MSN Hotmail becomes Windows Live Hotmail

MSN Hotmail becomes Windows Live Hotmail

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Starting today, the Live Team will begin rolling out a massive 36-language upgrade from MSN Hotmail to Windows Live Hotmail.  This is the biggest Hotmail update ever seen:  the new version of Hotmail improves safety, productivity and flexibility across clients on the web, desktop and mobile phones.

Today's rollout begins at, where new user accounts will be created as Windows Live Hotmail accounts; existing MSN Hotmail users will be able to upgrade their accounts to Windows Live Hotmail by clicking the green Join Windows Live Hotmail button in their accounts after logging in.  The rollout is expected to occur gradually and continue throughout the next couple days.

Windows Live also announced a brand-new, free email client called Windows Live Mail, the successor to Outlook Express and Windows Mail on Windows Vista.  Also coming is a new Outlook Connector which will allow you to sync your Windows Live Hotmail account to an Outlook 2003 or 2007 client.

Read the Hotmail Team's blog post on the launch, including a video of Hotmail's evolution from 1996 to 2007.  Also, Kip Kniskern from LiveSide chatted with Windows Live Product Management Director Paul Major to find out a little bit more on the launch announcement.

I'm sure Brandon will soon have in-depth coverage of these announcements in the Windows Experience Blog, so keep your eyes peeled ...

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  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    How do I send email via a web-page, i.e. HTML 'mailto', to work with Windows Live Hotmail?

  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    "Windows Live Mail now can synchronize Windows Mail, Windows Calendar and Windows Contacts (all part of the Windows Vista OS) on the computer and Web."

    How? I can't find the button. My Nokia only offers sync with Windows Contacts, not Windows Live Contacts; ergo I need to have the two Windows Contacts clients in sync.

  • Judy H
    1 Posts

    Just bought a new conmputer with Vista Home Premium-Service Pack 1.  Went to Windows Live Mail and set-up my Hotmail acct - received hotmail OK.  Then imported outlook express folders and contacts from old computer (running Windows XP) into Windows Live Mail.  Now Windows Live Mail cannot receive Hotmail messages.  Error ID: 0x8DE00002.  HELP!

  • 1) I am curious and been hearing that address will be decommissioned and replaced with addresses. Is this true?

    2) Yahoo Mail Beta allows me to chat with my contacts directly from the mailbox platform. Will Hotmail or Live Mail allow me to do that too in future? I am a Mac user by the way. I am curious if any of these updates and upgrades come in Mac versions as well. Thanks!

  • windows
    3 Posts

    I just bought a new laptop with Windows Vista, I cannot even view my hotmail + yahoo emails!  I cannot even open MSN website.  can you help?


  • Ever since msn hotmail changed to  windows live hotmail, all of my forwarded emails are changed into a clumped mess of text.  I tried to find an option to change this, but I can´t seem to find anything.  Any help would be appreciated.  I can´t forward work information that looks like a disaster!  Thanks.

  • Brandon,

    This is a great idea by microsoft. Unfortunately the subscription price is a little steep if you just want to be able to sync your calendar. There should be another option. I was seriously considering completely switching from google services, but will wait until you get the pricing correct.

  • I should like to note that Microsoft is working on a better calendar sync-up scenario in the future and that the Outlook Connector is currently in beta and things can change between now with the first beta release and the final release of the next version of the Outlook Connector.

  • littletinymonkey, yes that website is correct in reporting that "Calendar synchronization with Outlook is a paid, subscription-only feature". And the paid, subscription service needed to sync your calendar is MSN Premium, Office Live Essentials, or Office Live Premium. The current phrasing of the site doesn't really say the opposite of what I said above, rather pretty much the same. In order to sync your calendar up with the Outlook Connector beta you need to be on one of the three paid subscription services (MSN Premium, Office Live Essentials, or Office Live Premium) to enable this functionality. Hotmail Plus is not one of the designated paid subscription services designed to enable calendar sync-up unfortunately.

    What the phrasing means on the paragraph you quoted is that when you upgrade to the new Windows Live Hotmail - you have the ability to sync up notes, tasks, and calendar. If you are not using one of the three paid services enabling calendar sync-up (MSN Premium, Office Live Essentials, or Office Live Premium) you will see an error in the Outlook Connector toolbar (screenshot shown on the page you linked).

    - Brandon

  • Perhaps what I need to find out is what the differences is between what that article is calling "subscribe to Windows Live Hotmail" and the subscription I purchased that is called "Windows Live Hotmail Plus"

  • Perhaps I just need clarification as to what Windows Live Hotmail Plus is vs. what this Microsoft page is calling "subscribe to Windows Live Hotmail"...

  • Brandon,

    Thanks for responding. I really hope you are not correct on what you are saying there. In fact, here's a microsoft page that states the exact opposite:

    "Calendar synchronization with Outlook is a paid, subscription-only feature. When you subscribe to Windows Live Hotmail, you get to synchronize notes and tasks as well as your calendar. If you are using the Outlook Connector with a free Windows Live Hotmail account, you will see an alert on the Outlook Connector toolbar."


  • littletinymonkey, I actually wrote a follow-up to this post from Nick on the new Outlook Connector Beta. To sync your calendar up with the Outlook Connector beta you need to be a paid subscriber of MSN Premium, Office Live Essentials, or Office Live Premium - this does NOT include Hotmail Plus.

    You can read my follow-up post here:

  • Brandon (or someone),

    I downloaded the latest Outlook Connector beta when it came out a couple weeks ago. About 2 minutes into using it, I realized the benefit in using OC and becomming a Windows Live Hotmail Plus subscriber. At the time I was using Outlook 2003 Pro (have since tried with Office 2007 Ultimate and getting same results)...

    What happens is (oh wait, before continuing, yes I can verify that I am a subscriber (4GB storage capacity, no adds in my spaces account or in webmail, etc)) when trying to utilize the calendar feature of OC, I get the popup and resulting error in the logfile: Outlook Connector is available only to subscribers.

    I even tried using the non-beta version of OC and upgrading to Outlook 2007... Now I am sad.

    I am running Windows XP Pro Sp2 32 bit, by the way.

    I've searched and searched and searched for a way to make this work. I thought perhaps just relaxing and waiting a week or so things would work themselves out. No luck yet...

    You are welcome to ignore my cry for help or contact me directly at littletinymonkey * hotmail * com !


  • Claret, I'm not sure what you mean by "Hotmail Live". Could you elaborate?

    In order to sync your calendar in Outlook, you must be a paid subscriber of MSN Premium, Office Live Essentials, and Office Live Premium.

    While the Outlook Connector Beta supports Outlook 2003, according to the download page is unfortunately does not support running on Windows 2000.

    - Brandon

  • Claret
    1 Posts

    Hi there, reading this, you are describing what I am looking for... I'm not running Vista (yet, sorry) but have Windows 2000 with Outlook 2003. I'd like to be able to synchronise my Outlook calendar with my Hotmail one; is this possible?

    I just tried to sign up for Hotmail Live as described above, but it seems only to want me to choose an identity with a ending, why is this when I already have a address?

  • MetalHolly,

    I am extremely happy to hear the new Outlook Connector has gotten you up and running again.

    The new Outlook Connector has been in development for a few months and was released for the first time today. When you got that error at the time there was no new software to direct you to download.

    Microsoft has done much more with this new Outlook Connector that simply syncing email. Read about the new Connector on my extended Outlook Connector post I put online today:

    - Brandon

  • Brandon,

    Thanks for the advice and the link. I am now able to retrieve my Hotmail in Outlook 2003 again. This is important to me as I carry my .pst file with me on a laptop to places where there is no internet access.

    I'm still annoyed that it dissapeared without warning and that the "Outlook Connector is only available to subscribers" message made me go on a wild goose chase - A more useful message would have been "Outlook connector requires an upgrade but since you are a subscriber you do not need to resubscribe. You can get the new software {here} - Sorry for the temporary loss of your service". Even better I think advance warning would have been helpful. Ho Hum..

    Thanks for getting me back to a working state.

  • MetalHolly,

    For Windows Live Hotmail Plus you get 4GB of email storage instead of 2GB, you get 20MB file attachments instead of 10, no ads in Hotmail or Spaces, and no account expiration.

    The current release of the Outlook Connector DOES NOT WORK with the new Hotmail.

    Today, Microsoft has released a brand new beta Outlook Connector for Windows Live Hotmail users. Check it out and download it here:

    I will have a post online about the new Outlook Connector shortly.  

  • Up until a few days ago I was using Outlook 2003 (11.8010.6568) and Outlook Connector (1.8.3501.0) to happily synchronise with Hotmail Plus. This has been the case for as long as I can remember. Then bang, no warning it goes off the air "Outlook Connector is only available to subscribers" - Funny I WAS a subscriber. Wasted hours later in trying to find the problem I have PAID AGAIN for the new upgraded Windows Live Hotmail Plus. The result "Outlook Connnector is only available to subscribers". This is probably the worst experience I have ever had with Microsoft. Now I get a lot of e-mail but I don't recall a warning that Microsoft were going to cut off my outlook connector when doing their upgrade. As for the new interface, if the Connector worked I would HOPEFULLY never see it as I'd be using Outlook 2003. What exactly have I gained for my subscription to Windows Live Hotmail Plus?

  • If you already have a Hotmail account, you will see a green "Upgrade" button in your account. If you do not have a Hotmail account, when you go to and sign up - you will automatically get the new Hotmail sweetness.

  • Whats the new URL for the new Hotmail?

  • Let me look into it for you. Hotmail Plus is suppose to remove the ads. Is your Live ID the one you signed up with for Hotmail Plus and also the ID you use to log in to Spaces? Hotmail Plus is specific for only 1 Windows Live ID.

    Let me know.

  • Brandon LeBlanc, Hotmail Plus does not remove the adverts from Spaces ( or there must be some kind of problem.

    I am using Hotmail Plus with a Custom Domain Passport ID so I guess that is probably the cause of this...

  • I am interested in using the new Outlook Live Connector when it released, but I have a question/concern regarding the maximum number of contacts that may be synchronized/stored in Live Mail.

    The last time that I attempted to use the Contacts Import feature in Windows Live Mail I received an "error" message that stated that I have more that 1,000 contacts and that I must reduce the number of contacts to less than 1,000 and then re-run the Contacts Import tool in Live Mail. I was not about to arbitrarily delete contacts from my Outlook address book, so I have not yet imported my contacts into Live Mail.

    Has the limit of 1,000 contacts been removed/increased or will it be removed/increased in the near future? Are there any options that allow more than 1,000 contacts? If the limit were 2,000 that would be sufficient for me for quite some time. I do subscribe to Hotmail Plus. Do Hotmail Plus and Hotmail Premium have different limits on the number of Contacts allowed relative to free Hotmail/Live Mail?

  • Now you won't have to pay for the ability so consider the fact you'll be saving $19.95 here on out. However there will be other perks to paying $19.95 a year. I paid $19.95 a year not too long ago to have ads removed from both Hotmail and Spaces and for 20 bucks for the entire year, I am pleased to have the ads gone.

    In regards to the Outlook Connector for Windows Live Hotmail, expect a release shortly.

  • Well.....needless to say, that sucks. The advertised SUPPOSED ability to access my hotmail using Outlook was one of the main reasons I chose to pay $19.95 to subscribe!!!

  • Let me be very clear about this: the currently released Outlook Connector DOES NOT WORK with Windows Live Hotmail or if you get it to work has some major issues.

    They will be releasing a new Outlook Connector beta in the coming weeks that will enable the connection and sync with Hotmail to Outlook 2003 and 2007.

    We will be making a blog post to announce the availability of the Outlook Connector Beta for Windows Live Hotmail when it is released.

  • rhogan70, I get the same message...

    I used to be an Outlook Live Customer, Cancelled Outlook Live, But mail sync used to work (except Calender / Contacts) till the end of beta...

    But now, I get the same message as you... Contact Sync seems to work though.

    FYI, I am using Windows Custom Domains with Hotmail Plus Account.

  • I am a Windows Live Hotmail Plus subscriber and have tried everything I know to use the Outlook Connector to gain access to my Hotmail through Outlook 2007. Every time I click on the "Hotmail Inbox" that shows in the Folder List of my Outlook 2007, I get this error message: "Outlook Connector is available to subscribers only. Do you want to subscribe now." What am I missing?

  • Nick White
    1204 Posts

    Hey microcompspec:  that should not be the case, no.

  • Would this change affect our or tech net logins?

  • I can see a lot of 56k users leaving hotmail becuse the service is too slow.

  • dare
    1 Posts

    So by carefully reading Brandon's response: The connector for Outlook which I impatiently await will NOT be able to sync calendar entries? So will  I still have to continue dreaming about a web service / desktop software (with syncing ability for phones) - combination that lets me decently handle my calendar data from home, work and on the run? Please make that dream real, real soon!

  • Hi - is there a plan to move all hotmail users over to Windows Live Hotmail at some time? Or if they never choose to switch can they stick with the original version?

  • Janely i run WM5.0. I wan't sync calendar, tasks and contats.

  • I was also just reading about an IM update for Xbox 360 users, which will allow users to IM with windows live messenger users on a PC.

    Im a little confused though, this means text has been added right... but

    Does this mean that you can video message friends on a 360 with a webcam from your windows Vista based PC with Live Messenger and a webcam?

  • janely
    51 Posts

    Just to add to my previous post, in WM5.0, the Pocket MSN application have an easy to use sign in page.  You can access your MSN Hotmail from there instead of using Internet Explorer on the device.  However, you cannot sync your mail.

  • janely
    51 Posts

    Hi Matjaz_f,

    If you are running Windows Mobile 6.0, you can sync with your Windows Live Hotmail.  Here is a link to an article that explains how to set it up:


  • Can sync Windows Live Hotmail with my pocket PC Ipaq rx1950, and if not why?

  • Brandon,

    Does that mean that by installing the outlook connector I don't have to use Hotmail Plus to import my Hotmail email into Outlook 2007?

  • someone
    156 Posts

    Some of the issues regarding Microsoft's online/offline email - collaboration related tools are:

    1. For 1024 x 768 and lower resolutions which are still common today, you need simply cannot view the full email without requiring to scroll when the "Message pane" is enabled in Windows Live Hotmail. You're forced to use Classic mode if you want to view the full message without scrolling both horizontally and vertically. The 'message pane' cannot be reduced beyond a certain size. Classic view effectively lets go much of the functionality of Live Hotmail. And the height of the entire email area is too short, so vertical scrolling is also unnecessarily required.

    2. Windows Mail/Live Mail (formerly WLMd) and Windows Calendar have a decent list of features. However, Windows Contacts is way too basic, whereas Outlook is an overkill for home users. And these three are not integrated. Probably, with "Live Mail (Desktop)", Microsoft can later add a desktop contact manager which is more full featured than Windows Contacts or the current address book/contact manager in WLMd. And increase the integration between the products.

  • Brick,

    Let me clarify a few things for you.

    A BRAND NEW Outlook Connector for Windows Live Hotmail (beta) will be released in the coming weeks. This will SYNC your email and contacts up with Hotmail.

    Also coming is a brand new free email client called Windows Live Mail which will also allow you to SYNC your email and contacts with Windows Live Hotmail.

    The choice whether you want to use the Outlook Connector or Windows Live Mail client is yours. Both will give you the experience you want. So if you prefer to use Outlook, the Outlook Connector is just for you.

    And yes. This will all be free.

    Sorry you signed up for Hotmail plus. However on the positive side to that - ads in Hotmail and on Spaces will be gone ;-)

  • Brick
    4 Posts

    Aaargghh!!!  I read that about the Microsoft Outlook Connector and thought "Wow!  That's just what I need!" so in a fit of activity I installed it and and ended up (errornously) signing up for MSN Hotmail Plus.

    So I went to customer services chat to switch to a Microsoft Office Outlook Live Essentials account and they told me "I would like to inform you that Microsoft Outlook live is not available for new customers. It is being decommissioned now."

    So now that I've read the blog comments since, will I be able to use Microsoft Office 2007 in Vista to synchronise email, calender, contacts etc with as well as the new Windows Live Mail client?

    And is that synchronisation service free?

    (I really don't want to resort to remote calendars / google calendar)

  • I wanted to add to what Nick said above. Windows Live is actually quite important to Windows Vista as Windows Live is being designed and positioned to compliment and add even more sweetness to your current experience in Windows Vista. Windows Vista and Windows Live will work hand in hand. You're going to *want* Windows Vista for the full Windows Live experience. We'll be talking more about that here a bit more in the future on exactly how this will be.

    Also: Nick mentions being able to sync Windows Mail, Windows Calendar, and Windows Contacts in Windows Vista to Windows Live. To clarify - the new free email client Windows Live Mail coming for Windows Vista will be the successor to Windows Mail enabling full sync up of your email and contacts. Being able to sync your Calendar is coming later on.

    And newscientist2000, email addresses are indeed on the way! I am excited to get one myself ;-)

  • Oooohhh I want a address.

    Great stuff.

  • Darn it, I just read the Hotmail Teams Blog and they state

    "Those with Microsoft Outlook 2003 (or later) will have free access to their Windows Live Hotmail account via Outlook."

    I can't wait for the Outlook Connector to be released, it sounds as though that will really add value to Office Outlook 2003 and 2007.

    It also reassures me a little, as I was thinking that Microsoft wanted to buy up Yahoo, and charge us all lots of money for email service, this makes me think you guys are looking more towards an advert-driven model, I like advert-driven models because they are a win win for everyone.

    Infact one of the main reasons for me to use a account for my email is that it has free POP3 forwarding, the trade off is its free if you sign up to some spam, all in all a fair trade off.  With a account you have to pay to forward your email, which is to bad for my wife!

    These changes to hotmail will be a welcome change, forwarding to Outlook in the age where people have multiple accounts (yahoo, gmail, hotmail, aol etc..) is a must have feature, and I am really excited about the Outlook Connector.

  • Nick White
    1204 Posts

    Hey paulfp:  actually, quite a bit!  You'll note that the release of Windows Live Mail serves as a Web-based alternative to Windows Mail, which is included in Windows Vista by default; this gives users more choices of email clients than before.  Plus, Windows Live Mail now can synchronize Windows Mail, Windows Calendar and Windows Contacts (all part of the Windows Vista OS) on the computer and Web.  This is an example of the fact that, going forward, Windows Live and Windows Vista are going to work more closely together than ever before -- so this "sets the table," so to speak.  But more on that later ...

  • paulfp
    6 Posts

    Great - what's that got to do with Windows Vista though? ;)

  • Nice, all very interesting.

    Looks more like Outlook, I like it!  Great improvement, Yahoo Mail didnt need that much of an improvement but hotmail was long overdue.  It looks real nice right now though.  Good work :-)