At the height of dotcom era or bubble, Sabeer Bhatia was seen as a knight in shining armour. He had just sold of his startup, the HoTMaiL.comhotmail.com in html) to Microsoft for $400 million. Every Indian techie at that time aspired to be a Sabeer Bhatia. With Jack Smith, Bhatia started hotmail.com, a free email service. Prior to hotmail.com, the emails were sold and provided by the ISPs and you had to buy a net connection to have access to the email. However with good foresight Bhatia and Smith launched hotmail.com which went on to become the No.1 email provider with 369 million users.
However, the buyer Microsoft has different ideas with hotmail.com. Today Microsoft officially killed hotmail.com and has introduced outlook.com in its place. The phase out was publicised much earlier as the hotmail.com doesn't fall into the new model of business, Microsoft is visualising for itself in the shadow of the leaders, Google and Apple.
For over two years now, the Microsoft share prices have remained stagnant in the USD 25-30 while the rivals, Apple and Google have zoomed ahead. The latest offerings from Microsoft, Office 365 and Windows 8 are yet to gain any sort of momentum which was seen with Windows XP or for that matter Windows 7. Its mobile platform business is going no where with Windows Phone 8 model which as of now is being marketed by Nokia another loser of the big mobile wars.
Micorsoft has nothing special to say about killing hotmail.com. It announced it has completed the transition from the email service to the new Outlook.com which now has around 400 million users.
Outlooks Dick Craddock said that, "We've been focused throughout the upgrade on ensuring that every customer has a great experience," he further added that, "We've been overwhelmed with the response so far."
The way to the future seems convergence as far as tech business models. Google is going ahead with converging its Google + platfrom from email to blogging. Microsoft is also doing the same thing with Outlook which will converge Hotmail, Outlook, Messenger and Skype into a single cross tier messenger.
Hope Mr.Bhatia isnt fuming at Microsoft for killing his baby. Do write in your comments on this article.