Microsoft Ends OE/Hotmail Connection

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I’m just going to come right out and say it: Microsoft announced that they will be ending the connection between Outlook Express and Hotmail, starting on June 30, 2008. Basically, you will no longer be able to access your Hotmail account through Outlook Express. I know, I wasn’t very happy when I heard about it either, but there are still some things you can do. Read on for all the details!

Microsoft is now urging any Outlook Express users who still want to use their Hotmail account to switch over to the new Windows Live Mail. It’s a free download and it will work similarly to the Hotmail program you’re used to. Yes, it is something new, but it’s fairly easy to use and honestly, after June 30, you won’t have much of a choice. (You can read more about Windows Live Mail and download it right here).

So, why the sudden change, you ask? Well, from what I gathered, the main reason for the change is that the protocol Outlook Express uses to access Hotmail (the Distributed Authoring and Versioning protocol, also known as DAV) is being replaced. I’m guessing the change is mainly for security purposes, but it also has to do with the efficiency of large Inboxes.

Apparently, the new protocol of DeltaSynch is much better at handling the 5 GB Inbox size that Windows Live Mail offers. DeltaSynch is not supported by Outlook Express and to that, Microsoft said, “Support would require too many changes to the Outlook Express software.” In other words, Windows Live Mail is the future and we really have no other choice but to like it. Don’t get me wrong, Windows Live Mail is an excellent e-mail service, but it will take a little time to get used to the new application.

Now, if you want, Windows Live Mail can completely replace Outlook Express, because it supports Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! and other POP3 e-mail accounts.

On a positive note, Windows Live Mail offers several new features, including excellent junk mail filters. In fact, it outweighs Outlook Express on many different levels. Now, I know this isn’t the greatest news to hear, but at least you now have some time to get acquainted with Windows Live Mail and you can accept it as your new e-mail program. Keep your head up!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami