Microsoft Officially Kills Hotmail

It’s one of the few tech relics of the 1990’s that is still with us. But that, too, is about to change.

Microsoft said Tuesday that it is officially winding down Hotmail accounts.

“Starting today, Microsoft will begin to upgrade every Hotmail user to,” Microsoft said in a statement. “The upgrade is seamless and instant for Hotmail customers; everything including their email address, password, contacts, etc., will stay the same.”

Much like the arrival of a new Facebook layout, users will have the option to switch over immediately, or wait until the changeover is mandated later this summer. Either way, this year, all Hotmail users will be moved over to

“For most of those people,” says Harry McCracken of Time, “that should be a good thing — or at least, as forced transitions go, not a bad thing. While it’s impossible to underestimate the ferocity with which some folks prefer to clutch onto whatever they’ve already got, is a far better service than Hotmail, with a radically decluttered interface and useful new organization tools.”

Hotmail, launched in 1996, was one of the first Web-based email services.

So… will you miss Hotmail for nostalgia’s sake if nothing more? Please weigh in with a thought or comment below.