What's The Difference Between MSN, Hotmail, Outlook, And Windows Live Mail?
The terms Hotmail.com, MSN.com, Live.com, and Outlook.com are all associated with Microsoft's email services, but they represent different phases and rebranding efforts of the same underlying service. So, what exactly are they, and how do they differ from each other? Let’s find the answer in this article. We will show you what’s the difference between MSN, Hotmail, Outlook, and Windows Live Mail.
What are MSN, Hotmail, Outlook, and Windows Live Mail?
MSN, or Microsoft Network, is a web portal and online service offered by Microsoft. It provides a variety of internet services, including news, weather, entertainment, and email. In the past, MSN.com was closely associated with Hotmail and used as a domain for email addresses.
Key features of MSN
- MSN provides a news section that aggregates news articles from various sources (world news, entertainment, sports, technology, and more).
- MSN includes a search engine powered by Bing, allowing users to perform web searches.
Hotmail was one of the earliest web-based email services. It was launched in 1996. It quickly gained popularity and became one of the most widely used free email platforms worldwide. Hotmail offered features such as webmail access, spam filtering, and a user-friendly interface. Over time, Hotmail underwent several updates and improvements.
Key features of Hotmail
- It provides a clean, user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate.
- Hotmail offers robust tools for organizing and managing your emails.
- Hotmail also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Windows Live Mail
Windows Live Mail (or Live.com) was introduced as part of Microsoft's "Windows Live" initiative in 2005. It aimed to integrate various online services under a unified brand. As part of this initiative, Hotmail was rebranded as Windows Live Hotmail. Live.com served as the primary domain for email addresses associated with this rebranded version of Hotmail.
Key features of Windows Live Mail
- It allows users to manage multiple email accounts from different providers within a single interface.
- You could access your emails even without an internet connection.
- Windows Live Mail included a calendar feature that allowed you to schedule appointments, set reminders, and manage your events.
In 2012, Microsoft further evolved its email service by introducing Outlook.com. Outlook.com was a significant update to the Hotmail platform, offering a refreshed interface, improved features, and better integration with other Microsoft services. It provided a modern webmail experience, enhanced security features, and integration with Microsoft Office apps. Outlook.com also allowed users to customize their email addresses with the @outlook.com domain.
Key features of Outlook
- Outlook.com provides a clean, user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate.
- It offers a modern design and layout, making it convenient to read, compose, and manage emails.
- It also provides tools for organizing and managing your emails. It allows you to create folders, apply filters, and use categories to sort and prioritize messages.
- Outlook.com includes the calendar feature that allows you to schedule appointments, set reminders, and manage your events.
What’s the difference between MSN, Hotmail, Outlook, and Windows Live Mail?
Hotmail.com vs. MSN.com
- Integrate with other Microsoft services and applications, such as Microsoft Office Suite, OneDrive, and Skype.
- Require users to have a Microsoft account to access their email accounts.
- While Hotmail.com primarily focuses on email functionality, MSN.com offers a broader range of online services. MSN.com provides news, entertainment, sports, weather, and other internet-related content in addition to email access. Users can access various online services and features through the MSN.com portal. To put it simply, Hotmail.com focuses on email functionality, MSN.com offers a range of other services alongside email access.
Windows Live Mail vs. Outlook
Both of them have some similar features:
- Calendar feature.
- Integration with Microsoft Office.
- Manage multiple email accounts from different providers within a single interface.
- Outlook is available as both a desktop application and a web-based email service while Windows Live Mail is a desktop-only application.
- Outlook provides a more comprehensive feature set compared to Windows Live Mail. It offers advanced email management features like powerful search capabilities, intelligent email filtering, conversation threading, and organization tools.
- Outlook has built-in support for Microsoft Exchange Server, a widely used email and collaboration server in business environments. It offers features like real-time synchronization of emails, contacts, calendars, and tasks with the Exchange server. Windows Live Mail does not have native support for Exchange Server.
- Windows Live Mail allows offline access to emails, folders, and drafts, meaning you can work with your emails even without an internet connection. Outlook also offers offline access, allowing you to work with your emails, calendars, and other data offline and sync changes once you're back online.
In summary, MSN, Hotmail, Outlook, and Windows Live Mail are different names and domains associated with Microsoft's email services. They represent various stages of evolution, rebranding, and improvements to the same underlying email platform. Despite the differences in branding and domains, all these services are essentially different iterations of the same email platform.