This week, we've announced the new Outlook.com as our next generation FREE webmail service for individuals that provides a ton of advantages over Hotmail and Gmail, such as:

  • SSL security by default
  • Virtually unlimited mailbox storage
  • 300MB attachments
  • Integration with Office Web Apps, Skype and social media platforms
  • Flexible rules engine
  • Works seamlessly across Windows 8, Windows Phone and the new Office
  • Modern Outlook user interface and more!

You can login with your existing Windows Live email account at http://outlook.com to try out the new user interface on your existing mailbox instantly.  Or, you can claim a brand new shiny email address with an @outlook.com domain by signing up for a new account!  If you ever wanted to ditch that old cryptic Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo email address and get a slick new personal one that matches your name or personality, now is a great time!  I've already grabbed keithmayer@outlook.com for myself! :-)

Learn more about the new features of Outlook.com at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/outlook/compare

Once you start using the Outlook service, you might want to add an @outlook.com email address to your existing Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID) .  To do this, go to www.outlook.com and log in with your Microsoft account.  If you have more than one Microsoft account, ideally you should use your primary Microsoft account, the one you use for Windows Phone, XBox, or Windows 8.  Once your account is upgraded, you have a choice to make to get an mail address in the outlook.com domain. If you have an existing Microsoft account, one of the following two options is recommended:

  1. Rename your account. Choosing this approach causes your sign in name to change from your existing @hotmail.com address to your new @outlook.com address. Your existing address becomes an alias of your new account so that mail delivery is uninterrupted. The primary disadvantage of this approach is that Windows Phone users will need to reset their phone to factory settings and then go through the Windows Phone setup experience with their new address. The primary advantages of this approach are a) from this point forward you will sign in with your new account and b) mobile devices will send from your @outlook.com address.
  2. Create an @outlook.com alias on your account. An alias is a secondary email address associated with an account. Mail sent to that address arrives in the inbox of the primary account. When using the @outlook.com web interface to send a mail, you can choose which address (the primary address of the account or an alias) to send the mail from. The primary disadvantage of this choice is that most mail clients don’t support aliases. This includes mobile phones (Windows Phone, iOS, Android) and some desktop mail clients. The Hotmail/Outlook team may build features in the future to help with these scenarios. 

Once you’ve determined which approach you want to take with your account, and you’ve seen the new Outlook.com user experience, do the following:

  1. Sign in to http://www.outlook.com and make sure you have the new Outlook service
  2. To rename your account into the @outlook.com domain, go to http://mail.live.com/?rru=renameaccount and follow the instructions
  3. To add an @outlook.com account to your account, go to http://mail.live.com/?rru=createalias

HTH,

Keith