Friday, May 3, 2013

Hotmail officially dead: Helpful links and info for Hotmail users

Hotmail officially dead: Helpful links and info for Hotmail users, Users who type “hotmail.com” in their internet’s address bar might find that they need to use a Microsoft account name and password in order to sign in. “As of today, every single Hotmail account has been migrated to Outlook.com, Microsoft's newer and redesigned email experience,” reported Yahoo! Finance on May 2, 2013.

"Microsoft account" is the new name for what used to be called a "Windows Live ID." Some Microsoft services like Messenger, SkyDrive, Windows Phone, Xbox LIVE, or Outlook.com might still show “Windows Live ID.” However, over time, all Microsoft services will be switching from “Windows Live ID” to “Microsoft account.”

While it will take some time to streamline all services to “Microsoft account,” Hotmail.com has completed the process today.

The advantage of a streamlined account sign-in name has the advantage of not having to remember different names and passwords for different services. Windows 8 users can also use the same Microsoft account name and password to sign in to any PC running Windows 8.

For anyone who does not have a “Microsoft account” name and password or for anyone who is not sure if they already have an existing “Microsoft account” name, Microsoft is providing a Microsoft Windows video that explains the process and a button to sign in or to establish a new sign-in name. Signing in from the Microsoft Windows webpage allows users to see a complete summary of their Microsoft account with name, birthdate, and password and security information.

As of today, Hotmail.com’s webpage uses the same “Microsoft account” sign-in name and will take users to a new webpage, Outlook.

“Your Hotmail account will stay the same – people can continue emailing you at [your address]@hotmail.com – but the interface and experience no longer have a thing to do with the Hotmail name.”

Instead of Hotmail, users are now seeing the name Outlook.

Outlook.com is Microsoft's newer and redesigned email experience. In contrast to Hotmail, Outlook is offering new features that include “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, a popular and device-friendly standard for receiving your email, and deeper integration with SkyDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage solution. Instead of sending an attachment from your hard drive, for example, it's now a snap to send a file stored in your SkyDrive.”

Many Hotmail, now Outlook users, will not be interested in the technical aspects of Outlook but rather continue to use simple features like Inbox, Drafts, Sent, or Deleted. A Photos folder allows users to have their pictures available to be e-mailed with a click of a button.

More advanced Hotmail, now Outlook users, can check the Outlook Blog for any technical issues that might come up by using Outlook. One of the issues that is being discussed is that some users are not able to see the “Insert” menu. Other topics included in the Outlook Blog are in regard to SMTP, Send Only accounts, or Android issues. “We have a known issue on Android 2.2, a fix is in the works.”

The Outlook Blog also describes its integration of SkyDrive into Outlook and what other features Microsoft is still working on during the coming weeks.

Microsoft Outlook users who receive e-mails via Outlook Express on their computer and not by going to a website might notice that they received some unusual e-mail today. Check to what e-mail address the e-mail was sent to; it is most likely an old and long-forgotten Hotmail.com e-mail address that is saying good-bye.

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