The New 'Hotmail'

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The New 'Hotmail'

Postby kg » 24 Feb 2013, 18:19


        :sigh:

As much as it pains me, I have to give Microsoft credit (begrudgingly, all the way). I'm referring to Outlook.com, the replacement for Hotmail. While I'm singularly unimpressed with most of the features, there's one that I'm delighted with.

I recently received an email inviting me to convert to Outlook.com in which it was also stated that we were soon to be forced into the conversion soon, anyway. I did my usual research, and after finding nothing terribly untoward (I'm able to keep my old "@hotmail.com" address), I went ahead and converted. Well that I did!

Upon initial perusal, nothing particularly impressed me. It looked like Hotmail with a new skin and apparently functioned the same. But then I started looking deeper into the features and found specific information that I should be easily able to connect to it via POP3.

And I was! Easily! I now access Outlook.com through Thunderbird, and it works perfectly. I never was able to figure out how to do that with the old Hotmail. Among the advantages gained from access through Thunderbird is the ability to embed my beloved smilies in the body of my emails.

In the Hotmail on-line client, the only way to include images was to include them as attachments; they couldn't be embedded with the text; the same is true for the Outlook.com client. But since I can do so with Thunderbird, and I can access my Hotmail account through Thunderbird, I'm (hopefully) not so restricted.

Whether it actually works that way is yet to be seen. I've sent a test email to one of my friends to see whether it transfers through, but even if it doesn't, I'm delighted that I can access my Hotmail account through Thunderbird. I'm much better able to read my emails in Thunderbird rather than a browser window.
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Re: The New 'Hotmail'

Postby Yogi » 24 Feb 2013, 20:37

This is indeed good news. I was under the impression that they dropped use of their POP servers in the new Outlook format. I would appreciate it if you can point me to the POP server info so that I can configure it into Thunderbird too.

All of this conversion to Outlook, by the way, has to do with Windows 8. Your mail will appear on the welcome page along with a ton of other information. In order to accomplish this feat Microsoft had to revamp their mail delivery system.

And it may not make any difference to you, but the MSN messenger service is being replaced by Skype. Everyone will have to migrate next month or lose their IM capabilities. This surprised me because I thought Facebook owned Skype these days.
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Re: The New 'Hotmail'

Postby kg » 24 Feb 2013, 20:47


It's seriously not difficult. In Thunderbird, you "Add a new account," and a dialog box pops up asking for account name (used within Thunderbird, I think), email address, and password. You press the "Continue" button and it auto-detects all the other information, like the smtp server, the SSL information, and the like. Once you have that set up, it's a matter of taking care of the personal account preferences and you're set up to receive your emails from Outlook.com and send through their servers.
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Re: The New 'Hotmail'

Postby Yogi » 25 Feb 2013, 11:22

I meant to post about my Hotmail/Outlook experiences a while back, but never got around to it. Now that you bring up the topic, it may be a good time to tell you my tale. :mrgreen:

Microsoft is big on integration. I will give them some points for attempting to make everything Microsoft work seamlessly together. They may have some crazy ideas about what is best, but they do integrate their products well. The timing of this switch to Outlook is uncanny. While I have not read about the reasons for doing it, I am positive that the Outlook format is more compatible with Windows 8 than is the old Hotmail. Because they are interested in making all things Microsoft work well together they are very adamant about it's customers making the conversion.

I got an email a couple months back warning me that I will have to make the conversion to Outlook. I believe it was back then when I discovered that SMTP service would not be available in Outlook. That's how Hotmail was during it's growing period. SMTP and POP3 was available if you wanted to pay a monthly fee. I guess too many people were abandoning Hotmail which forced Microsoft to make this remote log in available free as was everybody else in the industry. It was at that time that I installed Hotmail into Thunderbird.

The automatic detection of Thunderbird back in the day was less than perfect. Thus when I tried to configure Hotmail I was told by Mozilla that I'd have to do it manually because they could not detect my account information automatically. I don't recall the exact failure, but I think the ports were different than what Thunderbird was expecting. My ISP does not use the standard e-mail ports. Anyway, I had to do some research to get the name of the SMTP server, port, and security information. When I entered all that into the proper place in Thunderbird, Hotmail started working flawlessly. I suppose, today, 14 upgrades later, Thunderbird may have a better way to do the auto detect. If I have my way, however, I will never need to use it.

A few weeks back I got a follow up e-mail from Microsoft telling me the end was near. I had to upgrade to "Outlook" or die. It turns out there are two upgrades available. In one scenario you retain your current account name and details. Everything will work the same as before, but the web mail interface changes. The new interface is obviously designed to work with Windows 8. It's nice and all, but as I mentioned above I don't use it. I log into Hotmail via Thunderbird and avoid all the web mail nonsense.

The second scenario for upgrading Hotmail involves an actual change in the account name to <name>@outlook.com. If you choose to create an Outlook account, Microsoft will kill off any trace of Hotmail and move all your information to the outlook.com environment. Everything coming to your old Hotmail account will be redirected (for a while) so that you can tell all your correspondents about your new e-mail address. This is the scenario in which I am not sure about support for SMTP. If you already migrated to Outlook and it configures in Thunderbird automatically, then I'm happy to see Microsoft once again do a good job integrating their products. If they don't offer SMTP service, then there is no way I'm going there.

It looks like I can keep my Hotmail identity now that I have converted formats. I have had no problems ever since I was forced to convert web mail to the Outlook format. The only time I go to that application anyway is when I'm on my Linux machine. I don't use Thunderbird in Linux. I never changed any settings in my Windows Thunderbird setup after I made the conversion. As far as I can tell the new Outlook only applies to the web mail application - unless you actually want an outlook.com account.
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