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?
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.
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?
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.
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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