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Why has Hotmail become Outlook.com?

Hotmail is now Outlook.com email service

Why has Hotmail become Outlook? Aren’t they supposed to be different? I used to have Outlook on my computer many years back but then shifted to Hotmail. Will this change my email or am I missing something?
Randall Marcus

Hotmail has simply been rebranded as Outlook.com. It remains a free online email service. Before I answer your questions, here is a little tech history in two paragraphs.

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Hotmail was founded in 1996 by two young web entrepreneurs – Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith. It was one of the first email services in the world. Microsoft was quick to spot its potential and bought it for $400 million, a huge sum in those days. Under the new leadership, Hotmail soon became the leading online email service.

Microsoft’s Windows was, and still is, the most popular operating system for desktops and laptops. It used to come with a free email program called Outlook Express, a thinned down version of their professional email program, Outlook. The latter is still available as part of the Microsoft Office Suite or as a standalone program.

The “Outlook email” you had years ago was probably the email program Outlook or Outlook Express. They are not the same as Hotmail, which was, and still is, even after the name change, an online email service.

So, Outlook and Outlook Express are different from Hotmail, or Outlook.com, as it is now called.

Unfortunately, the similarity in the names may confuse some people. But I’m sure you understand the difference now, don’t you?

Will your Hotmail email change now that the service is Outlook.com?

No! If you had a Hotmail email address – one that ends with hotmail.com – it’s not going to change anything. Outlook.com may have a new interface and a different layout, but the basic functions and features almost remain the same.

In fact, I think the service has improved tremendously. The new interface loads faster and is much more intuitive. It is also looks similar to the email clients that comes with Windows 8 and Windows 10. This provides a seamless working environment which, I suppose, would have been the whole purpose of redesign.

As for your old messages and other data. All of that would be there too! You won’t lose them.

Hotmail has now become Outlook.com

Actually, Hotmail becoming Outlook.com is much more than a name change. As you would have noticed, the interface has undergone a drastic change. Microsoft have used their Metro design language on the email service.

FYI, this isn’t the first time that Microsoft has played around with the Hotmail brand. Earlier they had tried to change it to “MSN” and then later to “Live”. These weren’t accepted well and the company reverted to Hotmail. However, I feel that Microsoft is going to stick to Outlook.com for a while.

Finally, Outlook Express, a much loved and popular email program was replaced with Windows Mail on Vista which itself was replaced with Windows Live Mail.

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Your comments
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  • will edge on July 4th, 2016 7:26 am

    They changed the look completely

  • Mariahubble on July 4th, 2016 11:11 pm

    I need to have my Hotmail.co.uk back.

  • KIMBERLY LOUIS on July 7th, 2016 10:08 pm

    Can’t I get back to the old ways?

  • don egbert on July 20th, 2016 1:11 am

    I can’t cancel Hotmail and I want to

  • M Vassiliou on August 3rd, 2016 12:22 am

    I cant access my Hotmail mail when I put my Hotmail address in it doesn’t recognize it I also have a yahoo site which is good .

  • Elsie on August 24th, 2016 10:40 am

    Can I get back the old way I used to have my emails in

  • v on September 3rd, 2016 11:00 pm

    accessing Hotmail account has become a nightmare! I feel liking throwing my laptop on the person’s head who has caused such a mess!

  • Anonymous on September 21st, 2016 9:16 am

    I cant login to my hotmail account

  • Theresa on September 21st, 2016 9:20 am

    Gm,l want to change from Hotmail to outlook.com

  • Anne Kirby on November 21st, 2016 5:12 pm

    I’m having trouble writing a email on outlook, cannot find symbol to create an email.

  • Anne Kirby on November 21st, 2016 5:18 pm

    Hotmail was so much easier any way l can go back to it?

  • peter hall on December 24th, 2016 6:40 pm

    I have had Hotmail for years, but since they changed to outlook I can no longer send messages on Hotmail. Why?

  • Manish Sharma on January 27th, 2017 12:48 pm

    Unfortunately, there is no way to go back to the old look of Hotmail. One just needs to get used to the new interface. Also, the user experience is similar to the Mail app on Windows 8 and 10.
    Hope this helps you guys.

  • Liz Tebb on April 12th, 2017 1:48 pm

    I was not confused before but I am now! Where is my hotmail account gone?

  • Manish Sharma on June 19th, 2017 10:55 am

    Your Hotmail account exists. Only the name has changed to outlook.com

  • Joseph Jesudasan on June 18th, 2017 11:09 am

    All my past messages in hotmail.com have disappeared.
    (I did not open my hotmail account for more than a year)

  • Manish Sharma on June 19th, 2017 10:56 am

    Your account has probably been removed because of inactivity.

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