Hotmail celebrates its 15th Birthday

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Australia’s most popular web-based email service celebrates 15 years of innovation

Tuesday 12th July, Sydney, Australia: Christened HoTMaiL in 1996 to cue the use of HTML code, Hotmail, the world's most popular web-based email service celebrates its 15th year this month.

Today, Windows Live Hotmail remains Australia's most popular web-based email service, with one in three Australians using Hotmail every month.

As the first major web based email service, Hotmail has continually driven innovation in the category, pioneering early features such as calendars, spell check and the reading pane. In recent years, significant upgrades to Hotmail have enhanced the overall experience for its 8 million Australian users, with the addition of advanced features such as 25GB storage feature, SkyDrive, and the integration of social networking features including a 'what's new' feed aggregating friends' status updates from a number of social networking sites.

Last year Hotmail introduced a series of features and smart tools to eliminate inbox clutter and simplify daily tasks. These include ActiveView, which enables linked content from specific providers, including YouTube, Flickr and LinkedIN, to be viewed directly within the body of the email; and Hotmail Sweep which acts as a virtual broom so users can easily remove or file emails from a specific sender into designated folders in their inbox.

Most recently, Hotmail has been enhanced with integrated Microsoft Office Web Apps, which allows Hotmail users to create, edit and share documents all from within the cloud, and the launch of Facebook chat which enables Hotmail members to chat to Messenger and Facebook friends directly from their Inbox.

"Hotmail is integral in connecting Australians to the people that matter most. Our research shows, that of the 8 million Australian Hotmail users, seven out of ten regularly use Hotmail to keep in touch with friends and family (71%). Today's Hotmail members also use the popular email service to store useful emails (49%); stay in touch while travelling (47%); and one in four also use it to share video links," said Mikaela Lancaster, Head of Windows Live.

"We've played an active role in the lives of many Australians since our launch in 1996 and will continue to innovate and improve as we grow alongside our community," concluded Mikaela.

Hotmail Facts

  • One of the world’s largest web-based email services and used in nearly every country in the world

  • More than 360 million members worldwide

  • Over 8 million Australians use Hotmail, more than double that of Yahoo!7 Mail and Gmail combined

  • Microsoft acquired Hotmail in January 1997 and renamed it MSN Hotmail. Hotmail launched in Australia in 1996 and as MSN Hotmail in 1997. In 2007 MSN Hotmail became Windows Live Hotmail, with a new look and better storage and security

  • The name Hotmail was chosen out of many possibilities ending in ‘mail’ as it includes the letters HTML – the coding used behind all web pages (to emphasise this the original spelling was HoTMaiL)

  • In April 2000 MSN Hotmail was featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest free web-based email service provider, with over 67 million active users

    –ENDS –