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I remember during my junior high and high school years, the way to communicate through the internet was through MSN Messenger. I don’t know how big it was in other parts of the world, but in South America, MSN Messenger was HUGE.

hotmail messenger

Hotmail and MSN messenger

Everyone and their dog had MSN Messenger. I remember when it was just the simple MSN version with just the option to chat between one other person and yourself. Then later it develop to have emoticons, nothing crazy, just a couple of smiley faces and hearts. Later it allowed to change your screen name, and adding a little status update right beside your name.

You were able to organize different groups. Later came the picture involved, and then customizing colors of fonts and windows. Then video, and pictures to share, then full on real time video chat, custom emoticons, gifs, group chatting, etc.

It’s be a program that has developed from nothing to everything in less than a decade.

I remember hearing of other messaging services like ICQ or AOL Messenger. But to be honest, none of them ever came close to how beautiful the MSN Messenger platform looked. Every version was better than the one before, and it definitely showed with the increase of accounts created by different people that kept hearing of the MSN Messenger boom.

I remember another chat system/platform that was big where I grew up, was IRC. IRC had the power to do so many different things due to the easy access to coding what you wanted to show in the chat platform or screen. And even though it was quite entertaining and the possibilities to create were tremendous compared to MSN Messenger, the disadvantage was the limited servers that could host the different chat group, while MSN Messenger was just a click to turn online or offline, and start chatting with those you knew. And that’s probably why MSN Messenger became such a loved chat platform. You messaged people that you knew. You only added people that you wanted to chat with. You didn’t have to be in an open chat room and endure some chats that you just wished you never had. Unless you were a creep, and loved receiving unknown contact invitations to your MSN messenger.

Now the question is what happened with MSN Messenger? I haven’t used it for years, and I remember using it a couple of years ago, maybe longer, and seeing that no one was connected… It made me reminisce or how it was when it first started… empty, without contacts and people that knew of a better way to communicate online.

As you may know, Windows Live aka Hotmail was one of the first free email services on the internet, and it’s still going strong today. Hotmail was also a pioneer in messaging services with its messenger, which was created in 1996 and was known as MSN Hotmail at that time. Hotmail has been rebranded multiple times, and it seems like it gets better each and every time that happens.

Nowadays, Windows Live Hotmail (owned by Microsoft and one and the same with Outlook) has been upgraded to meet the fast technological developments that users expect. The service is constantly updated and has new additions and features that are designed for the satisfaction of users around the world, and aims to make using the internet easier and more useful, effective and productive. Hotmail easily accomplishes this with all its services to help you manage and control you email accounts.


The Hotmail app for mobile and Windows

Hotmail now is accessed through the same platform as the classic Windows Outlook, and its application “Microsoft Outlook App” has some really useful features that allow you to manage your emails so quickly and easily from your smartphone or tablet, to save your time and make it the most productive. You can have a look at your different email boxes/folders (inbox, sent, draft, trash, and junk), check the news that interests you, conveniently connect more than one account to a single inbox, have your social media updates right in your inbox, and much more.

Just like 20 years ago, today Hotmail is still a free service that offers you 1000 MB for storage in your email and allows you up to 10 MB of email attachments. You can also splurge on a premium version called Hotmail Plus, which costs $19.95/year with a storage space of 2GB and 20MB of email attachment, with no ads. If you can’t wrap your head around paying less than $2/month for a premium email service but really hate ads, you could always install a free ad blocker extension on your browser, but you won’t get the extra storage space this way.

The best features of Hotmail/Windows Outlook

  • Swipe emails to manage and sort them easily on the mobile app; default settings are “left” to archive and “right” to delete, but you can customize this in the Hotmail app’s settings.
  • Schedule a clean-up of your Hotmail inbox. Automatically move unwanted messages such as news-letters, or messages from a certain sender to junk mail.
  • Timed deleting of messages; you can choose to delete messages after 3, 10, 30, or 60 days.
  • Unsubscribe, block and delete unwanted newsletters in one step only.
  • Keep your important emails at the top of your Hotmail inbox, even if there are new emails.
  • Using DocMail and PhotoMail, you can create, edit, rename your photo albums, and add or remove photos from any album before sending.
  • Send files via SkyDrive. Emailing big files has always been a problem since Hotmail limits the volume of attached files. But with this new feature, you can choose the big file you want to send from your SkyDrive/OneDrive instead of attaching it to your email.

There’s more to Hotmail than just a great, free email service! While it’s true that Microsoft Hotmail is an established and globally well-known email server that millions of people count on and use for personal and professional purposes, you can also send and receive instant messages or IMs by using its messaging service “Hotmail Messenger”, all for free wherever you are.

Windows Live

20 years of Hotmail history

Hotmail was first created in 1995 by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith as a free digital service. Smith insisted that an email service should be used on the web to send and receive emails from any computer anywhere in the world (for the younger millennials out there reading, this was revolutionary at the time; most email was stuck on your home or office computer in a software application like the old Outlook Express). The name “Hotmail” was chosen because it included the letters “HTML”.

By 1997, Hotmail subscribers had reached 8.5 million, compelling Microsoft to buy Hotmail for $400 million and rebrand it as Microsoft Live Hotmail. The name was changed in 2000 to MSN Hotmail, and today it’s all been put under the Outlook platform.

What is Hotmail messenger?

Hotmail Messenger, Windows Live, MSN Messenger: all of these are the names of one free messaging service, where you can send and receive IMs, images and files from/to any computer or smartphone, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phones. After creating your Windows Live account, you can download Windows Live application on your smartphone; if you have a Hotmail account, you already have what you need to use this instant messaging app! Join millions of users around the world and start using its services to chat with your friends, stay in touch with family or organize meetings with coworkers.

Windows Live/Hotmail Messenger is provided with high protection and security standards that ensure safety from viruses when using “folder sharing” service. You can also make PC to phone voice calls using Hotmail Messenger through specialized companies, like the Freezone Company in the United States or the French company Orange SA.

Something pretty cool about Hotmail messenger that most people don’t know is that, in October 2005, an agreement was made between Hotmail and Yahoo, the two pioneer messaging programs in the world at that time. The agreement was to enable connecting the two programs and send text messages between them. This way, a Yahoo Messenger user can chat directly with a Hotmail Messenger user and vice versa. In 2009, more programs such as Google Talk, ICQ, AOL and Facebook were supported by Hotmail Messenger, and provided some social games that enable players to compete with each other within the chat app.

Windows Live/Hotmail Messenger features

  • Open another messaging program’s contact list inside Hotmail Messenger and chat with them, like chatting with a Facebook user, for example.
  • Free video calls, individual and group calls.
  • Hotmail Messenger is fast, easy, and compatible with any operating system.
  • Open the complete conversation on one page (tablet).
  • Send video messages instead of text messages.
  • Watch received YouTube videos right within the messenger.
  • Highly compatible with Android and iOS devices (and Windows Phone, of course).