When Prabin Singh Newa was growing up near Kathmandu, Nepal, he had little access to technology. His fascination with computers was more theoretical than tangible.
Things changed when Prabin’s brother, Manose, became a famous bansuri (wood flute) player and started to travel the world. Manose returned to Kathmandu between tours and told Prabin about advances in technology and brought him new electronics. Prabin and his friend Buddha started studying engineering together with the goal of someday working in the tech industry.
Prabin was especially fascinated with email and remembers the day in 1998 when he first received a reply from a Hotmail account in the US. He thought, "This is amazing. This web-based email must be more real-time. This is the future.” He never imagined that he would be working for Hotmail years later and he definitely never thought he would play an important role in the evolution of Hotmail to Outlook.com.
Buddha first got a contract job at a Microsoft data center and he opened a door for Prabin to start there as a vendor a few months later. To Prabin’s excitement the data center supported Hotmail. He reminisces, “I was doing stuff like replacing hard drives for Hotmail and I thought, ‘wow, I can’t believe I am working with Hotmail. But, in reality, it was just the beginning.’”
After a stint as a vendor at MSN-TV, Prabin interviewed for a full-time role at Hotmail and got the job. He has never looked back. Prabin says of his years at Hotmail, “I have been very happy during my time here. I work on the Hotmail Front End Service Engineering team and it is like family. I can’t ever imagine leaving the team.”
He continues, “I also really like working at Microsoft Silicon Valley. It is very friendly and helpful. People are not competitive. Unlike at some other companies, colleagues are interested to teach each other.”
When Prabin learned that Hotmail would integrate with Outlook.com, he was initially a little sad about the changes to the classic brand that he so loved. However, that sadness did not last for long. Of his first experience with the new interface, he said, “I was genuinely impressed. It was more animated and fluid. I could really feel the difference. Plus, it is really well-integrated with Windows 8.”
As Prabin works on the Front End team, he got to experience customers’ enthusiasm for Outlook.com up close and personal. When Prabin and the team upgraded the servers, he watched the traffic surge to the new Outlook.com. He says, “The response was amazing and it was the best moment of my career. It was astonishing to think this was the same Hotmail that had inspired me so many years before.”
While Prabin is still basks in the wonderment of “wow, I can’t believe I am working with Hotmail” now he knows that things will only keep innovating and evolving from here and he plans to be part of that journey.