Hot Take Hotmail is dead! (A Brief History Lesson with Pictures)

Have you ever owned a email address?

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Thread author
Staff Member
Jan 8, 2011
Informational post to confuse members, as MDA was WDA, MSE, WLOC.

Source: Hotmail Is Dead! Microsoft Outlook Email Services Explained

MSN, Windows Live, Office 365 for Business, Outlook​

Hotmail used to be one of the world's most recognizable email services. Back in 1997, when Microsoft bought it from its original creators, a Hotmail login offered something unique from most email inboxes: independence from ISPs like America Online (AOL). This version was called MSN Hotmail, but no longer exists.

Fast-forward to 2005. In the same year, Microsoft announced a new set of services and products that were designed to extend the user experience on Windows. This new suite was called Windows Live, which you might recognize in products like the now open-source Open Live Writer and Windows Essentials.

The Windows Live brand was discontinued in 2012. Some of these services and products were integrated directly into the Windows operating system (in the form of apps for Windows 8 and 10), while others were separated and continued on their own (Windows Live Search became Bing, for example). The rest were simply discontinued.
In 2011, one year before Microsoft discontinued its Windows Live brand, they introduced Office 365, a precursor to today's Microsoft 365. At the time, Office 365 was geared towards business and corporate users, but was gradually expanded to include ordinary users, as well.

Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, Outlook​

For a good, long while, “Outlook” was always referred to as Microsoft's desktop email client.

Outlook debuted way back on MS-DOS, even before Windows 3.1. It didn't gain traction until Outlook 97, however, which was packaged as a part of Office 97. With every subsequent version of Office, up to and including Office 2016, the Microsoft Outlook desktop client has also received updates.
Consider the now-defunct Outlook Express, which was an email client that came included with Internet Explorer back in 1996. Despite the similarities in name, Outlook Express wasn't related to Microsoft Outlook, aside from the fact that it was also an email client.
Microsoft Outlook Express was succeeded by Windows Mail in 2005, around the same time that Windows Vista was released.
In 2007, Windows Mail was succeeded by Windows Live Mail. Remember how Microsoft wanted to rebrand Hotmail as Windows Live Mail? This newly-minted product had nothing to do with that one. Hotmail became Windows Live Hotmail, while Windows Mail became Windows Live Mail.

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