Hotmailwebmail' email services, which are accessible from anywhere on the planet via a standard web browser. It was founded by Jack Smith and Sabeer Bhatia in 1995, and was commercially launched on July 4, 1996, Independence Day in the U.S., symbolically representing freedom from ISPs.
Jack Smith first had the idea of accessing e-mail via the web from a computer anywhere in the world. When Sabeer Bhatia came up with the business plan for the mail service, he tried all kinds of names ending in 'mail' and finally settled for hotmail as it included the letters "HTML" - the markup language used to write web pages. It was initially referred to as HoTMaiL with selective upper casing.
Hotmail was backed by the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson and was later sold to Microsoft corporation, which rebranded it under its MSN umbrella. By December 1997, Hotmail reported more than 8.5 million subscribers.  By February 1999 it reported more than 30 million active members.  Hotmail serves e-mail accounts in many countries and is currently the largest webmail provider.
Hotmail allows its members 2MB of free e-mail space, be it sent or received e-mail. This is to be increased to 250MB from July 2004. For a fee, customers have had the use of 10MB storage, but this is to be extended to 2GB from July. In contrast, Yahoo! Mail offers 100MB for free with 2GB offered at a price, Gmail from Google offers 1GB for free and Spymac is already providing 1GB free.
Hotmail plans a number of upgrades to its free service over 2004. Among these are virus cleaning of incoming mail starting in the summer and a quota increase in July.
While Hotmail does not have POP3 email access, tt is possible to check your email using Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. The procedure for Outlook Express is as follows:
- Start Outlook Express.
- Click on Tools, then Accounts
- Click on the Mail tab
- Click on Add, Mail
- Type your Display Name, click Next
- Type your hotmail email address, e.g. email@example.com. Click Next.
- In the My incoming mail server is a X server drop down box, select HTTP
- In the My HTTP mail service provider is X drop down box, select Hotmail. Click Next.
- Type your Account name once again. e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org
- In the password text area, type your hotmail password
- Check Log on using Secure Password Authentication (SPA). Click Next.
- Click on yes, to download folders.
- Right click on the newly created account and select synchronize.