Outlook vs Hotmail: Six Must-Know Facts

  • Hotmail was founded by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith on July 4, 1996, and Outlook was launched on July 31, 2012.
  • Outlook will notify you to attach a file to your document; however, Hotmail did not have this feature.
  • The Hotmail domain name was chosen because it contains the letters HTML, which is the language in which all web pages are created. The Outlook domain name was picked because its design was similar to MS Outlook and distinguished it from Hotmail.
  • Hotmail accounts can be connected with other social media platforms like Skype, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google, and Outlook can also be connected to all these platforms. It can also be integrated with MS Office. 
  • S/MIME and SSL/TLS version 1.2 are the encryption protocols supported by Outlook, whereas SSL is the only encryption standard supported by Hotmail.
  • Outlook had many UI, functional, and security improvements over Hotmail; the interface runs much faster, many more functions were added that Hotmail did not have. Outlook also has more advanced security protocols to ensure user privacy.
Outlook vs Hotmail

People get confused when talking about Hotmail and Outlook. Some think they are the same thing; others argue that they are, in fact, different entities. Those who believe them to be different wonder which is the better one to use.

Microsoft’s Hotmail is a web-based suite of services that includes webmail, contacts, tasks, and calendaring. It is widely regarded as one of the top webmail services in the world. Microsoft has changed its name several times over the years, the most recent change being the name Outlook.com, which replaced the Hotmail service in July 2012.

Outlook vs. Hotmail: Side by Side Comparison

What it is:Microsoft’s free web-based email service after a rebrand of Hotmail.Microsoft’s free web-based email service that was rebranded in July 2012 to Outlook.
Primary Use:Sending, receiving of emails, and other functions related to emails.Sending, receiving of emails, and other functions related to emails.
Conceived:Outlook was released on July 31, 2012.Hotmail was launched on July 4, 1996.
Multiple Time Zones: Outlook can display two different time zones simultaneously to make emailing easier.Hotmail could only show you the one time zone.
User Interface:Outlook offers a flat user interface, similar to MS Outlook and the most recent Windows versions.Hotmail’s UI had the old windows look with big icons and panels.
Security And Privacy:Outlook is much more secure because it has advanced security features and methods.Hotmail was secure at the time, but in the modern world, it would not be able to stand on its own.
Encryption Protocol:Outlook supports S/MIME and SSL/TLS version 1.2 as Encryption Protocols.SSL is the encryption standard that Hotmail supports.

History of Hotmail

Hotmail was one of the first services to offer free web-based email globally, back in 1996. Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith founded it, and Microsoft purchased it in 1997 for an estimated $400 million US$. It was formerly known as MSN Hotmail, then Windows Live Hotmail, and finally, in 2013, it was renamed Outlook.

Microsoft finally released a new email system in 2005. Customers were puzzled when the Hotmail email service was renamed “Windows Live Mail,” so Microsoft changed it to “Windows Live Hotmail.” Hotmail email subscribers soared after Microsoft introduced new registrations on May 7, 2007. Microsoft focused on speed, increased email storage capacity, a better user experience, and new features in its ongoing development strategy. The sign-in rate increased by 70%, the most notable improvement.

Hotmail’s Decline

While many people adore Hotmail, it has since become one of the worst email services, with users dismissing it as unprofessional, messy, and just something to avoid. Hotmail had more problems than any other email service, with mail disappearing, account access problems, and email not arriving at its destinations. Furthermore, Hotmail’s customer service has deteriorated significantly over the years.

Outlook: A Massive Improvement over Hotmail

Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Outlook on computer screen and Microsoft Outlook logo on smartphone screen. Image: Shutterstock

In July 2012, Microsoft revamped Hotmail with a new Metro layout and a new name — Outlook. Even if you didn’t enjoy Hotmail in the past, the interface was the company’s best attempt at providing a straightforward and uncomplicated webmail service, and it’s worth checking out. In addition, Microsoft gave new email addresses with the name Outlook.com, perhaps in response to the Hotmail brand’s negative publicity. Anyone could sign up for it using their existing Hotmail account or create a new account.

Outlook is not a reincarnation of Hotmail. It’s an entirely new and separate service that bears no resemblance to its Hotmail ancestors. It’s straightforward (albeit the mail settings page still gives me a headache), and it has a flat UI similar to Windows Phone and Windows 8.

In the first year of Outlook’s debut, Microsoft released 34 feature updates with over 600 additions, modifications, and enhancements. In that year, Microsoft released over 100 improvements to Outlook.com, improving performance, efficiency, and stability.

Hotmail vs Gmail: Which One Is Better?

Finally, when comparing Hotmail and Gmail, we observe that each has its benefits. Unfortunately, when it comes to digital services, people tend to favor the most widely used platform, and it isn’t easy to find someone who does not have a Gmail account, making it nearly essential to utilize one.

Hotmail was also renamed Outlook a few years ago. Hotmail is no longer available as a service, and while Hotmail addresses still exist, no new users can sign up with Hotmail anymore. On the other hand, Gmail is only increasing and improving on its already impressive list of features, So Gmail is the winner.

Up Next…

Outlook vs Hotmail: Full Comparison FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is it better to use Outlook or Hotmail?

Outlook is by far the better of the two. It has many improvements over Hotmail in functionality, UI, Security, and overall performance.

Which is safer, Hotmail or Outlook?

Outlook has better security for emails and advanced encryption protocols that Hotmail did not have, so Outlook is safer.

What are the disadvantages of Outlook?

  • Ads are displayed on Outlook.com, and they take up a lot of screen space.
  • The options for configuring your inbox in Outlook are limited.

Which is more user-friendly, Hotmail or Outlook?

Outlook is more user-friendly as it has a clean, simpler design than Hotmail, and the customer feedback is also miles better than Hotmail.

Which is more affordable, Hotmail or Outlook?

Both are free to use when emailing services, though Outlook does have a paid premium version with much more capabilities.

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  • Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outlook.com#History
  • Available here: https://insights.dice.com/2012/08/01/hotmail-rebranded-as-outlook-sports-metro-interface/
  • Available here: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/982872/Hotmail-login-difference-between-Hotmail-and-Outlook-Microsoft