All of us have either used or know someone who uses MSN Hotmail Inbox at some point of time in our lives. All of us know it. So when was the last time that you accessed your account? What do you mean you don’t have one? Or probably it’s the name that seems confusing?
Don’t worry, it is the same good old HoTMaiL that we have known all these years and that was founded in 1996 by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith and commercially launched on 4 July 1996.
At that time, it meant freedom from ISP based e-mails. It was one of the first web-based e-mail services.
It was only later in 1997 that it was sold to Microsoft and became part of MSN group of services.
In 2005, MSN group made a formal announcement that it intended to change the name of Hotmail to Windows Live Mail but it was later changed to Windows Live Hotmail as some of us, who did beta-testing of the new version, were confused because of name-change. There are two ways of accessing MSN Hotmail Inbox:
1. Through Web-based service using a web-browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox.
2. Through POP3 access using applications such as Outlook or Outlook Express.
If you are a new MSN Hotmail Inbox user i.e. if you started using it recently then you can have POP3 access for a fee of $44.95 per year but if you started using Hotmail before 2005 then you can actually do so free of cost.
The free version offers a storage space of 5 GB (and growing) whereas the paid version that is also known as Hotmail Plus has a storage space of 10 GB (and growing).
It has been integrated with other MS Office applications such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel to allow viewing and editing of documents created in these applications.
The users can actually exchange these edited documents with each other.
Some of its new features include:
1. Sweep: It helps you sweep unwanted mail out just as if you were cleaning your house. It is simply going one step further from Spam Protection by creating rules that help one sweep e-mails that match certain criteria and move them to a certain folder.
2. Possibility to send photographs using SkyDrive.
3. View photographs and videos without quitting the Inbox i.e. if you receive a video by e-mail you can actually see it without leaving it.
4. Possibility to use Hotmail using Gmail or Yahoo address. This is a master-stroke by which it has actually managed to make a foray into its competitors’ client- base.
Now you can even connect it with Facebook, My Space and LinkedIn and several other social networking sites. By allowing its users o do this it has become one of the first web-based free e-mail service provider that lets one integrate all these services in a single platform. In addition to being the first choice of web-users (according to comScore), MSN Hotmail Inbox has also won several awards including PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award in February 2007, March 2007 and February 2011. It is available in 36 different languages. If it has been some time since you checked it out then don’t forget to check it out again as not only has t improved over time but it is also necessary because the account might be locked out if it is inactive for more than nine months.