Hotmail still unharmed by new owner

We decided to take a closer look at the Web-based e-mail service that is currently setting the standard in the booming free e-mail niche: Hotmail.

It's been nearly six months since Microsoft bought Hotmail and its millions of user accounts, but not much has changed at Like an "Under new management" sign in the window of a popular delicatessen, a "from Microsoft" tagline has been slapped below the Hotmail banner. The shape of things to come is more obvious in the drop-down menu on Hotmail's opening screen, directing browsers to Microsoft's numerous other media properties such as Slate, CarPoint and its ever-present Microsoft Network.

A bit deeper into the Hotmail site, on the frequently asked questions page, we found some advice that we're sure won't last much longer. Hotmail's FAQ still suggests "a browser such as Netscape Navigator 2.0 or higher for best viewing results". Rats feed where they can, and we can always find a juicy spot on a giant.

Beyond a reworking of Hotmail's Web-face to the world, we expect that Microsoft will soon do a little tinkering with the technology it bought. Several Microsoft-owned sites, such as CarPoint and Internet Gaming Zone, have been enhanced for Internet Explorer and Windows, and Hotmail is sure to follow suit.

Hotmail's platform-agnostic service -- arguably one of the reasons it became so popular in the first place -- will quickly give way to tiered services for Windows and non-Windows users. Look for nifty new features, such as chat and audio/video messaging, to only appear first in ActiveX, with Java versions "coming soon".

Not that we're fatalists. It's just the way the game is played.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?