Hotmail was created in 1996 by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith as one of the first web services for mail and was sold to Microsoft in 1997 where it was rebranded as MSN Hotmail few years later, and thanks to Microsoft it grew in popularity around the world because they decided to synch the user accounts to the messenger chat and allowed the used to message others users through messenger.
Security problems and competition
As it continue to grow in popularity there was a discovery of a security flaw in the system that was called “the most widespread security incident in the history of the web” that allowed any hackers to get into any Hotmail account using a simple password.
Later the site was compromise again in 2001 where another flaw was discovered that made it possible for people to pull messages from any Hotmail account with the second account’s username and a valid message number and since various newspapers and websites published the description of this very simple attack it made it exponentially easier for hackers to take advantage of this.
With the importance given to data and storage pace, Google couldn’t let this opportunity go so they created their own electronic messaging service called Gmail, using the same strategy that it was used for MSN Hotmail, you needed a Gmail account for any other service Google provided, like using Youtube, Google Play later on an account on Google Play.
From Hotmail to Outlook
A year after the birth of Gmail, a beta version of Microsoft’s new email system was introduced, without no proper name, to a few thousand people to try and approve, this new version emphasized three things velocity, simplicity and security. Every time there was a new upgrade in the beta version the tester group kept on growing till it reached millions.
Finally in 2007 Windows Live Hotmail was released to the public as millions of MSN Hotmail accounts around the world were given access this system, the old MSN interface was and will only be accessible to the users who had an account before the Windows Live Hotmail release and never didn’t choose to upgrade to this new service.
Increase the capacity
And it was kept that way until the end of the same year where the MSN version was completely out. And from this year on it kept being upgraded and getting more and more new features with things like new themes and anything that could make your experience a bit more organized and as always it made it a priority the speed of the log in, inbox sweeping, and also had a 10 GB space for any kind of document or attachment you wanted to include in a message.
Microsoft wouldn’t let Google lead this market so with the arrival of Skype they synch it up with Skype so the only way to have a Skype account would be the use your Hotmail account, the new version of Hotmail – now in its beta version called, Outlook – that was first introduce in 2012 and allowing Hotmail users to update to the preview version and downgrade back.
A move from Hotmail to Outlook was announced in 2012 and after the move was completed this platform – which was being used by more than four hundred million accounts – Microsoft made it comfortable for Hotmail users so they wouldn’t notice much of a difference with this change. The major difference was that instead of typing Hotmail.com you had to type outlook.com but you didn’t need to claim the outlook email address if they didn’t want to do it.
By 2014 Outlook continued with its usual four hundred million active users. In the following year, the changes kept coming to the service with what was described as an Office 365 infrastructure and other feature like new calendar options, and new theme designs. It also allowed providers of Outlook to include adds in the service, and things like contact suggestions and updates from emails that included subjects like flight reservations (all this was introduced in 2016).
Some of the features added to this were:
- To compete with Gmail and other services outlook does not scan attachments in emails for advertising information and personal conversations does not include any kind of ads.
- It includes a calendar application for you to be able to organize yourself and keep track of whatever you need to without worrying in about forgetting it. Also multiple calendars can be created and shared to other users, and the events are stored online so you can see them any place you like.
- Along with the calendar app it also includes a to-do list function so you can be reminded of everything you need to do.
- Like I’ve previously said it also allows users to make Skype from your Outlook account.
- It also links other Microsoft services like Word, or Excel and Powerpoint so you are able to view them and editing this documents and if you want to save them you can do it in their OneDrive.
- Users can also create unique email addresses for their Microsoft account (you can create up until 10 of these addresses for this aliases and all of them use the same inbox) all with the same password, contact list, and setting as the primary one.
- There is the Sweep feature that allows all uses to delete or move any emails to a specific folder entirely based on the sender’s information. You can also make Outlook remember this setting and make it perform this same action with any future email from this other user.
- You can also filter your inbox by documents, updates, based on if it was read or not.
- Contacts are updated all the time, and you can create an address book and see the other users social media, but you can also limit what other people can see of your profile.
Personalize your email
Right now there is a beta version which started around August of 2017 and it includes things like popular GIFs and more emojis that you can include in your emails and also a search interface to find more of these.
This is possibly the third design upgrade by Outlook since it was launched in 2012 and you had the ability to choose whether or not you wanted to try it out, most of the changes are very subtle like the search interface no longer being at the top of the inbox but on the side, there is an improve conversation view and you can read any attached file a lot faster than before.
You can also tag people as favorites so it is easier for you to find them inside your inbox. It is also previews files and photos attached to your conversations so you can find any of your emails with attachments easier if you’re looking for them.
2017 and further updates
During a conference in late 2017 Microsoft announced that they were working on a big redesigned for Outlook which their goals (as most of the changes they’ve made have been) are to make it easier for users to use this interface, but this time specifically for Mac and Windows versions. These changes are said to be very similar to the Outlookapp for iOS with a single line ribbon and a small set of default commands this way reducing any complexity to this engine, and making it easier for people to go through this app.
The new design its very customizable and lets the users control which buttons are available so you can manage your own common tasks, and gives the users quicker and smoother access to the folders through multiple account, and it also makes it look a bit more aesthetically pleasing for you.
Mac Vs Microsoft
It is no secret that Mac has some of the most popular devices so it is clear why Microsoft seems to be making most of these new changes in the design for Mac devices since the most influential people (aka those who own and use the devices) are Mac buyers so they try to improve their experience by making it easier to search, and improving already included features like the calendar with fly-outs of information and a better managements of appointments.
It’s still not clear when will this design be available, it is expected that Microsoft is already testing this new and improved features for the new version with things like sliding on a trackpad to delete messages and the ability to insert tables into emails for Mac and Windows, and it is entirely possible that once this designs are perfected they will only be made available to Office 365 users and then included to the Office 2019 updates.
At the end of the day most of this changes will be to make Outlook run smoother and for them to continue to innovate in everything they do as always and make it easier for regular users and those who are only getting this account now, and they will continue to improve and add new features based on the feedback of the public.