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MSN/Live Mail History

The History of MSN/Live

In 1996, Hotmail was started by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith. They wanted to create a web based email client that would work using HTML and that would be available anywhere. The site grew quickly, and in just a year it grew to more than eight million subscribers. The same month that it reported how many subscribers it had, Microsoft chose to purchase it from the owners and backers of the program. They paid a reported $400 million dollars in order to own Hotmail and began marketing it all around the globe, building the subscribers from 8 million to 30 million in just two years.

A short time later they connected Hotmail with the Window's Live ID that the company had going, which, at the time, was called Passport. For a long time Hotmail was the most popular web based email site online. Things changed, however, when Gmail was announced in 2004. They offered faster speed, better security, and more advanced features.

In order to combat this, Microsoft released a new and improved Hotmail that they called Window's Live Hotmail. It was originally going to be called Window's Live Mail, but developers wanted to keep the old name in the new name. It allowed older users to keep the Hotmail interface but now requires that new users use the new Window's Live Hotmail interface.

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