After a long wait, Microsoft finally pulled the plug on Hotmail Friday. Existing users were transferred to Outlook.
Hotmail (officially Microsoft Hotmail, previously Windows Live Hotmail and MSN Hotmail) was a free web-based email service that operated as part of Microsoft's Windows Live. One of the first of its kind, it officially launched in July 1996 as "HoTMaiL." According to Mashable, Hotmail was acquired by Microsoft in 1997 for around $400 million, and shortly after, was rebranded as 'MSN Hotmail." The current version came out in 2011.
Some could argue Gmail and Yahoo killed the service, but Hotmail always had a robust user base—324 million members—and was available in 36 different languages. In fact, according to comScore, it was one of the largest web-based email services worldwide, followed by Gmail and Yahoo.
We'll spare the harsh words since Hotmail just passed, but suffice it to say this day has been a long time coming. Hotmail never excelled in search, and when Gmail came out, it sort of revolutionized the way we use email. Whether Hotmail felt the burn is hard to tell, but over time the service became less and less relevant and Microsoft knew it was time to downsize.