A short history of Hotmail


Hotmail is my first e-mail ever, registered it a few months after attended a short course and internship on journalism in Tokyo, mid-1996 [still use it sometimes, but no longer my primary email now, since I already had a certain custom domain name]. However, I don’t want to blog here about my history in using Hotmail, but wanted to post a short history of Hotmail —a worth reading article written by Dick Craddock, Group Program Manager for Windows Live Hotmail.

Hotmail was born on July 4th, 1996 – the creation of a Silicon Valley startup founded by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith. It was one of the very first services to offer free web-based e-mail. Originally, Hotmail was spelled “HoTMaiL,” emphasizing its use of HTML for the web user interface. Hotmail became popular quickly, and by the end of 1997 already had millions of customers. Hotmail was acquired by Microsoft late in 1997 and was later integrated with another acquisition –  the web-based calendar service, Jump. Hotmail continued to grow very quickly – reaching tens of millions of users in just a few years. Today, Hotmail has provisioned well over a billion inboxes and has several hundred million active users around the world.

The Hotmail service has gone through tons of changes since 1996. When Hotmail first started, we offered free e-mail with a 2 MB storage limit. Over time, we’ve steadily increased the storage limits to 2GB and 5GB.  Today, we offer ever-growing storage, which means that you essentially never have to worry about storage limits again.


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