In Pictures: Microsoft products you may not know were acquisitions

Microsoft usually makes small purchases, but occasionally those small purchases pay off huge.

Hotmail Another example of Microsoft jumpstarting its Internet business. It bought Hotmail, then rendered as HoTMaiL, in 1997 for $400 million. It was one of the first Web-based mail services, along with Yahoo Mail, which was also an acquisition. Yahoo bought RocketMail from a startup called Four11. Microsoft renamed the service MSN Hotmail.

It would be surpassed by Google Mail, and after falling into decay and misuse Hotmail became a home for spammers. In 2011, Microsoft decided to whip the service into shape, but its reputation was ruined at that point. Plus, Microsoft had a second mail service, Windows Live Mail, so it merged Hotmail and Live Mail into one new brand, Outlook.com.

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