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Hotmail is dead! Microsoft Outlook Email Services Explained

Microsoft has undergone several rebrandings in recent years, and it probably would have been a wise move if the resulting product names weren't so confusing. When someone refers to something like “panorama”, what exactly do they mean?

These days “landscape” can refer to a desktop email client you should ditch Webmail for a desktop email client if… You should ditch email webmail for a desktop email client if… A few years ago, webmail was all the rave. Wondering if it's time to go back to a desktop email client? Look no further. We show you the merits of a local mail service. Learn more, a web-based email client 6 reasons why you should stop using desktop email clients in favor of web-based options 6 reasons why you should stop using desktop email clients desktop in favor of web-based options. having your day around the MakeUseOf crowd is like preaching to the choir. Most of us use Gmail, our own mail servers, or some form of cloud backup... Read More And as if that wasn't puzzling enough, you also have to juggle terms like "Hotmail," "Live Mail," or "Outlook Web App."

We are here to clear it all up. Which terms should you are using? At the end of this article, you will no longer have any doubts..

Microsoft email services

Next to Gmail, Hotmail was one of the most recognized email services in the world. Back in 1997, when Microsoft had bought it from the original creators, Hotmail offered something unique from most email inboxes:independence from ISPs like America OnLine (AOL).

Hotmail is dead! Microsoft Outlook Email Services Explained

This version was called MSN Hotmail and it no longer exists.

Fast-forward now to 2005. Microsoft announced a new set of services and products that were designed to extend the user experience in Windows. This new suite was called Windows Live, which you might recognize from products like the open source Windows Live Writer and Windows Live Essentials.

Hotmail is dead! Microsoft Outlook Email Services Explained

This is where it starts to get confusing. As part of this move, Microsoft planned to remove Hotmail and replace it with a new mail system called Windows Live Mail. . But when beta testers complained about the change and how they preferred the Hotmail branding, Microsoft backed down and made up its mind. Windows Live Hotmail .

The Windows Live brand was discontinued in 2012. Some of the services and products were integrated directly into the Windows operating system (for example, apps for Windows 8 and 10), while others were spun off and continued on their own (for example, Windows Live Search became Bing), while others were simply removed.

Hotmail is dead! Microsoft Outlook Email Services Explained

Around the same time, Microsoft introduced , which was essentially a rebrand of Windows Live Hotmail with an updated user interface and improved features. Many people incorrectly refer to this as Outlook Online. (There is no such thing.)

To add to the confusion, current users were allowed to keep their email addresses, but new users can no longer create accounts with that domain. Instead, new users can only create addresses, even if both email addresses use the same email service.

So from now on, is the official name of Microsoft's email service, formerly known as Hotmail and Windows Live Hotmail.

Microsoft web email clients

In the golden days, the Hotmail website was the web interface for the Hotmail email service. There was no brand mismatch. The services were one in the same. Every time you said “Hotmail”, People always knew what you were talking about.

Unfortunately, things aren't that simple anymore.

In 2011, just a year before Microsoft discontinued its Windows Live brand, they introduced Office 365 . At the time, Office 365 was geared toward business and corporate users, but over time it expanded to include regular consumers as well. In many ways, Office 365 is what Windows Live should have been.

Hotmail is dead! Microsoft Outlook Email Services Explained

As part of Microsoft's push for Office 365, they released a collection of web apps called Outlook on the web (formerly Outlook Web App) in 2015. This suite included four separate tools:Microsoft Outlook Mail, Outlook Calendar, Outlook People, and Outlook Tasks.

The important one is Outlook Mail , which is the modern analog to the Hotmail interface for years. Remember how Microsoft renamed their email service as Outlook Mail is the front end, while is the back end.

As with, many people incorrectly refer to Outlook Mail as Outlook Online. There's no such thing as Outlook online.

To be clear, Outlook Mail is the web email client, while is the actual email service provided by Microsoft. The former is used to see the latter.

Microsoft desktop email clients

Microsoft's confusing brand strategy has also spilled over into its desktop products. After all, until recently, “panorama” has always meant “Microsoft desktop email client”. It wasn't until they went crazy with the brand change that everything got too complicated.

panorama it debuted in MS-DOS, even before Windows 3.1, but didn't really gain traction until Outlook 97, which was packaged as part of Office 97. With each subsequent version of Office 20 Microsoft Office Historical Facts You Forgot or Never Knew 20 Historical Facts Microsoft Office you forgot or never knew about The Microsoft Office suite turned 25 this year. The world has changed since digital presentations, word processing, and spreadsheets became a thing. Do you remember how it all started? Read More

Hotmail is dead! Microsoft Outlook Email Services Explained

Sometimes this desktop version is known as Office Outlook, but the official name is Microsoft Outlook (or just Outlook). You can see how confusing that can be given all the different Outlook-related products and services out there today, but that confusion isn't just a recent thing.

Hotmail is dead! Microsoft Outlook Email Services Explained

Consider the now defunct Outlook Express , which was an email client that came bundled with Internet Explorer starting in 1996. Despite similarities in name, Outlook Express was in no way related to Microsoft Outlook (except for its use as an email client) .

Microsoft Outlook Express was succeeded by Windows Mail in 2005, around the same time Windows Vista was released. This was most likely due to infrastructure differences between Windows XP and Windows Vista, so the two are similar, but Windows Mail cannot be used on versions prior to Vista.

Hotmail is dead! Microsoft Outlook Email Services Explained

Just two years later, in 2007, Windows Mail was succeeded by Windows Live Mail . Remember how Microsoft wanted to rename Hotmail as Windows Live Mail? This has nothing to do with that. Hotmail became Windows Live Hotmail, while Windows Mail became Windows Live Mail.

In Windows 10, none of the programs mentioned above are relevant, except for Outlook (which can also be called Microsoft Office Outlook if you want to differentiate it from all the other Outlook related products out there).

The bottom line

If you've made it this far and your head is spinning, don't worry. That's normal. Microsoft has really shot itself in the foot with rebrand after rebrand, and it's almost impossible to keep up. If you're still confused, here's what you need to know:

  • is the current name of Microsoft's email service, formerly known as Hotmail.
  • Outlook Mail is the web app that lets you browse your email account. It is part of the Outlook on the web set of web applications.
  • panorama , or Office Outlook, is Microsoft's desktop email client. It can be used with email addresses or any other email address.

Everything else, including Outlook Express, Windows Mail, and Windows Live Mail, is no longer relevant unless you're running outdated versions of Windows 3 Reasons Why You Should Be Running The Latest Windows Updates and Security Patches 3 Reasons You Should should be running Latest Windows security patches and updates The code that makes up the Windows operating system contains security holes, bugs, incompatibilities, or outdated software elements. In short, Windows is not perfect, we all know that. Security patches and updates fix vulnerabilities... Read More .

Did this help? Are you still confused? Do you know something we missed? Tell us about it in the comments below.!

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