With no doubt, email is one of the most traditional and pioneer services on the internet, since they were of the first platforms appeared online that allow users to communicate, exchange information and more, in a decade where actual physical letters where the way to send text over long distance.
In this way, email definitely changed the way in which we communicated in decades like 1990 and beyond, starting from that period when the service and internet in general became massive and accessible to many people in the United States and all over the world.
Of course, at present time email platforms are taken for granted and involving plenty of providers online that offer this service, which has sort of a more formal approach of communication and being the preferred way to send memorandums, documents and others.
One of the services that really helped to make email platforms a standard and being an absolute pioneer is Hotmail, former name of the current Microsoft’s email platform known as Outlook. Today we will be addressing this service in more details on how it was conceived, evolution over time, characteristics and also how it is possible to sign up and log in to enjoy the service.
A little bit about Hotmail as first Microsoft’s email service
Before being called Outlook, Microsoft’s email web-based service was Hotmail, which was released independently in 1996 as one of the pioneers respecting this new segment of products and online solutions for communication, and also being of the first in providing its use for free in every country where it was available.
A year after its release Hotmail as a service and technology was purchased by Microsoft, paying 400 million dollars to own every asset and solution designed by the company respecting email. This would be the first step carried out by Microsoft to start offering the most used and successful email services in the world, reaching 30 million users only two years after the purchase of the company.
At this point, Microsoft changed the name of the service to MSN Hotmail since it was included in the Microsoft Service Network, so credentials where valid to use other platforms like MSN Messenger and MSN Search. For the years to come, MSN Hotmail would be the absolute leader respecting email platforms online.
However, the platform would be obligated to improve and change its service in different ways, increasing speed and ease of access due to the release of Gmail in 2004; Google’s email service as the first entry of this company in the email sector of online service platforms.
A clear example of this was the release of the Microsoft’s new service platform in 2005, where classic solutions like MSN Hotmail, MSN Search and MSN Messenger where recalled as Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Search and Windows Live Messenger, respectively.
Apart from the name changing, the platform Windows Live where Hotmail was included would be the greatest evolution of the service, until the arrival of Outlook as complete shifting respecting the whole brand, functions, look and possibilities.
Change from Hotmail to Outlook
After the platform change that meant Windows Live that included Hotmail, modification in look and functions, a few years would pass to apply new outstanding changes. For example, in 2013, Microsoft as a company decided to remove the brand Hotmail as it was planning to do years ago, changing the name to Outlook and completely eliminating the previous brand for good.
Fortunately, the migration process respecting data bases and addresses was very seamless and users did not have to be involved in any way, only seeing the applied changes in functions, layout, design and responsiveness. Other than that, the whole process that took up to six weeks was very smooth.
Of course, previous Hotmail accounts were migrated including messages and users’ personal information and emails from years ago, as a great advantage. It is important to remember that at this point Hotmail had 300 million users worldwide, and at the moment of the migration Outlook added another 100 million new users respecting the novel Microsoft’s email service.
Of course, Outlook brought a lot of changes to the new email service provided by the company from Redmond, in terms of security, usability, functions, cloud-based functioning and more, as advantages we will be addressing in the next section.
Functions and improvements added to Outlook
First of all, the main change and most perceptible one about the migration from Hotmail to Outlook was the visuals and design. In details, the interface was changed from a more basic and retro one to the Metro IU, being quite similar to the used on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, with live tiles, plenty of colors and big elements and icons that help with ease of use and intuitiveness.
Of course, there are other functions and improvements respecting Outlook that were not present in Hotmail, such as being able to see thirty percent more messages, a cleaner design and less options.
From the beginning Outlook can be synced directly with Facebook, Twitter and of course Linkedin (belonging this last one company to Microsoft) and perform actions from one platform to the other. With Outlook is possible to use Office on cloud files to open and edit documents, allowing to upload up to 300 MB for every attachment and having 5 GB of free storage space.
Outlook offers plenty of unique functions that cannot be found in other email service providers, such as the Active View that allow to interact with elements as attachments on messages without downloading them or watch YouTube directly from the URL.
Other unique functions are to be able to use conversation threads to write messages more clearly, complete integration with Office apps online and the Sweep function that help users to delete and move messages in big amounts from the inbox.
Lastly and as it would be logic to imagine, Outlook was improved by Microsoft in terms of security, with SPAM filters and more in order to avoid phishing, ransomware and other types of malware that can be sent over email messages.
Outlook as the key to access the Microsoft service platform
Through the use of Outlook and the related credentials as email account and password, users have the opportunity to access a great set of platforms provided by Microsoft as a company, being the key to enter in those different services with a click of a button.
In fact, every Microsoft platform to be used at home and in mobile devices can be accessed through their Outlook account, providing functions like syncing information and data seamlessly between devices like Windows 10-based computers, mobile phones and more, being able to share contacts, calendar dates and appointments, settings and more.
This smooth and automatic syncing of data between every Microsoft service meant nothing but advantages, like saving time and the availability of valuable information like messages, files and other data in every device connected to the account, regardless of their nature and purpose.
Microsoft offers plenty of devices with different functions in which a proper Outlook account can be entered. Xbox One consoles, Windows computers and tablets, phones and other are great examples of products sold by the company in which an official email account can be used.
Microsoft’s platforms to use with Outlook accounts
By only having an Outlook account the users will be allowed to enjoy a great set of services and platform with different functions. First of all, as it is logical the Outlook account works to access the email platform what is intended for, offering an inbox where messages can be received and sent, along with attachment and with complete calendar syncing.
However, there are other great possibilities to take advantage of by creating a new Outlook account. Windows as operating system by Microsoft can be synced with the account to find lost devices and exchange information, along with log in functions.
In the same way, with the account is possible to make use of Skype as the chatting and video-calling solution from the company, allowing users to stay in touch and communicate for free or for very cheap quotes, depending on the country.
The Outlook account gives users the chance to enjoy up to 5 GB of cloud-based storage for free, keeping safe emails and attachments, along with any file or document uploaded like photos, videos and more, whether in PCs and laptops and mobile devices running iOS or Android, thanks to the official OneDrive application.
Office is another great example of a service that can be accessed for free with the Outlook account, allowing users to see and modify documents through the inbox with no charge or active subscription, as great advantage to consider since this is a paid services that must be activated for use in PC or laptops, being Office 365.
Finally, through an account users can take the most out of Bing as official search engine offered by Microsoft, such as saving searches, apply proper unique preferences and more, everything through the Outlook account.
Signing up on Outlook
In order to start using Outlook, we need to create a proper account and complete a registration process that is actually quite simple to carry out, requiring just minutes. To access this registration webpage users can visit the URL address https://outlook.live.com/owa/, and then click on the button placed at the top where it says “Create new account”.
By doing so, the platform will ask users to complete different sections with personal information, such as name, last name, location like country and city, post code, gender, age and more.
After that, in the registration webpage will be asked to enter a valid phone number, being a very important part of the registration process, since minutes later to create the account a code will be sent to such number to confirm that the individual completing the process is actually a person, and not some online bot.
When the message is received and the code is entered and verified, the account will be created and will be ready to use. It is important to stand out that the process can be also carried out from mobile devices through the corresponding Outlook app versions in platform like iOS and Android.
As it was said before, credentials respecting the account as email address and password will be the same on every Microsoft service offered online and other software provided by the company, such as Skype, OneDrive, Windows, Office and more, with the possibility to sync data seamlessly between them for more productivity and functionality.
How to log in on Outlook after an account is created
Once the Outlook account is created following the previous steps described in the prior section, the next thing to do is open session or log in to start using the platform, receive and send messages and begin customizing the platform at choice with color and layout, to take the most out of it respecting personal use and taste.
Now, to log in and enter the Outlook service is very simple. The user just need to access the URL address www.login.live.com using the preferred internet browser. Then, the platform will load and will ask users for their email address and then their password.
If both credentials are correct the platform will be available in just a few seconds, showing the inbox where messages are listed, along with the rest of the options to customize the platform, folder generation, composing section and more. Regardless of the internet browser to be used, the page does not change although the layout can be selected and modified according to screen size and ratio.
Of course, it is also possible to log in using Outlook apps on iOS and Android, where such credentials as email address and password are required at the moment the app is opened for the first time.
After such information is entered is not required anymore and users will access their inbox directly on their mobile device, such as phone or tablet. In fact, it is the same thing for other type of devices, such as Xbox consoles.