This past Monday on the Fourth of July, Hotmail celebrated its 15th anniversary. Make no mistake - Hotmail has come a long way in those 15 years, and to commemorate a number of important milestones over the last several months, we thought we'd show off a list of 15 insanely cool things you might not know about Hotmail.

This is not the Hotmail of 2005:

1) Hotmail in 2011 is not Hotmail in 2005 (or Hotmail in 2010, for that matter.)

2) Hotmail is really, really fast – 10-20x faster than last year, and even faster than Gmail in certain areas.

3) Hotmail filters out more than 98% of spam – 5.5 billion messages a day.

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Modern email features are available by default in Hotmail:

4) Hotmail works great on your smartphone, (Windows Phone especially but iOS and many other smartphones too) – syncing email, calendar, and contacts.

5) You can chat with your Facebook friends right from Hotmail.

6) Watch videos linked from YouTube, Hulu, and many other services right from within your email message.

7) Like conversation view? We’ve got it. Hate it? It’s easy to disable.

8) You can import your current account and continue to use the address while Hotmail manages your inbox (Gmail, Y! Plus, AOL.)

Hotmail Image No. 2

And here’s why we’re better:

9) “Sweep” allows you to filter hundreds of messages from multiple senders with only a few clicks

10) Get unread email notifications on your Windows 7 taskbar by pinning with IE9.

11) Why worry about low attachment limits when sending photos? SkyDrive support lets you send hundreds of photos per mail.

12) Hotmail utilizes Office Web Apps for easy document editing and sharing – don’t settle for lesser software.

13) Use Netflix? Hotmail ActiveViews let you get more done in your inbox with interactive email from a number of partners.

Oh, by the way:

14) We’re the largest free email service on the planet – with 360 million unique users per month.

15) We’re 15 years old – and the best is yet to come.

Posted by Matthew O’Day
Hotmail Program Manager, Microsoft