Why the Demise of Hotmail is the End of an Era

This week, a tiny little news item appeared on the right side of my screen as I scanned something vastly more important. In no uncertain terms, it alerted me to the end of an era.

Hotmail is dying.

Yes, folks, it’s true.

The 350 million of us who at one point signed up for accounts with hotmail will now be forcibly “encouraged” to migrate over from memorable old monikers like soccer4evaEVA1996@hotmail.com or iluvbeachesandpez04191977@hotmail.com to new, Outlook-friendly accounts.

Today, I’m sad.

Sad for my 18-year old claraponi1@hotmail.com self. (And, additionally, for my claraponi2@hotmail.com self, an account created out of necessity when I lost the password for the original account and proved mentally unable to figure out how to go about resetting it.)

For the self that didn’t have an email address until her first day of college right near the turn of the millenium. And then promptly signed up for a dozen.

For that same self that, within three months of never having had an email addressed, managed to “spam”  (their words, not mine) her 80-person freshman dorm mailing list so thoroughly that she was blocked from said dorm list. (Who didn’t want to hear what I was thinking, doing, feeling at all moments of my wildly transformative first year of college, I wondered.)

For the self that, with tears, was told by the upperclass Resident Computer Counselor in the freshman dorm that there was no way, at the turn of the millenium, to check a school email account while at home on Christmas break (read: from a non-school computer) and accepted this email-less 2 week holiday as a first, grim experience with what would one day be referred wistfully to as “unplugging”.

For that self, I reach back through the ages and shout: FAREWELL, or, more appropriately, CUL8R.

If I could only remember my passwords, I would log into you fine accounts now and stare at the thousands upon thousands of surely relevant emails that have piled up in the years of my absence.

Goodbye, dear friend.


Have a great hotmail email memory? Leave it below. We’ll all weep with you.  

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11 thoughts on “Why the Demise of Hotmail is the End of an Era

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  2. Ah yes. Good times and bad times. I first signed up with nothingtoputhere@hotmail.com in 1996 before hotmail was Microsoft and to this day, kept my 4 letter word password which Microsoft will no longer allow.
    The day I stopped using it was when I didn’t receive a job offer sent to my hotmail account. Turns out that wasn’t the first.
    I’m not surprised to see hotmail go; It didn’t always work for me. I assume that may have been the case for others as well.
    Oh and my password is no longer a 4 letter word on my new gmail account. 😉

  3. I got my first hotmail account when I was 13 and my mom kept warning me about stalkers and creepy people on the internet so I was too scared to give them my last name. Instead I said my last name was “Lynn.” One day soon after a friend asked if it was me because I had sent her a survey she was supposed to fill out with answers about me but she didn’t know who “cassie lynn” was.

    I would be much more heartbroken if AIM was dying. Butterfly_Kisses_Cutie shall never die.

  4. I had the same feeling when I read the story earlier this week, Claire. My first email account was on Hotmail, which I signed up for in ’96 or ’97. I have used it pretty much ever since (along with many others). I failed to check it for a few weeks in 2000 and the account was reset, much to my dismay. I have emails dating back to 2000, but lost the few years prior. I’ve always had mixed feelings about Hotmail, but part of me will be sad to see it go. You’re right: it’s the end of an era.

  5. oh, no! My Dad opened my first ever e-mail account at 12 – and it was hotmail! I had no one much to exchange e-mails with, but hey. I even the remember that first password! Recently, 13 years later, I’ve opened another hotmail account for old times’ sake – I don’t use it but for the occasional dodgy-looking e-mail- asking website, but I’m still sad it is dying. Oh wow – just realised hotmail is part of “my story”, too 🙂

    • Recently?! Amazing! I thought all dodgy-looking email-asking websites now “required” Yahoo… (ha)….Yahoo being the new Hotmail…;)

  6. I’m not shedding any tears over Hotmail’s demise. By the time Hotmail went mainstream, I had already created (and lost) various email accounts. But I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for my first email account…on Prodigy. It may not have been the worst business decision of all time, but not letting users select their own usernames has to put Prodigy in the discussion, right? W86QVG was a ham radio call sign, not an email address. Ah, the 90s…it was a simpler (read: stupider) time.