Do you have existing non-Hotmail/Live email account that you’ve had for a number of years?  Are you intrigued by the some of the new features and functionality of Windows Live Hotmail?  Perhaps you’re running into the other provider’s email storage limit?  Tired of having to mark all your email in Gmail with a category?  Then I have a deal for you.   

A company called TrueSwitch has technology that enables you to copy/export your email, contacts/address book, calendar, etc data from your current, non-Microsoft service (e.g. Yahoo) to Windows Live Hotmail (which includes email, contacts/address book, calendar, etc).  Microsoft has an agreement with TrueSwitch so you can copy/export your mail et al from your existing account to Windows Live Hotmail without paying a fee.   Here is a list of services that TrueSwitch supports:

2b. Domains supported

The only “gotcha” I’ve seen using the service is all of the imported emails are shown/marked as unread.  The workaround is to move all of the read emails in the current service into their own folder (perhaps named Read Email), and then migrate your account via TrueSwitch.  Once all the email has been imported into Hotmail, you can then mark all of the email in the Read Email folder as read and then move them into your Inbox folder (that contains all of your unread email).   The date and timestamps from the email are preserved so you won’t see the last six year’s email as if it’d all arrived today.   Unfortunately, Gmail only has “categories” which I haven’t found a good workaround for yet.  Suggestions welcome.   

To test out Windows Live Hotmail with all of your real data from your “legacy” email service go to:

https://secure5.trueswitch.com/winlive/  

NOTE: TrueSwitch only copies/exports the old account data, it does not move it. Nothing from your old account will be deleted.