Microsoft Launched hotmail 16 years ago on the 4th July 1996. Today marks a new era for Microsoft: the advent of its new Outlook.com experience as part of its rebranding. Is Hotmail really so uncool that Microsoft had to drop the brand? Favoured by spammers and hated by many is Microsoft cutting its losses or just updating the brand? We're sad to see it go.
Back at school in 2002 I created my very first Hotmail account. At the time it was the 'cool' thing to do (not that I was quite sure what that was). Almost everyone had a @hotmail.com email after Microsoft had seen off competition from AOL, Blueyonder, BTOpenworld and the likes to stake its claim as the most popular free webmail.
The next step for Microsoft was the development of its Windows Messenger (later MSN Messenger). This was the instant messenger of choice for most in the UK while in the US many opted for Yahoo's IM. In recent years MSN has began to fade and Microsoft is now planning for its merge with Skype after the giant bought the company in 2011.
So will we miss Hotmail? Hotmail users have never fared well in the 'What does your email say about you?' articles. I personally must admit that I created a Gmail account for job applications. And since I havedefected from Windows Mobile to Android and have taken my email preferences that way too.
However I still have my original Hotmail account and given the option to rename it to @outlook.com I will be respectfully declining. I care little that you may well look down your nose at my @hotmail.com domain. I have to also admit that I do in fact despise Hotmail with every atom of my being. This is probably the way with most. Either luddites as the domain suggests (according to studies) or too stubborn to change. But it's the nostalgia of the days of MSN and emoticons that mean I'll still keep my trusty old Hotmail account just the way it is.