The Hotmail email service was launched on 4th July 1996 by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith. It was one of the first free web-based (webmail) email services in the world along with Four 11’s RocketMail. The name was chosen because it had the four letters H, T, M and L in sequence. In fact, in the original logo the letters were in caps as in HoTMaiL.
In less than 2 years, Microsoft, the industry giant decided to buy the service for a staggering $400 million. The two founders became millionaires and the talk of the silicon valley. In contrast, Yahoo! had bought Four11 a few months before for $just 92 million.
Though the digital data on the Internet resides on millions of interconnected servers, the net itself is just data transfer which takes place by electrons and radio waves. Russell Seitz, a physicist, tried to find the weight of the Internet based on this. His calculations, using Einstein's famous e = mc2 formula, revealed that the mighty Internet weighs as much as a strawberry. [more...]