Today, I wanted to do a little special post just to talk about 20 years of Hotmail. Incredible, that it’s a little more in reality because a small company dad was called Hotmail, that company was a Sunnyvale based company in California. And they had, of course, started a service of email online, and Microsoft so that’s 20 in 1996 and on December 29th, 1997.

Hotmail 1996

Hotmail 1996

What really was a revolution? Bill Gates decided that Microsoft needed to buy that company 450 million dollars. Back then, that was the biggest transactions a company on the internet that ever done and pretty amazing and it actually started the whole thing. So this is what it looked like close to that era things of changing.

So basically one of the things about Hotmail was that it was the first time that the company of offered email for free. It’s the first time also that we had something new a cloud email. Basically, that you could access anywhere and even if you didn’t have internet at home because of let’s face it way back in 1997 the internet is not even in half of the homes in 1997.

Hotmail 1997

Hotmail 1997

It’s just a small number of people under using dial-up modems for most parts. And there aren’t a lot of people on the high-speed internet back then. And of course, it changed everything because now everybody could have an email for free.

They just signed in they could go to a library or public place where there were computers to access email if you didn’t have internet at home.

So you could have an email for the first time and of course you know followed a lot of companies like Yahoo! Mail and everything but it was it really changed everything and not just that, it started a revolution of free email because let’s face it. If you have a free email called Hotmail and no other companies can charge for email.

I mean everybody’s going to go to Hotmail why aren’t we, you know, gonna pay for email if we have it for free with Hotmail. And of course, there’s a lot of changes done over the years. There were things that are not necessarily the best idea.

But over the years the web-based email and the fact that there was more competition would, of course, change slowly everything.

And Microsoft, of course, had other ideas using this email service to open up, you know, registration for all sorts of Microsoft services and products.

It moved on to MSN Hotmail when MSN which was the Microsoft Network was kind of the brand they wanted to use at some point which was kind of interesting. And you know it evolved slowly in the year 2000 but it was a very popular one.

So in1997 when Microsoft bought Hotmail, one of the things that they wanted to do, was really to bring a lot of people to email.

There was a competition back then there was a service Rocket-mail and that became Yahoo-mail actually. And that was a real true first offering of free web-based email. And that was funded by advertising a little bit like Hotmail.

Hotmail also did that and what was to become Yahoo mail already had nine million users. So of course, you know Microsoft wanted to beat the competition.

And it became Windows Live Hotmail at some point especially when we approached Windows times and all of that. It became and lates early’s the biggest email service in the world.

Hotmail had more users than Yahoo!Mail at some point it had really surpassed everybody. And that’s thanks to one very simple thing.

Integration of Hotmail and Windows together, when you were buying a computer with Windows you know XP or Windows 7.

You already had some you know integration. That would kind of push it to use Hotmail or use you know.

Microsoft services rather than utter so a lot of people were pushing there that’s for sure. But the service would cost a lot of money.

The infrastructure was crazy, especially for those times. They had to you know make testing tons of space to get all the email.

We’re not even talking of gigabytes at the beginning of a Hotmail we’re talking about megabytes.

And you know if you had a computer back in 1997 – 1998 you know how expensive hard drives were very very amazing.



And of course, Window Live Hotmail became Outlook over time. This is the latest branding. One little stat the first ever security big security breach for Hotmail happened in 1999. The summer of 1999 every single one of hot mails accounts which were.

Million at a time were potentially exposed by a bug in a script on Hotmail servers. That gave access to any Hotmail account where the same password basically. With the same password, so um kind of crazy when you think about it. There was a first big security breach.

First big security reach here don’t mind that number it’s just a paid phone. So anyways you know one of the big email services around the world going today. And working today again.And of course, it’s integrating with everything.

Microsoft is the world’s largest software company specializing in the development, production, sales and licensing of software and support worldwide. The company was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975. Microsoft has made billions of dollars including buying Hotmail, Sunrise … and especially Nokia. Here are 10 interesting facts about MS.

#1 In 1969, two teenage boys named Bill Gates and Paul Allen met for the first time.

They were both interested in programming and the emerging industry of personal computers.

A few years later, in 1975, the two childhood friends established the company Micro-Soft, with a hyphen. The name is a portmanteau of the words microcomputer and software.

In 1980, the company entered the industry of operating systems with their own version of Unix called Xenix. But their first major breakthrough came with the release of MS-DOS in 1981.

After a few years of battling against IBM’s PC-DOS, Microsoft eventually came out as the leading provider. At this point, most operating systems looked like this.

  • A black screen where you could execute commands and in return would receive some nice text. Absolutely fantastic for its time no doubt, but not very interesting to the average person.

So in 1985, Microsoft released a graphical extension to MS-DOS.

  • Bill Gates almost named it “Interface Manager” but the head of marketing convinced him of naming it “Windows” instead.
  • At first, Windows was not that popular and rival company Apple took the lead. But this would soon change. Windows 3.0 became the first widely successful version of Windows and a strong competitor to Apple’s Mac OS.

#2 In 1990, Microsoft introduced the now wildly successful Microsoft Office with software like Word and Excel.

Windows became a huge success for the company and introduced features like the start menu and Internet Explorer. From here on out, Windows would continue to completely dominate the market and as such Microsoft was often accused of monopolization.

At the start of the new millennium, Microsoft entered video game console market with the Xbox to compete against Sony and Nintendo. While the Xbox could not really keep up with the PlayStation 2, it was nonetheless a success selling millions of units.

In more recent years, the perception of Microsoft and especially Windows has been a bit unstable.

  • For example, Windows Vista sold well but is considered by many to be one of the worst operating systems ever made by Microsoft. Windows 7 rekindled the brand but Windows 8 once again received heavy criticism for many of its significant changes. But despite a few minor setback here and there, Microsoft is still one of the most valuable brands in the world.

Since 2012, Microsoft has undergone a major rebranding to coincide with the release of Windows 8. One major change was made to the logo of the company. For the first time, a version of the famous Windows logo was included in the official Microsoft logo. But the four tiles are more than an icon for Windows.

Each tile is supposed to stand for; Windows (blue), Office (red), Xbox (green), and Bing (Yellow). And the logo isn’t exactly new either as it has been used before.

#3 When preparing to launch Windows XP back in 2001, Microsoft wanted a catchy slogan to go along with it.

They eventually settled for “Prepare to Fly” and began printing all promotional material and covers and so on. Then 9/11 happened and suddenly the slogan wasn’t as catchy anymore. Because of this, Microsoft had to spend over $200 million, just to change to slogan to “Yes You Can” instead.

#4 Around the mid to late 1990s, Internet Explorer quickly became the standard browser all across the globe since it came bundled with the operating system.

And by 2002, it reached its peak of a staggering % market share. Then something happened. New browsers like Opera and Firefox slowly began eating away at Microsoft’s browser monopoly. This got Microsoft a bit worried so to counteract this decline, they employed some pretty foul tactics.

  • For example, in 2001 it was revealed that Microsoft had purposely made either inaccessible or incorrectly displayed on the Opera browser. This was so that Opera users would hopefully switch over to Internet Explorer instead. While Microsoft has never responded to the accusations, Opera Software retaliated by releasing a so-called “bork” edition of Opera 7. This special version would only display using the incomprehensible language made famous by the Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show.

#5 Every website and service with users and profile pictures has one of these. A default avatar. It’s usually just a standard silhouette of a person or whatever YouTube is going for. Anyway, one version of Microsoft’s email client, namely Outlook 2010, uses this icon.

It’s interesting because this is actually a silhouette of Bill Gates from when he was arrested for speeding and driving without a license.

#6 When Microsoft introduced the first version of Windows Update shortly after the release of Windows 98, they named the software “Critical Update Notification Tool”.

However, they soon had to change this to “Critical Update Notification Utility” given the unfortunate acronym created by the former.

#7 The default wallpaper used for Windows XP is, or at least was, one of the most recognizable images in the world.

  • The photograph, named Bliss, was taken by former National Geographic photographer Charles O’Rear and was captured here in Sonoma County in California in 1996. While many believed the image to be photoshopped, it is, in fact, the raw unaltered original. After he’d taken the photo, he put it up for sale on the stock image site Corbis. And Corbis is in fact owned by Bill Gates himself.
  • So around 2000, Microsoft contacted O’Rear and wanted to buy all the rights to the image. And while the exact amount has never been disclosed, it has been said to be one of the largest payments ever made for a single photograph. If you were to visit the site today, however, you would most likely not recognize it as the green hill is now covered with grapevines.

#8 Before Microsoft launched their new search engine in 2009 they needed a short and memorable name.

Eventually, they decided to use BANG. But they had to rethink this decision rather quickly as it didn’t work as well when used as verb. As in “Let me just bang that real quick.” They changed Bang into Bing and while Google is of course at the top, Bing is still one of the largest search engines in the world.

#9 Large corporations like Microsoft are known to take copyright and trademark infringement very seriously. Sometimes, however, they seem to take it a bit too seriously.

Back in 2004, a teenager named Mike Rowe registered the domain So phonetically, when said out loud, it almost sounds like you’re saying Microsoft.

Only based on this, Microsoft decided to take legal action against Mike Rowe and the whole thing received worldwide media attention.

The website itself had nothing to do with Microsoft or any of their products as he used it to run his own part-time web design business.

But eventually, an agreement was reached, with Mike Rowe granting ownership of the domain to Microsoft in exchange for various Microsoft products, including an Xbox. Ah, 2004… When an Xbox could solve anything. Simpler times.

#10 Back when Windows made its debut, things were simple.

The first release named Windows 1.01 was indeed version 1.01. Makes sense. And it continued to make sense for quite a while. The name and actual version of the software matched each other. Then they started using names like Windows 95, 98, NT, ME, 2000, XP, and Vista, and things got a bit more confusing. Windows Vista is actually version 6.0. Windows 7 is 6.1, Windows 8 is 6.2, and 8.1 is 6.3.

Now the logical thing would be to expect the next release to be named Windows 9 with a version number of 6.4. But instead, they announced this… Windows 10? Why skip the NINE? Microsoft’s official explanation is that this new release of Windows will, form here on out, be Windows.

In other words, each new update will just have a new version number and not a new name. Another possibility though is that the name Windows 9 could cause issues for some legacy applications.

Thousands of programs could be using code like this to check what version of Windows it’s running on. Basically, it’s checking if the name includes a 9 and if it does it means it’s either Windows 95 or 98. But if Windows 9 was introduced, it would completely disrupt this system and potentially cause some major issues.

Then again, Microsoft isn’t exactly the most consistent when it comes to naming stuff. This video was part of a collaboration with Alltime10s. They made a video about Google over on their channel and if you want to you can click the annotation to check it out.