I had my first Hotmail account back in 1997. Back then it was a cool thing to actually have a Hotmail account. Hotmail remained a cool thing even after Microsoft bought it in 1997 for an estimated $400 million, and shortly after, it was branded as MSN Hotmail.
Since then, Hotmail remained as my main webmail email until Yahoo! Mail and GMail came along. Sure, there were other web-based email providers such as Excite and Lycos but they are not as popular.
Nearly a decade ago, Hotmail was sitting on top of the webmail pile. However, after Google ramped up their GMail, and with Yahoo following soon after, Hotmail seemed to lose its way during the attempt to rebrand Windows Live.
Now Outlook.com is Microsoft’s attempt to bring back the good ol’ days. With a new Metro interface and an increase number of viewable messages, it looks like Microsoft could be getting back on the right track.
Just like Google, Outlook also includes free web-based version of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote with additional storage space through its SkyDrive service. Another big feature of Outlook.com is the social network integration and chat functionality with Skype.
Even with a new email address, long-time Hotmail users can still keep their @hotmail.com, @live.com, and @msn.com addresses, as well as their own contacts and settings when using the new service.
If you haven’t claimed your new Outlook.com address, you can do so now. Go to Outlook.com now and login with your Hotmail, Live or MSN email address. You can then choose to rename to your new Outlook address and everything will be linked.