Hotmail Brings Multiple Accounts, Extends Beyond Temporary Email Services

Hotmail has announced a feature similar to temporary email services with multiple additional advantages. With the new Hotmail feature, users will now be able to read email from multiple accounts within the same account. This can be potentially helpful in balancing work and play, all within the same email account and eliminates the need for multiple email accounts.

Currently, Hotmail has set the limit to 5 email accounts but will extend it to 15 accounts in future. Dharmesh Mehta, the Windows Live director of product management at Microsoft tells CNET,

One of which is that I don’t want to give my real address out to any site in the world. I might be worried they’ll spam me with newsletters, or they might resell it to other marketers. Who knows what can happen?

Well, this can be one of the reasons to use this service. However, we can make use of this feature to manage our work easily. Say for example, we create 5 email IDs each for a specific purposes like office work, freelancing, personal and family contact, professional contacts and newsletters. Out of these five, if we use only our newsletters ID in public, we can eliminate a significant amount of spam activity in our inbox.

Other than that, the feature also prevents us from mixing up contacts with same names (was it Kevin the nephew or Kevin the HR Manager?) and has innumerable usages. However, the ability to segregate each of these alias IDs into separate folders might lead to some of those IDs being ignored over time.

Hotmail Adds HTTPS Encryption For More Protection

HTTPS is a protocol which allows websites to securely transmit data from one point to another. It is more secure than the HTTP protocol because users cannot snoop in on requests and responses.

Hotmail HTTPS

Many popular websites and banks provide users with HTTPS protection including , and . Though currently only Gmail uses HTTPS by default for full-on protection. You can always access sites like Facebook and Twitter using HTTPS too, but it is manual.

Today, the Hotmail team announced that they will be providing users with the option to enhance the security of Hotmail with HTTPS data encryption. However, right now this service is opt-in, so you will have to visit https://account.live.com/ManageSSL to set preferences to use SSL by default.

Other Microsoft services like Microsoft SkyDrive, Photos, Docs and Devices pages will automatically use SSL encryption. One thing to note here is that if you switch over to HTTPS for Hotmail, Outlook Hotmail Connector, Windows Live Mail and Windows Live application for Windows Mobile and will stop working. Future updates to these application may allow you to seamlessly use HTTPS across devices. Sadly, for people like me who use desktop applications to access Hotmail, the HTTPS will have to wait.

Also, if you think that using HTTPS will slow down or degrade services for you, you might want to look at the cost of switching to SSL Google incurred. It was minimal at the most.

More info on this announcement can be found at the official Windows blog.

Hotmail Adds Package Tracking, Facebook Chat, Sub Folders and More

windows_live_hotmail[3]

Microsoft has been revamping the user experience of Windows Live Hotmail to make it more user friendly and competitive with other webmail providers. Some of the new features they have introduced have been done to entice users back to the email giant.

Today, the Windows Live team announced some new features for Hotmail, several of which were interesting. The best feature from the new updates include package tracking, chat and sub-folders. Here is an overview of what is new with Hotmail.

Package Tracking

hotmail_package_tracking

Hotmail has made package tracking easier with their latest changes. With the help of ActiveViews, Hotmail will be able to recognize a tracking number and display it above the email message.

This is definitely a neat feature and will allow you to quickly view package details from FedEx, DHL and UPS along with the US Postal Service.

Facebook Chat in Hotmail

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Facebook here, Facebook there, Facebook everywhere. It looks like no application these days can live without having some sort of Facebook integration and Hotmail cannot be left behind. The newer version of Hotmail includes support for Hotmail users to chat with their Facebook friends.

The feature though will initially only be available in US, UK, France, Brazil, Germany and Russia with more regions in the future pipeline.

View More Videos, Sub-Folders and Attachment Size Increase

In addition to the above changes, Hotmail has also introduced support to view more videos within messages from Dailymotion and Justin.tv in addition to Hulu and . The new attachment size has also been increased to 25MB per message.

In addition to that, Hotmail has also introduced a new feature where users can add sub-folders to folders, making it easier for users to manage their folders.

What do you think about the new features in Hotmail? Do you like them? You can find more information about the new changes at the Windows Team Blog.

Hotmail Adds Exchange ActiveSync Support for Mobile Devices

Microsoft today announced that Hotmail users would be able to access push email, calendar and contacts with the introduction of Exchange ActiveSync for Hotmail.

Windows Live Hotmail

Hotmail has begun making access to emails more easier with the introduction of POP3 for Hotmail, however, they have now moved a step ahead and are on par with in offering email, calendar and contacts through Exchange ActiveSync.

Users can now setup to get push updates from Hotmail on their exchange enabled clients or mobile devices. The introduction of exchange ActiveSync for Hotmail will now allow you to keep your desktop, web and mobile devices in sync. Whatever changes you make in one place will automatically sync with other devices you are using Hotmail ActiveSync on.

Currently Hotmail Exchange ActiveSync is supported for Windows Mobile 6.x, Windows Phone 7, , , , Nokia E-Series, S-Series, N-Series. Support for is still in testing, however, Hotmail ActiveSync does not work in and is reported to be successfully working with .

You can find instructions to setup Hotmail Exchange ActiveSync to your mobile device by visiting this help topic.

Microsoft Says Use Google Chrome for Problems with Hotmail

hotmail-logo Earlier today, it was reported that Microsoft has recommended some strange advice for users of the newly upgraded Hotmail (Windows Live Mail) service. Just last week, Microsoft finished rolling out a new user interface design to their 350 million users. Some have claimed that many of the new design features are due to the popularity of Google’s Gmail service.

According to MS, the new Hotmail UI (User Interface) is supported on the following web browsers:

• Internet Explorer 6.0+ on Windows
• Internet Explorer 6.x
• Internet Explorer 7.x
• Internet Explorer 8.x (Standards mode)
• Firefox 3.0+ on Windows and Macintosh
• Safari 4.0+ on Windows and Macintosh
• Chrome on Windows latest major version

Since the roll-out, the Hotmail forums have been alive with complaints about the new UI. This is the odd suggestion that’s been reported by The Register:

Some customers have indicated that if they use Google Chrome to view their Hotmail account they no longer encounter this problem

I guess I’d have to tag this post with WTF, because I can’t believe that anyone working for MS would ever have said that. I did a fairly extensive search of the forums and I was not able to find that advice. However, I did find dozens of posts that had been removedby the moderators. It’s possible they’ve removed that suggestion.

One thing for certain is that Microsoft should have followed the great example that Gmail introduced when they upgraded their own user interfaces. There has always been a link to take people back to an older UI, just in case they run into problems.

Microsoft still seems to be using it’s released products for beta testing and many Hotmail users are angry that they’ve been chosen as the guinea pigs. By the way, I just tried out the new Hotmail, and it worked fine for me … but I was using Google Chrome.

If you have your own tips on using Hotmail or it’s problems, be sure to comment below or email me.


Pakistan to Ban Google, Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, YouTube, Bing and Amazon

Pakistan has been banning sites right and left, first they started out by Banning Facebook, then YouTube  and later Twitter too. In a more recent incident a petition was filed to get a Death Warrant for Mark Zuckersberg, the founder of .

banned_websites

Now, there are reports that a Lahore High Court bench has ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to immediately block some very popular websites which include Google, Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, , Bing and Amazon for publishing and promoting sacrilegious and blasphemous material.

The petition was filed by an individual who claimed that these websites were publishing sacrilegious material. However, the PTA officials have denied receiving any court orders to block these websites.

Nevertheless, considering how Facebook was blocked by Pakistan, this ban may also take effect shortly, leaving millions of Pakistanis without email and search for some time. Once again the thought that "If you cannot control the internet, ban it" is seriously not the right way to do things.

(Source)

Turkish Hacker Hijacks Hotmail.co.il and MSN.co.il

A few hours back, the Israeli Hotmail and MSN webpages were hijacked by a Turkish hacker to display a pro-Palestinian message. According to Softpedia, the nameservers and administrative email addresses were changed. Instead of redirecting to the usual login.live.com and il.msn.com, the viewers were redirected to the page pictured below.

MSN-Hotmail-Hacked

Microsoft has regained control of the respective domain names and both the sites are currently operating normally. Microsoft has yet to respond to the hijacking and for now, the method used by the hacker to pull of this feat remains unknown. The most obvious possibility is that he used stolen credentials. However, KISS philosophy doesn’t always work. If you have any idea, don’t hesitate to share it with us.

Hotmail Allows Indian Users to Send and Receive Email through SMS

Hotmail Although, internet proliferation in India is rapidly increasing, it’s still far cry from being as ubiquitous as mobile phones. Realising that not everyone in India has regular access to the internet, Microsoft has added SMS support to Hotmail.

Microsoft said, With this fun and simple service, you can forget about going to the cyber cafe or logging on to your computer every time you want to check your mails”. While this might appear to be a silly and pointless feature to folks in western countries, I suspect that it may turn out to be a popular feature among Indians. “You can now receive, read and reply to emails on your SMS. The service also enables efficient viewing of emails by specifying the email address/domain from which you’d like to receive alerts on your SMS”, the company added.

This service can be enabled from mobile.live.com. It is available to Aircel, Bharti Airtel, BSNL, Idea, Loop Mobile, MTNL Delhi, MTNL Mumbai, MTS, Reliance (CDMA), Reliance (GSM), Tata Indicom, Tata Docomo, Uninor and Vodafone Essar customers. While incoming messages are free, outgoing messages (replies) will be charged as per standard rates.

Set Up Windows Live Hotmail On Nokia And Win an Xbox 360 Arcade Console

Microsoft is busy revamping the UI for Windows Live Hotmail, however, they also have other plans to increase the usage of the world’s most used email service on mobile phones too.

In a new giveaway, Microsoft Windows Live have tied up with Nokia Messaging and are giving away a free Xbox 360 Arcade Console to users who set up Hotmail on the Nokia messaging app.

Windows Live Hotmail & Nokia Xbox 360 Arcade Giveaway

In order to participate and be eligible to win an Xbox 360 Arcade Console, users will have to complete the following steps.

You will find more information about the contest at the official Nokia Message page.

(Source)