Hotmail

Founded

1996



Overview:
Outlook.com is a web-based suite of webmail, contacts, tasks, and calendaring services from Microsoft. One of the world's first webmail services, it was founded in 1996 as Hotmail (stylized as HoTMaiL) by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith in Mountain View, California, and headquartered in Sunnyvale. Microsoft acquired Hotmail in 1997 for an estimated $400 million and launched it as MSN Hotmail, later rebranded to Windows Live Hotmail as part of the Windows Live suite of products. Microsoft released the final version of Hotmail in October 2011 and it was replaced by Outlook.com in 2013.

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Industries:
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Information Technology
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Services



Similar firms (based on pattern co-occurrence):
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3 shared patterns
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Business Model Patterns:

Digitization

How they do it: As one of the first webmail services, Hotmail was a pioneer in digitizing traditional postal communication. It enabled users to set up a virtual inbox and send and receive email messages using the internet.

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Freemium

How they do it: Hotmails basic inbox and email service was offered to customers for free. However, the inboxes came with limited storage for messages. Users could upgrade their storage by paying a monthly or annual fee.

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Hidden Revenue

How they do it: As Hotmail drove a lot of traffic on its website from its email users, it monetized that traffic with ads. These include sponsored articles, as well as display ads. The core product remained free to the user but Hotmail generated revenue from advertisers.

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Leverage Customer Data

How they do it: Hotmail’s customer’s data was used by Hotmail to make a demografic profile of its users. This could be monetized by letting advertisers target their ads to specific demografic user groups and hence reach a higher conversion rate for their ads.

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