantages. Let’s discovery pros and cons of using Outlook.

Hotmail / Outlook Pros

  • New and simple layout: Nowadays, Hotmail have new layout for all task you need. It’s very simple and easy to use, you can also using an other theme to make you inbox look beautifier.
  • Powerful filtering: The filter have a simple design but still strong, you can do a hard filter in pleasant.
  • Security features have been revamped;
  • The two step verification help you protecting your account.
  • Microsoft Office Support:

    Since Microsoft office support for user account, you can use Hotmail to access all MS Office product. It’s the gateway for MS Office authentication. While MS Office products are now available on the web, you can also access MS Office any where.

  • Email client: Outlook support almost all email clients. For example: Microsoft Outlook 2002, Microsoft Outlook Hotmail Connector, Microsoft Outlook 2003  2007 2010…
  • Easy access to all Microsoft services.
  • Fewer Ads: There are fewer advertisement banner on Hotmail interface, you will have more space for reading, writing or filtering email
  • Pin Mail and Evernote/OneNote support: One of the most interesting with Hotmail is that you can pin your important emails or export it to Evernote/OneNote.
  • Easy intergrate to Skype with just one click. You can now create and login Skype with just a few actions by using Hotmail
  • Email Alias:

    If you want to have multi email addresses but need a concentrate place to manage them, then you will need to look at Alias feature. With alias support, you can create as many email address as you need. All of them are the mirror images of your main email address. You only need to manage single inbox in single place.

  • Larger Attachment: You can attach larger file with Outlook than other email service. Outlook let you attach up to 50 MB file.

Hotmail / Outlook Cons

  • You will need extra steps to attach files to your email. It require a little time, but it will be very time consuming when you need to attach multi files
  • Security settings are complicated. Outlook provide great and powerful secure options. But as a result, it’s not easy enough to understand
  • Email filtering is not easy as you can do in Yahoo Mail or Google Mail
  • Hotmail is now doesn’t exist any more. People are familiar with Outlook email, so you will meet some inconvenience when talk to your friend

Additional information about Windows Live Hotmail

Microsoft Corporation is the author of Windows Live Hotmail, a free email service . Windows Live Hotmail has another name: Account window, the account or Microsoft account Outlook. Hotmail’s quick and easy advantage, besides being free email address. For connection you need Hotmail, Outlook or directly email id. Hotmail has a great system spam filter / junk outside the antivirus and anti-phishing features. When it is run by one of the largest software companies in the world, it is regularly updated and very rarely the system does not provide services. Hotmail email also known as Hotmail email Hotmail song. No is very easy to create a Hotmail account and Hotmail sign in all devices. It is mess free email account, where you can organize your appropriately email. Here’s how you can keep your own free Hotmail litter.

Windows Live Messenger

Windows Live Messenger provides A-level security with the use of HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). Now, if you are not familiar with HTTPS, this is basically saying that messages sent or received through Windows Live Hotmail is encrypted, thereby securing your information from unwanted listeners or hackers. For customers, your personal information is important and you should be at ease when sending and retrieving your personal content.

Windows Live Hotmail is more than just sending and receiving email messages. Once you are a current account holder of a Hotmail account, your email account is the same as your Windows Live ID and you are able to access a variety of services offered by Microsoft. This and the fact that you can access your account anywhere, at any time and from any location from your mobile device or from your Windows or Mac computer. Mobile technology has gone through great leaps and bounds for users to enjoy and take full advantage of being mobile. Enjoy this experience with a Windows Live Hotmail account.