In terms of IT anniversaries, it's hardly up there with 25 years of the IBM PC, 20 years of Windows or even five years of the iPod. But I've just received a press release announcing that MSN Hotmail is ten years old this month, and I'm a sucker for statistics, so here goes.
Apparently, 56,041 people signed up for the first Hotmail accounts in 1996. When the rest of the PC-owning public got wind of web-based email, they soon followed: 43 percent of UK PC owners are now said to have a Hotmail account (that's 8.8 million people by MSN's reckoning), and over 20 percent of the UK population has made friends via Hotmail, according to the press release.
Worldwide, there are more than 270 million Hotmail accounts, while one billion emails are delivered to Hotmail inboxes each day – that's 11,574 messages per second. That sounds pretty impressive, but judging by industry estimates on unsolicited email, 850 million of those are spam!