If you’re like me, your first email address was a Hotmail account, but these days, Hotmail users are rare.
If you head to Hotmail.com, you’ll be redirected to Outlook.com, as Microsoft has transitioned all Hotmail users to its more popular, more robust Outlook platform. Accordingly, the only real “difference” between Gmail vs Hotmail is that Gmail is still around.
However, it’s still interesting to consider Hotmail as it has existed in the past, and explore how Gmail became the dominant competitor.
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A Brief History of Hotmail
Hotmail was one of the earliest email services, launching in 1996, named to resemble the letters HTML (HoTMaiL). In 1997, it was sold for more than $400 million, joining the MSN suite of services, and from there, it quickly became popular.
But in 2004, Google announced a competing mail service—Gmail—available for free to individual users even today. With more storage space, flexibility, and overall speed, Gmail put a ton of pressure on Hotmail (as well as Yahoo Mail, another big competitor from back in the day).
Microsoft worked quickly to launch a new version of the email system, Windows Live Hotmail, in 2005. It was subject to a number of updates in subsequent years, but would not last forever.
In 2012, Outlook.com was introduced by Microsoft as a new standard for email. When introduced, existing Hotmail users under the Microsoft umbrella were given the option to freely upgrade to Outlook. Users could keep the “@hotmail.com” extension of their email accounts, or transition to a new @outlook.com email address. Either way, Hotmail users could keep their old accounts.
Today, Outlook remains Gmail’s top competitor in the email world, with more than 400 million active users.
Can You Sign Up for a Hotmail Account?
Unfortunately, Hotmail is no longer available to new users. The closest you can get is to sign up for an Outlook email address. The only people with an existing Hotmail email address are ones who created their account many years ago, and have decided to keep their original @hotmail.com email address.
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Modern Hotmail users are now relying on Outlook for all their email needs. This isn’t Hotmail, exactly, but it may be what you’ve considered as Hotmail since you’ve made the transition. Additionally, Outlook is where Hotmail.com redirects you.
If you’re interested in learning the differences between Outlook and Gmail, we’ve written a full guide on the subject here. In the article, we discuss some of the core differences between Outlook and Gmail, including their features, design, and overall practicality for different businesses.
We also determine which platform is “better” in each of several different categories, including cost, available storage, ads, security, organization, search, contacts, add-ons, customizability, and more.
The Bottom Line: Gmail vs. Hotmail
We’ve written a few email platform comparison posts, and in most of them, Gmail ends up coming out on top. In this case, between Gmail vs Hotmail, it’s a no-brainer because Hotmail is dead, and Gmail played a role in killing it.
Of course, “dead” is a relative term. You or someone you know may still have “@hotmail.com” at the end of your email address, and you may still have old emails in your inbox that you received during the heyday of Hotmail. If this is the case, you’ll understandably be reluctant to make the transition—just remember you can migrate your emails to Gmail at any time, so you won’t stand to lose anything.
Be sure to check out our other posts comparing Gmail with popular email providers!
If you’re on Gmail and you’re interested in improving your email efficiency (or just better understanding your habits as a professional), it’s important to have a tool that can track your inbound and outbound emails, your average response times, and other metrics related to your performance.
One of the best tools on the market for Gmail is EmailAnalytics. Integrate your account in a matter of minutes, and discover new ways you can boost your productivity. If you’re interested, you can sign up for a free trial today!
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.
It is possible to create a Hotmail.com email.
I still send my emails via hotmail. I haven’t had a problem so far, and I don’t get mails with such strange content. Even if there is an ad that I don’t want, there are many alternatives for spam and if you want, you can delete and block all emails from that address in one step or offer different spam removal alternatives, so there is no difficulty.
We were able to prepare the power point in the group assignment, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to bring everyone together, it was a savior.
Thanks to the use of aliases, these shopping sites etc. I also sign up for memberships with it, all incoming e-mails are under the folder created for the address defined in the e-mail alias section. so there is no interference, it is comfortable to use.
I like hotmail more as an interface.
gmail’s phone pc workplace etc. It is certain that it provides convenience in terms of integration, but I do not like the dominance of a single entity that is so involved in everything. You’re doomed to use gmail for the phone. download apps with your gmail id and accept those permissions i don’t like extra because of its conviction.
I have been a strong supporter of GMAIL, until recently. It should be highlighted GMAIL(Google) does not offer support. The support is handled via Google forums and users are providing guidance. There is no direct support from Google which has become extremely frustrating as I have been locked out of my account. I am even paying for additional storage, so I am not even using there “free” service or whatever they are referencing the GMAIL product like. I can’t escalate my situation to anyone in Google. My research has shown the GMAIL/Google account verification has been handed over to AI support, again with no path to escalation, no phone number to call. I know GMAIL/Google has a lot to offer and I have enjoyed their offerings, but having no support from a company that has a lot of personal information I have entrusted them with leaves me very frustrated. Just my two cents.
I’ve still got an hotmail .co.uk account had it for years , now it has been hacked through Amazon,and seems also my Amazon fire stick , and amazon are useless wont help at all, just say if your account is not used your account will be shut down after 6 months , that’s no help top me 😡, other than that ive never had a problem with hotmail dont know now if i should make a new email with a completely different provider or not ?
I just created a hotmail box for the first time. It is not dead!
I’m still team Hotmail/Outlook
Me too. Outlook/Hotmail or even Yahoo are my preferred email providers.
Every year about twice a year my emails stop coming it’s most aggravating but after reading this hotmail is old but I’m afraid of changing emails because of the hassle. Is there an easy transition to something not so dated.
hotmail is over and above MUCH better than gmail.