MSN Hotmail…Gone with the wind!
Before you start reading, you should know that this is the whole article about once a legendary emailing service called, “msn Hotmail”. I will be going through a mix of storytelling as well as somewhat of a technical explanation for this platform. Being an avid user, I believe my words can have that intensity that some people desire to see.
What actually caused the Microsoft to devour Hotmail? We will never know. It may have been the bankruptcy of the original founding company or it may have dozens of other reason. One thing is certain though! Microsoft has now officially replaced the msn Hotmail. Don’t believe yet? Type the Hotmail.com and see what opens up. As an avid user of this platform, I feel as if a wave of nostalgia has been silenced, replaced with grief and somewhat a disheartening effect. But who knows…perhaps it was for the best.
I was a Hotmail user for a very long time and I empathize with you. In fact, the reason why you are reading this article is that you wanted to have information about this platform. You have come to the right place. I will be also telling you a whole lot of other things which will definitely get through you.
A bit of Nostalgia…
I still remember as if it was yesterday. Just kidding! It was, in fact, a long time ago. But the good old nineties were there. It was probably the time of 1998 when I first ever logged into my new account of Hotmail. Internet wasn’t really a big trend. Heck, facebook was even missing…you can guess how popular was the internet at that time. And yet…no one knew that Hotmail would gain that level of popularity. Nobody could have predicted that email service would one day become a primary method of communication. And look at today. We all rely on emails, one way or another. It is without a doubt one of the most effective methods of communication today. Funny thing is…I still remember my granny saying that this email service lacks soul as to speak. She wasn’t wrong though. What could replace the phone call service along with the personal touch of fax? Well, the email service took over.
One of the most interesting and downright humorous aspects of email was that nobody wanted to give it much thought. I in fact pity the poor souls who had chosen some of the most ridiculous names at first, only to regret their choice later since emailing became one of the most effective communication methods. The only thing that it lacked was the playing in the market and trends with users, unlike Microsoft which is such a big game player.
As much as it was revered like the emailing god, the Hotmail was soon put out of worship. It still saddens me to see it finally gone but hey! At least the new emailing service is trendy and up to the date. One of the main reasons why I personally feel Mail went out of fashion was because of its lack of following trends. For users like me who are satisfied on a similar same old boring email window, asking us to still log in, this didn’t matter much. Unfortunately, the majority of the world doesn’t work that way. People demand new things constantly. Microsoft knows that very well. If only Hotmail had known it, it would be still around…answering my emails.
That is what happened folks. The Hotmail didn’t follow trends. It didn’t change much and fell out of everyone’s preferred list sooner than we may have thought. What made the matters worse were those spam folders. One can never have enough of those. When your genuine emails are mixed with an email from an unknown one, telling you to have some unrecognized family living in some remote corners of the world, ready to hand you tons of gold for free, you will want to stop using such email service.
I must admit one thing. Now that we are on aboard this nostalgia thing, I gotta tell you that I used to salivate for those Gmail accounts. Using Hotmail had its own charm, very similar to using a hard and colorless Nokia phone when people around are blackberry users. Sooner or later you find yourself wanting that.
And what made people like me, Hotmailians I should call them…different than the modern types? Laziness and not following the trends, preferring instead our own orthodox ways! And I gotta tell you…this is not good for business or marketing trends.
Now coming to the tale of downfall… We all know that Microsoft is one of the most advanced platforms, coping with users demands on a daily basis. This is one of the reasons why this devilry cast a dark curse over the lazy Mail. Now it has killed it and finally taken over its soul. I still have Hotmail.com at end of my email address and God knows how weird it is to log into Outlook.com. And well…it has its own charms. Outlook is preferably better if you like upgrades and wish for more organized emailing services.
In the end, what remains is my memory of coming to my home on hot summers, sitting under the cooling fan and checking my emails on my Pentium three. Those days are gone now…just like Mail. Microsoft offers much more reliable and better service. Hotmail is now a relic of past that withered with the passage of time.
Technical Reasons for Demise of msn Hotmail
I gotta warn you now. The above paras were all bubblegum. I am going to speak a little nerdier. However, stick around. You really want to know the issues of Hotmail in detail
Outlook…The son of msn Hotmail
Be it contacts or web-mails, be it even tasks and calendaring services, Outlook is your buddy for all of this. It is a platform well provided with tools and facilities to entertain you with all of these facilities. It is owned by Microsoft (duh!).
Now what I am about to tell you is a history of this wonderful platform. The outlook was world’s first web mail service. Technically I am speaking about Hotmail. In 1996, an eccentric Indian entrepreneur founded the company of Hotmail somewhere in the mountains of California.
The tale of Microsoft acquiring the Hotmail Company is not very old. In 1997, some salivating owners in the Microsoft saw it fit to own this wonderful company for their own use, therefore, buying it for the 400 million dollars. The name, “MSN Hotmail” was added after that. Just like the wind, the name of this company changed many times. One of the most trendy names which your probably remember is the windows live Hotmail.
Mail then followed a lot of changes and upgrades. From the old window that asked you to click yes if you wanted to log out, it came a long way forward. Latest upgrade was in 2011and it was the last one given by Microsoft. After that, we got Outlook finally replacing its good old predecessor for good. This happened in 2013.
A Bit of History
It was already been told that an Indian entrepreneur named Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith founded a company by name of Hotmail, later one which would become the world’s first and one of most famous emailing services. Interestingly, it was made commercially available in 1996 in heated summers of June. How its name was chosen is also a very interesting turns of events. The word HTML was to be combined with mail, giving it the cliché name of Hotmail. As it was launched commercially, the service became available, allowing any user from any corner of world to contact another person.
The trend of Hotmail grew exponentially. You can only imagine how popular it had become, easily having about more than 8.5 million users by December 1997.
MSN Hotmail as new
As predictable, the growing status attracted the powerful and mighty as well as wealthy Microsoft, who deemed it fit to own this company, seeing its potential beforehand. They were right to do so!
So the tale took a new turn as the company, growing and prospering was sold to Microsoft for a total of 400 million dollars. MSN then combined its services with Outlook, giving it a new name of ,”MSN Hotmail”. Microsoft knew how to market. That is one of the main reasons why Hotmail’s popularity kept growing and increasing. The users grew now to thirty million and that was even before the internet was made available for everyone. Microsoft was quite hardworking too. Some of the most breathtaking projects were completed within a short span of a year or two which is an impressive feat. This served to boost the popularity of this platform.
When it comes to progress, there sure are hurdles. 1999 proved a bit darker time for the world’s most used email site. This also became most widespread security issue, tarnishing its reputation.
You will want to read this. It also surprises me that how on earth such an emailing website could have a flaw like that. So to make conversation shorter, lets suppose you were a hacker back then. You didn’t need to do much. You could log into any of the hotmail’s accounts by simply typing the email address and typing, “eh” in the password.
You read that right. IT DID HAPPEN! No wonder it became as one of the most widespread issues. How such an issue was there all the time despite the progress and million dollars transaction is out of my intellect’s ability to process. However, this was actually happening at that time.
This doesn’t stop there. Who can ever silence the hackers? Right?
In 2001, we have another interesting security issue when hackers found they could log into anyone’s Outlook account and pull messages from another msn Hotmail account.
This proved not just an issue, it was outright dangerous. Imagine million dollars of the transaction or simply business emails being pulled out, revealing a plethora of information that could be used for sinister purposes! Yes that had strong potential of happening. I still wonder how skillfully Microsoft recovered.
And as you can guess, the hackers ran amok on the internet, hacking and moving forward with more of sinister actions.
A sizable proportion of accounts were compromised in this incident. This only tarnished the reputation of Hotmail. In year 2001, the days between 7th August and 31 August were riddled with such incidents.
Competition that ruins!
As if the hackers weren’t enough! You also got competition in form of Google. It was the time of search engines rising. Google introduced the service of Gmail. This happened in 2004. Outlook was still recovering and progressing forward. Gmail at that time was far more flexible and had better options of data storage. Besides that, the sharing of large sized files which could never be done with Not only that, the Gmail also provided the better security and Hotmail company almost felt losing. This was not going to be an easy task. The competition only increased as Gmail gained more and more fans, easily surpassing Hotmail in usefulness. It was time to do something far better and bigger. There was a new wave of innovation in the industry of webmail and Hotmail wasn’t behind it.
Windows Live Hotmail
I believe this era marks as a start of a new service. I must say when I saw the first upgrade, I knew what was ahead. The Hotmail had started changing profoundly. I knew that there was a big change in front of the emailing service. So the first wave of innovation started when in 2005, Microsoft’s new email service was announced. Its codename was Kahuna. There was also a beta version released. However, its usage was not open. For having access to its usage, you would need to request an invitation.
One thing that I absolutely loved about this beta version was its simplicity and fast service. What interested me more was that this service was created as a new. That is right! They had ditched old msn Hotmail. No wonder the Hotmail had breathed its last, under the rubble of hackers’ dilemma and competition and rose as a new from its ashes, mainly providing faster, reliable and safer as well as simpler service.
An interesting turn of events was followed when Microsoft had changed its name to Windows live mail. You can say they were burying the seeds of a name change that early! However, people especially the regular folks like me and you were not satisfied. They were still using Outlook and especially the beta users were very confused when it came to acknowledging names. For us, the word Hotmail meant a lot more than simple Windows Live mail. And hence, Microsoft was not able to do what it wanted to do all along! The name was changed to simply Windows Live Hotmail. This removed a lot of confusion.
Microsoft is known for learning and going with new trends. Seeing how the Mail system had gone flat before, they had learned from their mistakes. This is one of the strong reasons why we got something like a new system in April 2007. I say it was a nice step.
So Outlook was in for a new registration and the users which amounted to 260 million gained access to a brand new system. However, the old system was still there especially for users who had given their registration before. I believe it was something in their systems which allowed for change. People don’t change the trends that easily. Imagine sleeping night before, logging out of same old system and when you wake up and turn on the PC, you scratch your head while seeing the old system turned all new. As much frustrating it sounds, it can get even more frustrating if you had something important to do and this upgrade had got in the way. That would have been nasty!
Coming from 2007 onwards, there is a long history of development and progression. The Microsoft never rested then, always releasing the new systems and upgrades. As the time passed, I started seeing less and less of Mail other than just the name and I saw more and more of the upgrades. The only reason why Outlook was even used because of the users who had adjusted to the old system too much. Even when the complete transition was done to Outlook, I still saw many forums asking questions about where had their Hotmail accounts had gone!
Inevitable Transition to Outlook
Frankly speaking, when the transition happened, I wasn’t a bit surprised. I knew Hotmail had been changed completely the moment they turned it into Windows live Hotmail. It was only a matter of time. Though it took eight years for them to completely renew the minds of people to accept the Outlook, I believe people still cling to Hotmail. This is became even my email has Hotmail at the end.
At first, Outlook was released in 2012, its beta version made available to users. As it progressed towards 2013, the Outlook’s upgrades kept occurring. You had the option to switch towards the Outlook theme and system. Not only that, as Outlook gained more and more users, the option of switching towards the Outlook beta version and switching back was given. I think this was the right step. Although I prefer the beta version which is more organized and steady, the old system had its own charm and I wouldn’t just switch in one day.
The features of Outlook have come a long way from only sending the emails. This has been nicely handled by all of the developers and this is indeed the right step. There was something which I honestly miss. It was the ability to create custom domain names. Perhaps the developers had grown tired to see the custom names being there, ranging from sophisticated to outright stupid. Some of the main features are given below.
- Security and Privacy:
Ever since the first blow to the security in form of hackers, Microsoft has been increasing the security. So much work has been done in keeping the emails separated from work emails as well as spamy ones. Emails are not scanned and attachments for advertisement and information related to personal accounts are free from ads. This is a big boost!
If you go technical, you will find many additions to security algorithms which white hackers keep testing to make it better.
- Active View:
This is a big relief. I assure you when you logged in old times, you would have to wait for the whole file to be downloaded. Only after that could you view it. Now, you can view pdf formats and files as well as images in the emails. No need to download useless ones when you can cross check it.
- Skype Integration:
One of the best things that Microsoft did was Skype integration. I often talk with my clients as well as friends through outlook. I will not say it is very simple or even very user-friendly. But when you learn to use it properly, it is like driving your own car. You can use it more and more according to your own needs.
- Deleting the Spams:
There is a sweep option which allows you to delete a large number of useless emails. Other than that, I fell in love with spam identification of this system. Although there were many genuine emails which it identified as spam and you have check the option, “it is not a spam”, most spam emails are pushed in a side bin and deleted automatically from junk emails after ten days.
It is very important to check junk emails since any email which is a bit different gets in junk and deleted automatically within ten days. So you gotta be careful.