Category: Email Services & Tools
Hotmail has grown up from being one of the first free webmail services when it was developed by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith in July, 1996. Acquired in 1997 by Micosoft, it then became MSN Hotmail, and subsequently released (2007) as Windows Live Hotmail. Read on to find out what makes Hotmail worthy of your consideration for free webmail.
The current Hotmail offers a free service and a paid upgrade that enhances the offerings, so you can grow with the service without having to switch email clients. With the free service, you receive:
- 5 GB of storage (compare to, say 2 MB for Hushmail)
- Name fill-in (when you begin to type the name of a contact, Hotmail helpfully completes it for you).
- Choice of themes.
- Three different modes for displaying the body of messages.
- A junk-mail reporting system.
- An email authentication system and phishing and spam filters.
- Sender blocking (if you need it).
- A special site for IT specialists called "Windows Live Hotmail Postmaster" to help deal with problems administering a system that relies on Hotmail at - mail.live.com
- PhotoGallery storage and software that has features for organization, slideshows, and editing.
- An event planner that helps you produce a guest list, send invitations, and keep track of RSVP's, as well as attach a photo gallery to the event to preserve the memories.
Rolling out in 2009 are the following features:
- Calendar sharing that can be accessed through Outlook and/or your Windows Live Mail desktop client.
- A means to integrate Hotmail accounts with other mail accounts so you can see all your mail at once.
- One-click addition of maps, directions.
- Consolidated address book that draws on both Microsoft and other services (like Facebook).
- A "Today" page that keeps track of yearly events (and allows Twitter/Facebook-like coments and entries.
- Storage for up to 25 GB of files on SkyDrive
- Accommodations for a personal homepage at - home.live,com
- Ability to IM through your Hotmail account
Note that although the license says that your content belongs to you (not Microsoft), it also says that, "We may refuse to publish your content and may remove your content from the service at any time." Also, note that there is no customer support for this service.
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