Difference Between Hotmail and Live

Windows Live (or most often known as Live) is a brand name of Microsoft that covers the collection of their more recent products and services. Windows Live Hotmail (simply referred to as Hotmail) is a web based email service under this Windows Live group of services. It is a free email service. It is the most popular web based email service in the world.


Hotmail (officially known as Windows Live Hotmail) is a web based email service, which belongs to the Windows Live series of products and services offered by Microsoft. It is a completely free email service; and in fact, it was the first of its kind. It is the most popular web based email service with more than 300 million users worldwide. It was founded by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith as HoTMail in 1996. It was one of the first free email providers at that time. Microsoft bought it in 1997 and MSN Hotmail was its consequent rebranded name. Microsoft announced the name change to Windows Live Hotmail in 2005, and it was introduced in 2007. Windows Live Hotmail offers unlimited storage for its users. It also uses Ajax and provides patented high security features. It integrates easily with other Microsoft products such as Windows Live Messenger, Hotmail Calendars, SkyDrive and Contact. It can be used in 36 different languages. Later versions of all popular web browsers that support Ajax technology (i.e. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari) are fully supported by Windows Live Hotmail. Some of its features (common with other webmail services) are (mouse-less) keyboard navigational ability and improved query-like message search. Features unique to Windows Live Hotmail are Active view, Office Web Apps integration, conversation threading, Sweep, quick views, one-click filters and aliases.


Live (or officially know as Windows Live) is a brand name of Microsoft that covers a range of products and services (in their software plus service platform). Most of Live applications are web based applications (like Windows Live Hotmail). Several Windows Live products are rebranded and enhanced versions of MSN products and services (such as Hotmail). Users can obtain Windows Live services through Windows Live Essential applications (in Windows 7), web services or mobile services. Some of its popular online services and applications are Windows Live Hotmail, Hotmail Calendar, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger (successor of MSN messenger), Windows Live Movie Maker (successor to Windows Movie Maker), SkyDrive and Windows Live Office (cloud based document management tool).

What is the difference between Hotmail and Live?

Windows Live is collective brand name for a series of Microsoft products and services introduced very recently. Windows Live Hotmail is a free web based email service by Microsoft. It actually belongs to the Windows Live series. Windows Live Hotmail was earlier known as MSN Hotmail. Hotmail is a product that has been here for more than a decade, but most Windows Live services are not that old.