Another example of Microsoft jumpstarting its Internet business. It bought Hotmail, then rendered as HoTMaiL, in 1997 for $400 million. It was one of the first Web-based mail services, along with Yahoo Mail, which was also an acquisition (Yahoo bought RocketMail from a startup called Four11). Microsoft renamed the service MSN Hotmail.
It would be surpassed by Google Mail, and after falling into decay and misuse, Hotmail became a home for spammers. In 2011, Microsoft decided to whip the service into shape, but its reputation was ruined at that point. Plus, Microsoft had a second mail service, Windows Live Mail, so it merged Hotmail and Live Mail into one new brand, Outlook.com.