Microsoft has officially closed the doors on its free e-mail service Hotmail. What is going to happen subscribers of the service? Find out below.
In 1997 Microsoft purchased the free web based e-mail service Hotmail for about $400 million dollars. On Friday of last week the service was officially shut down. Existing users will have their accounts transferred to Outlook.
A pioneer of its time, “HoTMaiL” officially launched in July of 1996 by founders Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith. After being acquired by Microsoft in 1997 the service was rebranded a couple of times, officially Microsoft Hotmail, previously Windows Live Hotmail and MSN Hotmail.
Why was the service shut down? Well it wasn’t because of the lack of use. With some great unique features like unlimited storage, Ajax, and integration with Microsoft’s instant messaging (Windows Live Messenger), calendar (Hotmail Calendar), file hosting service (SkyDrive), and contacts platform. Available in over 36 languages, the service had a huge international user base. According to the 2012 stats from comScore Hotmail had the largest user base with 324 million members. Regardless of its highlights, Microsoft felt it was good to downsize and integrate its service with Outlook.