I don't have time for a full reply now, but I will just respond to one of your points that ticked me off the most.
You know, there is a reason hotmail was run with a backend of FreeBSD and solaris machines. Last I heard the mailservers serving hotmail was run with FreeBSD, with a frontend of win2000 machines.
Response: Maybe a few years ago. Since then, Microsoft has fully switched over to a Windows backend. The reason for the old FreeBSD backend was in its place is, in case you don't know your computer history, Microsoft didn't originally create Hotmail, it was purchased. Converting Hotmail over to the newer system wasn't a huge priority - because it worked. When the amount members grew, and Microsoft wanted to impliment .NET features, it was migrated.
Never use the Hotmail excuse when trying to support Nix. It is utterly idiotic, and proves nothing.
Thank you for your post. I never new that Hotmail ever did change servers. Continue to post and thanks for your support!!!