If You Use Hotmail, You Can't Afford To Miss This Connection
Fri 16th July 2010
Hotmail, which is now known as Windows Live Hotmail, was so successful that, by the end of the year following its launch, Hotmail had 8.5 million users. Microsoft bought the service for $400 million.
Windows Live Hotmail is currently available in 35 languages and offers 5GB of free storage with up to 10MB attachment size. You can sort emails in folders and even pick a theme to change the colours and images of the interface by customising and personalising your Hotmail account. Windows Live Hotmail comes with enhanced security and a spell checker for email messages.
But the triumph of Windows Live Hotmail does not end there, and in the next exciting development in the company's success story, comes a marriage, regarded by some Outlook users, as if it were made in HTML heaven. Outlook Hotmail Connector now brings Hotmail into the Outlook interface. To make Outlook the personal information manager for a wider range of users, Microsoft created an Outlook Hotmail Connector that synchronises Hotmail accounts with Microsoft Outlook.
Outlook Hotmail Connector allows you to use your Live Hotmail accounts within Outlook, enabling you to read and send Office Live Mail and Windows Live Hotmail email messages. You can also manage your contacts in Windows Live Hotmail, use advanced options for blocking junk email messages and manage multiple email accounts in one place. There's even the facility to manage and synchronise multiple calendars, including shared calendars, to Windows Live Calendar from Outlook.
But the most significant changes relate to message manipulation. You can manage messages for your Hotmail account with rules within Outlook. If you create a rule in Outlook that affects an item in your Hotmail account, the output of the rule implemented in Outlook is also synchronised to Hotmail. The rule itself created in Outlook isn't synchronised, however, only the resulting output of that rule is replicated to Hotmail. For example, you might move all your messages from one colleague into a bespoke folder as soon as you receive them in your In box in your Hotmail account. These messages will arrive at the Hotmail servers and into your In box. The Outlook Connector will synchronise messages, bringing them into Outlook. This will trigger the rule to move the applicable messages to the folder relating to your colleague. After the message is moved to this folder within Outlook, this move is then synced back up to the Hotmail servers.
Using the Outlook Hotmail Connector with Outlook 2010 also means that your safe sender list, blocked sender list, and safe recipient list are all synchronised between Outlook and Hotmail through the new Connector. When a sender is added to the safe or blocked lists, either in Outlook or in the Hotmail interface, the Connector syncs this addition. Other improvements with Outlook Hotmail Connector include improved Spam protection, with a safety bar plus one-click Spam tools.
The good news is that the Send/Receive commands work like other Outlook accounts. Your Hotmail account status appears in the Outlook status bar, and the rules work with the Hotmail account in Outlook even if it's not your primary account. And now the Drafts folder is synchronised between Hotmail and Outlook.
With the Outlook Hotmail Connector, you can view your Windows Live Hotmail email in Outlook alongside your other email accounts. By connecting and organising your email in Outlook 2007, for example, you will have access to commands such as Instant Search and the ability to access your information even when you're offline.
Outlook Hotmail Connector allows you to view your Windows Live Hotmail contacts in Outlook. By organising your contacts in Outlook, you can take advantage of the advanced contact management features that Outlook offers such as the new Business Card View, Instant Search, and the ability to sort contacts by different criteria such as location or colour category. Additionally, any changes you make to contact information in Outlook will automatically be synchronised with the Web version in your Windows Live Hotmail account.
Even viewing calendars from Windows Live Calendar in Microsoft Office Outlook, including other people's calendars that have been shared with you, is easy. With Outlook 2007 or 2010 and the Outlook Hotmail Connector, you can view tasks and flagged messages beneath your appointments on the days in which they are due. You can categorise your appointments with custom colour categories and overlay multiple calendars. Any changes you make to your Windows Live Calendar calendars in Outlook are automatically synchronised with the Web version in your Windows Live Hotmail account. There's more versatility having email, contacts and calendar items stored in Outlook, including different views like Business Card view for contacts or overlapping calendars.
Obviously, in order to use the Microsoft Office Outlook Hotmail Connector you must have a Windows Live Hotmail account (it's easy to update your existing Hotmail account or create a new account); and you must be using Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, 2007 or 2010.
With the new content controls and interface changes, it looks like Outlook is definitely a more viable interface for Hotmail - the perfect union for the perfect partners.
Original article appears here: