My sister has asked me this question, and I haven't got a clue how to answer it, never having been a Hotmail user.
In the past, she's subscribed - £15 - for Windows Live Hotmail Plus. MS are now telling her it's renewal time. She really can't remember why she decided to subscribe in the first place: knowing my sister, she probably didn't realise that she didn't have to, and that basic Hotmail would almost certainly do whatever she needed it to.
I'm assuming that what she's paying for is more storage, no advertising, larger attachments, no account expiration. She doesn't need any of these things, I don't think.
So: what happens if she doesn't renew? - or cancels her subscription? Does her Hotmail account and email address remain intact, available to her to use, but without the bells and whistles?
I'll be grateful for any help so I can preserve my family reputation as a technology guru and PC fixer extraordinaire... :-)