The Inside Windows Live Blog keeps on rolling. After a peek behind the scenes at Hotmail, a short history of Hotmail got posted. A very interesting read. For example did you know that Hotmail was born on July 4, 1996 but wasn’t owned by Microsoft back then? It was the creation of a Silicon Valley startup founded by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith. Microsoft acquired Hotmail late in 1997.
Hotmail was one of the very first services to offer free web-based email and grew fast. It was reaching tens of millions of users in just a few years. Today, Hotmail has provisioned well over a billion inboxes and has several hundred million active users around the world.
It went through lots of changes, remember it started out with a 2 MB storage limit? Today it has ever-growing storage. And that’s not all! The user interface changed a lot too and there were big software changes. Starting in 2004, the Hotmail engineering team completely rewrote the Backend system. In 2005 the Frontend followed suit. All this without taking the service off! Bravo!
You can read the full story here.