Hotmail (officially Microsoft Hotmail, previously Windows Live Hotmail and MSN Hotmail) is a free web-based email service operated by Microsoft as part of Windows Live. One of the first web-based email services, it was founded by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith and launched in July 1996 as "HoTMaiL". It was acquired by Microsoft in 1997 for an estimated $400 million, and shortly after, it was rebranded as "MSN Hotmail". The current version was released in 2011.
Hotmail features unlimited storage, Ajax, and integration with Microsoft's instant messaging (Windows Live Messenger), calendar (Hotmail Calendar), file hosting service (SkyDrive), and contacts platform. According to comScore (August 2010), Windows Live Hotmail is the world's largest web-based email service with 369 million members, followed by Gmail and Yahoo! Mail, respectively. It is available in 36 different languages.
Hotmail is developed from Mountain View, California. When Hotmail Corporation was an independent company, its headquarters was in Sunnyvale.
Windows Messenger is a client by Microsoft that is included in the Windows XP operating system. Designed for use by corporate users as well as home users, it was originally created as a streamlined and integrated version of MSN Messenger. After its initial release in 2001, it was later upgraded in 2004, when it was made available for Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003.
Since then, development on Windows Messenger has stopped, with the exception of security updates. It has been superseded by Microsoft's similarly named but separate and newer client, Windows Live Messenger, for connections to the .NET Messenger Service, and by Microsoft Lync (formerly Microsoft Office Communicator) in corporate environments.
MSN (originally: The Microsoft Network; stylized as: msn) is a collection of Internet sites and services provided by Microsoft. The Microsoft Network debuted as an online service and Internet service provider on August 24, 1995, to coincide with the release of the Windows 95 operating system.
The range of services offered by MSN has changed since its initial release in 1995. MSN was once a simple online service for Windows 95, an early experiment at interactive multimedia content on the Internet, and one of the most popular dial-up Internet service providers. Today, MSN is primarily a popular Internet portal.
Microsoft used the MSN brand name to promote numerous popular web-based services in the late 1990s, most notably Hotmail and Messenger, before reorganizing many of them in 2005 under another brand name, Windows Live. MSN.com is currently the 17th most visited domain name on the Internet.