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History and evolution of Microsoft Outlook What are all the versions of this e-mail service that have existed until today?

Outlook is one of the most important email and instant messaging services in the world, it is estimated that it has around 100 million users and enjoys great prestige, thanks to all the communication options and use tools that it has.

Now, this platform has a very interesting history since its foundation, a fact that has allowed it to climb positions, and stand out for all the innovations it introduces in its service.

In this note, you will know the history of Outlook and how email started , you will also remember all the existing versions to date, as well as the various alternatives for you to have an email.  

Outlook History How Did Microsoft Email Get Started?

Outlook has a very interesting history , since from its beginnings it was one of the pioneer services in the field of instant messaging and emails. At first its name was Hotmail, and it was very popular thanks to its chat or MSN, which undoubtedly marked an era among all users. As time went by, Hotmail evolved and included tools that enhanced its use.

In this sense, you will get to know in depth what is related to Hotmail or Outlook and how the whole process was to become what it is today:

Birth of Hotmail

Interface of the old Hotmail

On July 4, 1996 , Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith created Hotmail, it was developed with the aim of offering a free email service and free access for all people , being a very interesting alternative to other companies that needed other mechanisms to function properly.

At that time, to access an email, it was necessary to use a program called Eudora , which is why the creators of Hotmail decided to create a platform that worked freely and without using any software, any type of configuration and from any browser, everything without paying a single  penny .

This project was very innovative , the company would be founded with a capital of 300 thousand dollars, offering 2 megabytes of storage. A week after its foundation, this system had 1 million users , and by 1997, Hotmail would have a value of 400 million dollars, a fact that would make it the king of email services until then.

The name of Hotmail comes from a composition of words based on the ” HTLM ” nomenclature, which is the language used to build web pages.

Microsoft Buy Hotmail

When Microsoft buys Hotmail

On December 31, 1997 and in the midst of a crisis caused by the loss of users, because many people preferred free internet services, Microsoft announced the purchase of Hotmail for 400 million dollars, at that time, the company of emails had approximately 6 million users. This purchase stems from the need to be able to compete with AOL , a company that that year had displaced Microsoft in user preference and in the catalog of services.

From that moment, Hotmail was renamed ” MSN HOTMAIL” , increasing its popularity, and reaching 8.5 million users in just 3 days. After this fact, the company was launched by various countries, obtaining an impressive receptivity , to the point of increasing its popularity, seeing itself reflected with the registration of thousands of users every day, becoming the largest email and instant messaging service in the world. world.

Change of name to Outlook

Outlook inbox

In order to improve the entire interface and renew the design of the platform, Microsoft announces the beginning of a transition, and that is that all Hotmail accounts would have the Outlook domain , all this update was carried out automatically, without the mail and courier service be affected.

On February 19, 2013 , the exodus of Hotmail accounts to the new Outlook begins, a platform that brings with it many benefits, in addition, this process was orderly, since no user lost the information stored in their tray, keeping the same name . account to users of the old Hotmail, introducing the new Outlook domain to new followers . On May 3, 2013, the account exodus ends and the mail service is officially renamed Outlook.

In this sense, Outlook offers new and interesting functions, in relation to its predecessor, since it includes instant messaging through Skype, email programming via SMTP, and the sending and storage of files through the cloud.

Evolution of Microsoft Outlook What have been all the versions to date?

Outlook, since its creation, has had different versions and updates , each one with its particular characteristics that are part of the history of this company. However, each version has been able to adapt to what new technologies demand, which is why they all present innovative tools that have been of great help to all users.

Next, you will learn about all the versions of Microsoft Outlook, and how they have evolved to become what they represent today: one of the most important email services in the world:


Old Hotmail interface

Hotmail was one of the pioneers in terms of the email service,  free and easily accessible , it was its main emblem at the time of its foundation in 1996 , at that time it had a very attractive storage capacity, which inclined many users to use this platform. This first version caught the attention of many experts, who were satisfied with the use of this service.

Some of its main characteristics are the following:

  • It displayed a reading pane .
  • Functions set with the mouse were applied.
  • Very secure platform .
  • Spell checker .

MSN Hotmail

Microsoft's MSN

It was the version available after the purchase of Hotmail by Microsoft , it includes the instant messaging service and various functions that are dedicated to improving each specific tool. Its characteristics were well marked, characterizing this service as one of the best of the time.

Its main elements were the following:

  • It allowed to add contacts through chat .
  • It had the option to change states .
  • He shared images and photos.
  • It had the option to modify the font .
  • It notified when a contact connected to the platform .

Windows Live Hotmail

Windows Live Hotmail interface

It is an improved version of Hotmail, it was officially announced in 2005 and was mainly characterized by expanding its storage capacity up to 5 GB, in addition to offering very useful tools such as calendar, contacts, space and Messenger . Windows Live Hotmail was available for more than 30 languages , being a platform recognized for the security it showed.

Among its most important features we have:

  • It featured an integrated audio player .
  • I did quick searches using bing.
  • It had the reading pane to offer a better view of the inbox.
  • It offered various themes to customize the platform .
  • It allowed sending attachments up to a maximum weight of 10 MB.

Outlook 2010

Outlook 2010 interface

It is a unique tool that offers various benefits, which you can use both on a business and personal level. It represents the starting point in terms of the evolution that Hotmail underwent and that brought with it significant advances in the mail and messaging service. It was launched on July 15, 2010 , and the improvement was immediately noticeable in its interface, as well as the advances in terms of functions and options that the system offered at that time.

Among its main characteristics stand out:

  • It has the ability to schedule meetings with all contacts by sending and receiving emails.
  • Create appointments through the calendar.
  • Offers tools for people with disabilities such as zoom view.
  • Set notices and notifications.
  • Contains to-do bar .

Outlook 2013

Outlook 2013 interface

It was released for all users on January 29, 2013 , this update emphasizes improving communication through emails , and that they have a better view and organization in the inbox. In this sense, the interface allows you to customize the mailbox to your liking, making it very attractive.

Its main characteristics are:

  • Improved view of the message list.
  • Concentration of data files
  • Allows you to check the weather.
  • It has a status bar where you can find all the functions, and customize it according to your needs.
  • It keeps you up to date with appointments, thanks to the scheduling of these through the calendar.

Outlook 2016

Outlook 2016 interface

Released on September 22, 2015 , it is an update that you can download through the official Microsoft website. This version is the first to include Office 365 as tools within the mail, in addition to saving files in the cloud. The platform shows an innovative inbox, from where you can schedule all your tasks, as well as easily communicate with all your contacts.

The main features of Outlook 2016 are:

  • It allows to organize the emails according to the respective priority .
  • Store your files and documents on OneDrive.
  • Configure the calendar according to your needs and most important events.
  • It has a dynamic mail search .
  • Sort all emails according to their age

Outlook 2022

Outlook 2022 interface

As of March 2, 2022 , the latest version of Outlook is available . It brings a series of improvements that significantly enhance the interface of this platform. In this sense, the differences with the previous edition are not so great, the functions show adjustments that make the tasks for which they were programmed even easier.

The most outstanding features are:

  • It has a translator for 70 languages .
  • It allows you to customize the interface with a menu of very striking colors.
  • It has an improved search to quickly find the emails in the tray.
  • It offers multimedia content with images so you can send attractive messages to your contacts.
  • You can manage multiple email accounts .

Best alternatives to Outlook to have email

Outlook is an email service that is used by many people, whether for private or business use, this platform has tools that will facilitate actions at a given time . Well, Outlook is not the only option you have when using an email manager that offers special functions, in this sense, we will show you some high-quality options, making use of the benefits they have.

The best alternatives to Outlook are:


Gmail mail interface

When we talk about Gmail, we are referring to what is perhaps the most important email service on the planet. It currently has 4,030 million users, among the main tools that you can have when using this platform are: Google Calendar, Google Drive and creation of new folders , among other resources, as well as an impeccable organization of the inbox and complements that enhance the use of this.

Another of the main strengths of Gmail is its storage capacity, this has 15 Gb of space , allowing you to save files of all types and of different sizes, with the respective security that characterizes this platform. To start using this alternative go to the web

Thunderbird interface

Mozilla Thunderbird is a free, open source, multi-platform email manager. Its interface offers the possibility of adding extensions that maximize its performance. It is free and you can customize it according to your tastes, with an interesting range of options for this type of function.

Another of the great benefits that Thunderbird has is its security system , since it has email encryption , and maximum control over the data stored here, maintaining a high degree of privacy on the platform.

Mailbird interface

It has a fairly simple and easy-to-use interface , for this reason many people quickly learn to manage the platform due to how simple but effective its functions are, and how practical it can be to manage the information within it. this account. Another of the great benefits of Mailbird is the integration with social networks, as well as its coordination with other mail services , it allows you to search for files using keywords, as well as the customization of your inbox.