Re-enabling creation of Linked IDs

Re-enabling creation of Linked IDs

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Today we are beginning to re-enable the ability to create new Linked IDs. This change is rolling out in the next couple days and should be complete this week.

For some customers – particularly power users – you’ve told us that it’s essential to be able to juggle multiple accounts. Over the last year we’ve added several powerful new ways to do this – specifically aliases and email aggregation (“POP aggregation), on top of existing features like “plus addresses”. Each of these is a great solution designed to help a different scenario:

  • Aliases and plus addresses are a great way to create unique email addresses – great to manage a particular event (shopping for a car or planning wedding for example) or to manage mail from marketing sites.
  • Email aggregation is a great way to take multiple accounts from different email providers and consolidate them all in your Hotmail inbox.

As we have made these changes, we looked at how most people use Linked IDs and found that, for the most part, they were used to solve exactly these problems – managing multiple email addresses and accounts. In our major update last month, one of the things we did is turn off the ability to create new Linked IDs, instead encouraging use of our new features.  However it became clear from listening to your feedback that there were many people who used Linked IDs for other reasons, and so we are making a change today to re-enable the creation of Linked IDs.

We appreciate your feedback and we will use this blog going forward to proactively communicate any changes we make to the Windows Live ID system.

Eric Doerr – Group Program Manager, Windows Live Cloud Directory

30 Comments
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  • brilaf
    13 Posts

    @Eric Doerr

    I'm assuming the change is still rolling out? I haven't seen any change yet.

    Thx

  • Aliases could be a nice replacement for having a linked ID. However, I would need the ability to merge my two accounts (merge one into the other one) to be able to make the transition.

  • brilaf
    13 Posts

    Curious, has anyone hit the server/s with the TILES? I haven't.

  • Regarding Hotmail featues in Outlook and Windows Live Mail:

    I would like to suggest for Outlook for Windows a consolidated / unified inbox (as in Outlook 2011 for mac and Windows Live Mail), so that all messages from separate accounts appear in one inbox. At the moment Search Folders don’t work with Hotmail accounts.

    Another suggestion is to use several consolidated folders: All mail, all unread mail, all unread mail from contacts, unread RSS feeds etc. (as in Windows Live Mail).

    Tighter integration with Windows Live Messenger: when Live Messenger shows a new mail alert and one clicks on it, Outlook should open (instead of Live Mail / or browser with Hotmail) and the message should then already have been downloaded  by Outlook (as Live Mail does).

  • 7flavor
    352 Posts

    Linked IDs and aliases are two different features offering slightly different scenarios. Please don't do anything stupid like taking away either one of them again.

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    @danielgr - I like the second point!!

    Why don't IWL blog about the new reminders in Hotmail Calendar??

  • brilaf
    13 Posts

    @ Eric

    Yes this is welcome news. Thanks.

  • gorzko
    24 Posts

    @danielgr

    I just said that it doesn't have to be your *main* account...

    And well, I fully support you: WLM should be able to handle aliases just as Hotmail does.

  • danielgr
    73 Posts

    @ Noel Burgess  Thanks for taking the time to write the work around, but that's not what I'm looking about (I did try though following all your steps). What I want is for WL team to fully integrate hotmail aliases into Microsoft email clients.

    I don't want to

    - create a separate account (with its own folders I don't need)

    - e-mails sent with an alias going to an outbox different from my hotmail account (I could make an e/mail rule to solve that, but that's yet another step)

    - people to receive my e-mails as "forwarded by hotmail" when sent with an alias.

    - need complex settings and to change manually the address when replying (which are fine to me, not 4 my careless family members and friends)

    I want the whole seemless experience offered by hotmail website built into WLM & Outlook. That after adding your hotmail account your aliases are recognized automatically and work exactly as they do in hotmail website. This was a "feature request", not so much of a "how to" question...

  • ¡Firedog
    16 Posts

    @danielgr

    Hi again!

    WLMail can only send messages using one of the accounts listed in the folder pane. To send using your alias address, you have to set up an account for the purpose. In WLMail 2011,

    1.   Click 'Work offline'

    1.   Press Ctrl-Shift-T to open the 'Add email account' wixard

    2.   Enter your alias address and display name. Clear the 'Remember...' box.

    3.  Select 'Manually configure...' and click 'Next'

    4.  Select 'POP' for the incoming server type and enter pop.a.com for the address.

    5.   Enter smtp.live.com for the outgoing server address, change the port to 587 and select both 'Requires...' boxes

    6.   Click 'Next' and 'Finish'.

         The account should now appear as the bottom one of your accounts in the folder pane.

    7.   Right-click on the account name and select 'Properties'.

         On the 'General' tab, give the account a descriptive name and deselect 'Include this account...'

         On the 'Servers' tab, click 'Settings' and enter the address and password for your primary account.

    10. Click 'Apply' and 'OK'.

    11. Press Ctrl-N and drop down the 'From' menu in the new message window. You should see your new account listed. Try it out. You'll have to 'Go online' to send.

    [Questions like this should be posted at WLSC...]

  • @sumitmehta : Thats what I was trying to say. Hotmail's other features cannot replace Linked IDs. In your first post on this blogpost, you said if your request is considered then there is no need of Linked IDs and therefore I had to disagree with you. Anyways, many thanks for clearing your point.

    I agree that Win Live team should give the ability to convert IDs into aliases.

  • danielgr
    73 Posts

    @gorzko  I'm extremely interested on what you described, but I cannot find a way of adding aliases in Windows Live Mail 2011. (I have actually done countless searches on the web to find it). Could you describe to me the procedure in a more detailed way?

    I can for sure change the address, but there is a single one.

    When using the hotmail interface one can "choose" the sending address when writing every e-mail, and when replying to an incoming e-mail the appropriate address is automatically set-up.

    I certainly do not want to go and change the properties of my account everytime I send an e-mail, nor do I want to really care about which address am I using when replying someone. Again, this is perfectly handled in hotmail, just still not well done in Windows Live Mail & Outlook (2010). I hope they'll improve it for the future.

  • Denial
    2 Posts

    Thank You!!! Oh wow, I really thought they were gone forever!

    I agree with above posters about merging the aliases and linked ids. However, before this change would ever be made, just run it by the users in a blog post or something.  Keeping people updated on the situation and soliciting and listening to feedback is everything!

  • Thank you! Not only was the ability to create linked IDs restored but also prior IDs are back just as I had used them in the past. That was a particularly nice touch - listening to your customers and re-enabling prior settings! Now maybe we can hope to see running slide shows again soon, and getting links to photos (the full size version) back?

  • @trulyindian My suggetion for enabling existing hotmail accounts for Aliases was just a feature requrest. I am not in favour of replacing Linked ID with aliases. Because with linked IDs, we can use more storage on skydrive and can set up e-mail backup system etc. Linked ID is a great and unique feature Hotmail is offering and that should not be removed unless not technically feasible for Hotmail.

  • @sumitmehta : Yes, I somewhat agree with your reasoning but you are seeing only one perspective. Linked IDs are not only for hotmail. It is for all Windows Live services (for eg. Skydrive). Now, even if alias facility is given (as requested by you) even then if a person has two (or more) skydrives, he can use Linked IDs for his convenience. Had it been only for hotmail, I would have definitely been in agreement with you, but it is not like that.

    Windows Live team also made mistake on this point when they turned off Linked IDs. They thought that with new features in hotmail Linked IDs are redundant but that is not so. (Above reasoning should have been kept in mind by them)

    Although, I agree that the facility to convert Old IDs into aliases should be given but not at the expense of Linked IDs feature.

  • @sumitmehta : Yes, I somewhat agree with your reasoning but you are seeing only one perspective. Linked IDs are only for hotmail. It is for all Windows Live services (for eg. Skydrive). Now, even if alias facility is given (as requested by you) even then if a person has two (or more) skydrives, he can use Linked IDs for his convenience. Had it been only for hotmail, I would have definitely been in agreement with you, but it is not like that.

    Windows Live team also made mistake on this point when they turned off Linked IDs. They thought that with new features in hotmail Linked IDs are redundant but that is not so. (Above reasoning should have been kept in mind by them)

    Although, I agree that the facility to convert Old IDs into aliases should be given but not at the expense of Linked IDs feature.

  • @trulyindian  I think Hotmail introduced Linked ID feature to enable users to check e-mails of different accounts by single login.  People keep different email accounts for many reasons and I agree that everyone of us has different preferences for organising their e-mails, may be in different accounts or in differennt folders. But with the introduction of latest hotmail features like sweep and other filtering options, one can easily achieve the same objectitve by using existing email addresses as Aliases to primary hotmail account without even moving to other Linked ID accounts.

  • Thank you!

    Now any chance of using a Hotmail account AND a Live@edu Outlook web app based account without needing to log out and back in?

  • @ sumitmehta : I do not agree with your view. Even if they enable creation of existing e-mail addreses as alias LINKED IDs must be there. This is an excellent feature whose fuctionality is not limited to persons just having two (or more) email ac/s. Aliases are separate thing and Linked IDs are separate. They complement each other and do not bring down the importance of other feature.

    @7flavor : Yes, we should be thankful to them.But they had actually taken away that feature from us (as is wriiten in this blog post) and now they have listened to feedback and have broght back that feature. It still raises some hopes that MS listens to feedback (But only after a backlash by users and too only sometime).

  • gorzko
    24 Posts

    @danielgr

    I totally agree that we should be able to *merge* accounts and use aliases in WLM. However it's not true that "whenever I reply to an e-mail my main address is shown". It doesn't have to be your MAIN address. You can just right-click on your account in WLM and type any of aliasses in "E-mail address" field.

  • I totally agreed sumitmehta’s opinion, "it should enable creation of existing e-mail addreses as alias. Then there is not need to have Linked ID feature."

  • Kazzan
    5 Posts

    Thanks!

  • danielgr
    73 Posts

    @ sumitmehta  +1

  • 7flavor
    352 Posts

    Let me tell you how important Linked IDs are to me. Without this feature, I will no longer be using Hotmail. I guess we should thank you for not taking away a feature from us.

  • @Eric Doerr I have two - three existing hotmail email addresses. They are linked using Linked ID feature. If hotmail really wants to promote Aliases and plus addresses, in my opinion, it should enable creation of existing e-mail addreses as alias. Then there is not need to have Linked ID feature.

  • @eric: Really many thanks for enabling Linked IDs again. Thanks for listening to our feedback. This is, infact, one of the most wonderful and feature of Win Live IDs. And is very simple to use. Thanks again for re-enabling. Hope you will listen to feedback in other matter also. Thanks again.

    @ alimaggs : I completely agree with you. It is the best feature.

    @ Cosmin : I agree that MS should ask before removing useful feature. I dont know why they tend to remove Excellent feature first for introducing sub standard features.

  • danielgr
    73 Posts

    I do still use my linked id's so this is a welcome move.

    That said:

    1) I'm still missing the possibility to send e-mail from my aliases using e-mail clients (WLM, Outlook 2010, and, I guess, my future Windows Phone). Using my e-mail mainly through clients this nearly defeats the purpose of all the aliases I've created, since whenever I reply to an e-mail my main address is shown.

    2) What many really want (need) is the ability to either "merge different ID's" or "change my live-id / hotmail address independently". Many of your old customers created their primary ID long time ago, when hotmail was a simple e-mail service, but would not like to use that crappy old name as their ID (or viceversa). I've thought many times to kill it all and start from scratch, but I just don't want to lose all my skydrive files, albums, friends, etc. People with a non-hotmail Windows Live ID can change it, why not us?

  • Maybe Microsoft should learn to ask first and eventually remove useful features after.

  • Alimaggs
    22 Posts

    Thank you!  I use this on a regular basis to manage multiple email accounts and Live IDs, and Linked IDs are by far the best way for me to this, so I appreciate this being switched back on.