A source close to Microsoft told Adotas last week that Hotmail will soon go the way of the dinosaur and its replacement, Outlook.com, would be free of ads. In response, a spokesperson for Microsoft confirmed the former but denied the latter.
“Outlook.com does have ads,” said the spokesperson (appropriately) via email. “As always, we put the consumer’s needs and engagement at the very forefront of our ad experience – making sure the ads are relevant, engaging, safe, and make sense in the context of the core consumer experience.
“We continue to host Hotmail for the hundreds of millions of people that use Hotmail,” continued the spokesperson. “Hotmail users who want to upgrade to Outlook.com can do that using their existing @hotmail address. Eventually, we will retire the Hotmail user experience and all Hotmail customers will be upgraded to the Outlook.com experience. Their @hotmail.com email address will continue to work; all email, calendar, contacts, and folders will be moved. We think Outlook.com is the best email service in the world; we’ve taken the best of Hotmail over to Outlook.com and we truly believe Hotmail customers will enjoy the upgraded experience.”
Hotmail was among several low-cost, low-performance, high-volume ad spaces that DSPs used to retarget ads on. Its impending retirement will now leave Yahoo Mail to carry the load, likely to Yahoo’s growing benefit.
Oddly enough, The Atlantic reported last summer that Hotmail was the world’s most popular email service, followed by Yahoo Mail and Google’s Gmail.