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Images: Changing face of Web mail

From check boxes to drag-and-drop, Hotmail is trying to catch up with Gmail. See the evolution.

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Topic: Windows
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1 of 6 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Dec. 1997: Hotmail screenshot

Microsoft acquired Hotmail in December 1997, and got 8 million users. Here is a screenshot of Hotmail as it looked then.

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2 of 6 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

July 2005: Kahuna

Microsoft showed off an early test version of Kahuna at a financial analysts' meeting in July 2005.

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3 of 6 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Sept 2005: Yahoo

Yahoo launched a limited U.S. beta of its improved Yahoo Mail service in September 2005. The version included features like a built-in RSS reader and the ability to tab through multiple open e-mails. It also adds many other features appearing in Windows Live Mail, such as a reading pane and drag-and-drop organization.

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4 of 6 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Nov. 2005: Hotmail today

A look at the current version of Hotmail. Microsoft announced Windows Live in November 2005, including plans to rename Hotmail as Windows Live Mail.

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5 of 6 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

April 2006: Windows Live, Outlook-style

Here is a screenshot--the April 2006 test version--of Windows Live Mail's new look with Outlook-style reading pane and other features. Microsoft demos improved Hotmail (code-named Kahuna) at a financial analysts' conference and started publicly testing its screens.

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6 of 6 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Classic mode

To address criticisms over the new Windows Live Mail, Microsoft has included in its most recent test version a "classic view" that uses new technology but looks and acts like the old Hotmail.

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