An update on SSL support

An update on SSL support

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Back in November we introduced the option to enable full-session HTTPS encryption (SSL) for your Hotmail account. Having a system you can trust was our number one priority. So we made the decision to enforce SSL for all your Hotmail connections when you enable the SSL option on your account. That meant that we had to disable connections from email programs like Windows Live Mail that didn’t support SSL.

Since then, more than two million users have opted-in for this additional protection.

Today I'm pleased to announce that we’ve expanded our SSL protection for Hotmail and other Windows Live services. These enhancements resolve your top two requests related to SSL support: You wanted the same SSL protection when using Windows Live Mail or Outlook, and you wanted more websites protected by SSL.

  • We've updated Windows Live Mail to switch all traffic to SSL. There's no need to opt in to this feature; once you install the latest version of Mail, you'll automatically use SSL all the time. You can download the latest version of Windows Live Mail, or wait until your computer automatically upgrades.
  • We've updated the Outlook Connector to switch all Hotmail traffic to SSL. Again, there's no need to opt in—all you need to do is download the latest version of the Outlook Connector.
  • Finally, we've increased the number of Windows Live websites that support SSL. Now when you enable SSL, we'll ensure that all your PC and smartphone connections to hotmail.com and live.com websites are all carried over SSL.

Note that, because most feature phones don’t support SSL connections, we still disable connections from those phones if you enable HTTPS. If you are affected by this, we recommend using Exchange ActiveSync or POP3 from your phone, both of which provide 100% HTTPS connections.

Over the coming months, we will have more details to share as we continue to invest in SSL and other safety features. As always, thanks for using Hotmail, and we appreciate your comments and feedback.

Dick Craddock
Group Program Manager, Hotmail

35 Comments
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  • @pkalellis – Thanks for the feedback – I understand and agree with your frustration. We know this is a gap that we have in client access on the Mac, and we’re working together with the Macintosh Business Unit to figure out the best way to address. I don’t have specifics that I can talk about now, but it is on our radar. Thanks again.

  • Dick, thanks for the answer re getting MSN/Hotmail mail with the Apple Mail client.  The problem as you well know is that there is no solution for being able to access folders, etc.  This is an enormous disadvantage, one big enough that longtime customers (paid like me) are actually thinking to finally ditch MSN/Hotmail, and this just because there is no way to get email other than pop3.

    But another huge question I have is why Outlook for Mac is also unable to get MSN/Hotmail email with folder/sync support?  This is extremely frustrating, considering that MSN/Hotmail is also MS's product.  This is truly inexplicable.  Any ideas as to Outlook and whether this would ever change????

  • @pkalellis - The Mac Mail client uses a different set of protocols to talk to Exchange. The Mac Mail client uses "Exchange Web Services" while the iPhone (and most SmartPhones) use "Exchange ActiveSync." The two are similar, but not the same (even though the set up looks very much the same). So, unfortunately, at this time the best way to connect to Hotmail from the Mac Mail client is using POP3 settings. We realize this is not a great experience (doesn't sync, doesn't support folders, etc.) and we're thinking through various options of making it better.

  • Dick, in one of your articles last August, you explained how to get Hotmail email on devices using Exchange active synch.  I was able to get this to work on my iPhone 4.  My question is regarding Mac OSX Mail.  Theoretically, it should work the same I assume.  I enter the same settings, but the Mail client does can't establish a connection with the m.hotmail.com server.  It is quite odd because the Apple Mail client has the exact same setup as its iPhone counterpart.  Any ideas?  Do you have any information from Mac users on this?  FYI, I am a paying MSN customer in case this makes a difference.  Any assistance is GREATLY appreciated, as I have no Mac email client which I can use to download my MSN folders, etc.

  • I'm still getting sync errors like "Error 5102: Error occurred in LoadProfileStore" and "Limited connectivity". Not always, but they do appear sometimes. (I'm using the latest Hotmail Connector with Outlook 2010 SP1.)

    But even Hotmail itself occasionally gives me errors on the web interface ("temporary error occurred, try again later" etc.).

    Am I the only one getting these?

  • Dick,thank so much for your help! I finally got in to my mailbox today! Keep up the good work!

  • I am sorry to bother you busy people again but my account is still blocked ,nobody has contacted me .It has been 2 weeks already.Like this i will be broke very soon.Everything,property details,tax info,pin codes,car registrations,customer base is in a blocked account of 10 years.. This is beyond frustration ,now it's pure financial damage..

  • Thank you Dick.You are my only hope~!

  • Update: We had a couple of issues with the new Outlook Connector. One was a networking issue which has now been resolved. Folks should no longer be seeing sync issues. The other was a bit of confusion: The installer for Windows Live Essentials does NOT contain the latest Outlook Connector. We will update that installer, but, in the meantime, make sure you download the latest Outlook Connector here: www.microsoft.com/.../details.aspx

  • @gsmboss1 – one of our support agents should be contacting you.

  • Dear Hotmail Team!  I would like to point your attention about massiv lock outs of the customers from their WIndows Life Hotmail accounts and blattant disregard of the technical support to the customer complaints.windowslivehelp.com/forums.aspx

    my 12 days old lock out case has been described there as well  I did provide plenty of absolutely solid proves.Please see the thread TempUser DF2FEEEB-FFBE-42CF-AC76-D63878956A22windowslivehelp.com/ReportAbuse.aspx

  • Nater
    147 Posts

    Quote:  "But when 51% of windows users don't have a secure Hotmail client option, that argument falls apart."

    Umm...  Windows users can get Microsoft Outlook and install the Connector.

    ...  What was that?

    Oh!?  That was your argument falling apart.  Sorry.

  • John
    1 Posts

    For those with XP, wouldn't simply using https in the server url provide secure connection?

    services.msn.com/.../httpmail.asp

    You can also use secure POP3.

  • Vannos
    3 Posts

    @Steve - Thanks for the reply. I'll give that a shot right now!

  • For people having trouble with the new version, the guys over at the Outlook Blog blogs.office.com/.../https-support-added-to-outlook-hotmail-connector.aspx are aware of the problem.

    A post about the issue has been created on the Microsoft Answers site answers.microsoft.com/.../efd4dcab-f7bb-4c1a-b7a8-c7732c699e7a

  • I was so excited to see an update to the Hotmail Connector.

    Unfortunately as @Jason Dragon stated, it's not sycning properly. I can't revert back to the old version either, because when I launch Outlook it prompts be to updated to the latest version of connector. If I don't update, it doesn't sync. If I update, it doesn't sync. Grrrrrr. I know this isn't a support forum, buy pease acknowledge the new updates aren't working! (and wasn't this thoroughly tested prior to release?)

  • @  Vannos - pinning IE9 should work with SSL enabled.  We have a known bug, if your account has moved from one scale unit to another (something we do from time to time to keep our site balanced) you need to unpin and re-pin for the counts to work again.  We'll be fixing this in a future update.

  • Update...

    Seems that the calendar items upload issue I described began working as I typed my previous post.  Now all my views of my calendar are in sync and I'm not seeing duplicates.

  • This morning I had hundreds of duplicate calendar entries suddenly appear for a handful of appointments.  Attempts to delete these duplicates were in vain as more and more copies were mysteriously created, even if I deleted every copy of a calendar item.  This was causing endless reminders on my phone so I created a new calendar, copied the items I cared about, then deleted the problem calendar.  Now none of the items I create on my phone or desktop will upload (though calendar items I create via the website will download.

  • > but Outlook doesn't show any of the items in my Calendar.

    Their calendar sync server, sync.calendar.live.com [65.54.163.249], is not accepting https connections.

    @Dick Craddock - please acknowledge

  • I'm having trouble with the new version too. Outlook 2010 is showing Send/Receive error and Limited Connectivity in the status bar. I seem to be getting new email, but Outlook doesn't show any of the items in my Calendar.

  • > We've updated the Outlook Connector to switch all Hotmail traffic to SSL.

    The new connector tries to sync the calendar via sync.calendar.live.com, but sync.calendar.live.com [65.54.163.249]  is not accepting HTTPS connections (only HTTP), which can be confirmed with a browser.  So calendar sync is failing.

  • Altair
    5 Posts

    Hi,

    I have the same problem like @treize13. I'm unable to connect to Hotmail with a new Otlook Connector - I don't enable "Always use HTTPS" in Hotmail. Is there any solution?

    Thx.

  • Altair
    5 Posts

    Hi, I have the same problem like @treize13. I'm unable to connect to Hotmail with a new Otlook Connector - I don't have enable "Always use HTTPS" in Hotmail. Is there any solution?

    Thx.

  • Vannos
    3 Posts

    I've never seen my Pinned Site for Windows Live Hotmail icon update to show the number of unread messages in my inbox. I'm using SSL and was wondering if thats what prevented the live icon from being live? Thoughts anyone?

  • 7flavor
    352 Posts

    I agree with mainensign. Please update the 2009 version of WLMail with just SSL support.

  • treize13
    12 Posts

    Now that my account has switched to HTTPS, I am unable to connect with outlook. The connector has been downloaded and installed but no luck even after reboot

  • Randa
    9 Posts

    Awesome! Finally :D Now all we need is SSL support in Windows Live official apps. I love the app and I've been using it for more than 1 year now but I stopped doing so when I enabled SSL for my Hotmail :(

  • roboto
    3 Posts

    Will the Outlook Connector be updated to sync tasks with hotmail? This would be very useful, especially since Windows Phone will support this with the next update.

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    Brilliant! I might use WL Mail... but it seriously needs the ability to send mail from aliases, and ActiveViews.

  • XP? That OS that was made 10 YEARS ago? Just have them use webmail. Problem dodged. XP is almost completely dead, and should be.

  • > No, we will not be updating the Windows XP version of Windows Live Mail.

    Whenever users ask you (Hotmail) for IMAP, your response is that everyone is pretty much covered with DeltaSync and ActiveSync.  But when 51% of windows users don't have a secure Hotmail client option, that argument falls apart.  This decision just underscores the need for an open and secure protocol (IMAP over SSL/TLS) that allows users to chose from a variety of available clients.

  • @mainensign - No, we will not be updating the Windows XP version of Windows Live Mail.

  • @Dick Craddock

    I've asked four times already, will you patch the XP version of WLM to do SSL?  Seems like a reasonable question, considering "Windows XP still commands a slim majority, with a global share of 51 percent."

    arstechnica.com/.../june-browser-stats-rapid-release-edition.ars

    If the answer is no then just say so, how difficult is that?

  • Wonderful. :) Thanks for the update!