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Microsoft Outlook is the most popular email software in the world with more than 150 million active users. Hotmail is the largest email service in the world with more than 350 million active users. Outlook and Hotmail are better together, and our teams work closely to deliver a great connected experience for free to our millions of users with the Outlook Hotmail Connector. We’re continuously improving the Connector based on the feedback we hear from you, our shared users.
We hear often from Outlook users that they “live” every day in the product, and that they like to be able to manage both their work and personal email accounts in one place. The Connector lets them do this easily. Our shared customers can use Hotmail as a free, personal cloud service for Outlook side by side with the Exchange-based or other email accounts they use for work.
So why is Hotmail best for Outlook users? Here are a few of the things we hear that our customers find most useful.
Both Outlook and Hotmail support flagging emails to help you remember to act on them. If you flag a message in Outlook, it shows up as flagged in Hotmail and vice versa. Many people use their inbox like a “tasks” list, so flagging an email for follow up is a great feature. In Hotmail, you can quickly see all of your flagged tasks by clicking the “Flagged” Quick View in the left side navigation. In Outlook, you can make a search folder for Flagged emails to create your own quick view. Simply go to the “Folder” tab, click “New Search Folder,” and select “Mail flagged for follow up.”
Both Hotmail and Outlook also let you to right-click on a message to take actions like “reply,” “move,” “forward,” “mark as read,” “delete,” and more. And Hotmail now supports instant actions right in the message list to let you do things like moving email to a folder, sweeping messages, deleting, junking, and categorizing. Outlook has a similar feature called the Quick Access toolbar. Just right click on the ribbon menu in your inbox to enable it. These quick actions work with your Hotmail and your Outlook accounts.
WiFi and 3G connections are nearly ubiquitous today, but there are still times when no connection is available. When you travel, for instance, you may still want to be able to access your mail, calendar, and contacts even if there’s no connection available. You can simply sync your Hotmail data before you board, and the updated information will be available in Outlook.
Hotmail and Outlook both support multiple calendars. You can access and manage all your Hotmail calendars in Outlook, including any public calendars (like the ones available at iCalShare.com) and your shared calendars. We hear from our users that shared calendars are most often used for family scheduling. With the Connector, you can see all your calendars, including those shared family calendars, side by side or overlaid with your other Outlook calendars, like those that you use for work.
Work calendar side-by-side in Outlook with shared family calendar from Hotmail
Work calendar overlaid in Outlook with shared family calendar from Hotmail
We make sure to keep your Hotmail and Exchange-based data separate in Outlook, but you can easily drag and drop content between them. For example, we know that most of our users receive personal email in their work accounts sometimes. With the Connector, you can just drag those messages into your Hotmail inbox. You can do the same with personal contacts, dragging them from Hotmail into Exchange to make sure you have a backup. You can also drag an email into your Hotmail calendar in order to maintain all the email information in the description field. You can even drag and drop events from one calendar to another. Let’s say you have to take a trip for work. You can drag your travel itinerary from your Exchange calendar into, say, a Hotmail shared family calendar. This copies the event so your significant other can see it anywhere he or she accesses Hotmail calendar. And with the new Hotmail calendar change notification feature, unique to Hotmail, anyone sharing a calendar automatically gets an email whenever you add or edit something on that shared calendar.
We know that many Outlook customers use email rules to automatically highlight, categorize, or file messages. With the Connector, you can also run Outlook rules on your Hotmail messages. For instance, you can have a rule set up in Outlook to automatically highlight any email that is sent only to you. When a message addressed just to you arrives, even if it’s sent to your Hotmail account, Outlook highlights it for you. That way, you know you likely need to act on that message more quickly than to a message that has been sent to lots of people at once. Rules are incredibly powerful and are nearly infinite in the ways you can combine them to manage your mail in ways that work just for you. The rules you’ve set up in Outlook will run on your Hotmail inbox when Outlook is running, but you can also set up rules in Hotmail itself. Give ‘em a try. In Hotmail, just go to Options, under your name in the header, and select “Rules for sorting messages.” In Outlook, select the Rules folder on the Home tab.
We hear often from our users that most like to keep their work and personal email separate. Using the Connector, you can start an email in Outlook and send it from any of your accounts. If you select your Hotmail account, the mail is sent via the Hotmail servers. If you select your work or other account, it’s sent through Exchange or the appropriate server. Simply select the “From” button in Outlook and you can select the account from which to send.
Some people are mail “pilers,” some are “filers,” and some are “deleters.” Last year, we shared information about the breakdown of these types of users we see in Hotmail. More than 25% of Hotmail inboxes are managed by “filers.” Both Outlook and Hotmail support folders and subfolders for you filers out there, so you can stay organized and keep your inbox streamlined. Outlook syncs all of your Hotmail folders, and you can even create new Hotmail folders and subfolders from within Outlook. You can drag and drop emails into them, and the folders will automatically sync to any location where you access Hotmail, whether it’s the web, your smart phone, Outlook on your home computer, or anywhere else. You can even drag email from other accounts, like an Exchange account for work, into Hotmail and vice versa.
We are continuously making improvements to reduce junk mail and keep you safe. Outlook 2010 and Hotmail keep your Safe Senders, Blocked Senders, and Safe Recipient lists synchronized to ensure that the good mail gets through and the bad mail doesn’t. In Hotmail, you can right-click a message and select “Junk,” select messages and click “Junk” in the header navigation, or select “Junk” from the reply menu.
In Outlook, you can click “Junk” in the header or right click a message to Junk the mail and block the sender.
For those of you using the Outlook Connector, we’d like to hear your favorite features. Share your tips and tricks, and suggestions for feature improvements! If you’re not using the Connector yet, read on…
If you haven’t already given it a try, using all of these features is a snap. Just download the Hotmail Outlook Connector and follow the quick installation steps. The Connector will walk you through the process. You need to be a Hotmail user already, so if you’re not, go to Hotmail.com to sign up. And if you’re not an Outlook user, you can buy it or try it here.
Hotmail and Outlook are made for each other, and we’re continuously improving both. If you’re an Outlook user, you should be using Hotmail, too. Switching to Hotmail is easy. You can learn more about how to switch here.
Dick Craddock Group Program Manager, Hotmail
Another benefit to Hotmail/Outlook is the wide acceptance of Exchange Active Sync as the interface to Hotmail. That allows iPhone, Android, and oh yea, Windows Phone users the ability to interact with a PIM (mail, contacts, calendar) system, Hotmail, much like it was an Exchange implementation. That makes synchronization between my mobile device and my desktop life manager almost seemless, with access and backup in the cloud. I can add an appointment on the phone or change a contact on my desk and have that information replicated across my various devices with no extra effort on my part. No buttons to click, or cables to hook up. It just works.
Except....tasks....Hotmail (Windows Live) supports tasks. My Windows Phone now supports tasks, since Mango, and those even sync with each other. Problem is the connector doesn't sync tasks between Outlook and Live. How about that? We gonna see that soon? ;)
Well, in my opinion the outlook connector works very laggy and slow. So why not give full exchange protocol support to hotmail? So you could use it without any connector or plugin. I think that would be really a better and more clear solution. So, what do you think? PS, please reply:-)
@Sven, syncing across all devices is definitely a huge benefit. Even users who aren't on Windows Phone, for instance, can sync their Hotmail-based data. The experience is terrific on Windows Phone, and iPhone users and Android users can sync, too. As for tasks sync between Hotmail and Outlook, it's something we're looking at right now.
@WPS, thanks for the comments. Stay tuned.
I tried to use that setup with every single new version of Outlook Connector that you released. But that Connector software is simply so buggy that one cannot use it. I have the most standard setup, nothing special at all. Every time I used the connector, after a few weeks, sync completly screwed up. The contact sync in particular is just not stable enough, I cannot tell you how often it happened that my contact list online and in outlook got entirely out of sync. When you then search the web, you find an enormous amount of users that have exactly the same problem.
I followed the Outlook Connector over the years, and it seems just clear that MS is putting a minimal effort into it. Over many releases hardly any bugs were fixed, hardly any new features added and it seemed just a second priortiy project all around.
@davidacoder, we've made a number of fixes and stability improvements recently. If you are willing to give it a try again, let me know. If you have issues, we'll help you troubleshoot.
A feature that I would like is if someone else using Outlook could see my Hotmail calendar if I make it public. As someone who works remotely as a consultant, it would make it easier for others to schedule meetings with me if they could automatically see my availability.
I discovered the usefulness of what you are discussing here with my own domain via domains.live.com. So one can have all of the hotmail features with your own private domain and utilize the Hotmail Connector to synchronize everything to Outlook!
I have had some sync problems early in my implementation, but after removing and re-setting up the Hotmail Connector, my sync problems were resolved. Everything now syncs between Hotmail, Outlook and my handheld.
Issues I have found:
1. When I migrate contacts from Outlook to Hotmail, the photos are stripped from my contacts. It would be really nice if all of the information stored in Outlook is also available in Hotmail. In my case, I have had to go back to hosting my Contacts in Exchange or my handheld loses the photos.
2. Notification of new emails in Outlook...
a. New messages are delayed being received in Outlook yet I receive them instantly on my handheld.
b. By default, Outlook (including 2010) does not notify the user that new mail has arrived. I finally addresed it by creating an Outlook rule, but this should be automatic like all other email types.
Thanks for keeping use so well informed!
@Jason, you can do what you describe today. Make your calendar public or "view only" in the sharing page on the calendar in question. Then, share the ics link with the other person. He or she can subscribe to it in Outlook...usually just by clicking the link.
I love Outlook. I had exchange with my last employer and now use Hotmail with the connector. It all works great with my Windows Phone. Is there any chance that Outlook tasks and Hotmail ToDos will sync via the connector anytime soon?
Just a question, Microsoft, but is there a Office 2010 Fix-it? I've tried looking, but can't find one.
@Ning Ning Sun . Can you explain what you're looking to do? Are you looking for the link to the Outlook 2010 Hotmail Connector? If so, it's hereoffice.microsoft.com/.../microsoft-office-outlook-hotmail-connector-overview-HA010222518.aspx
@RCBrown. That's a top request. We're looking at that for the future.
I've used connector to keep my mail, contacts, calendar in sync betwen my work and home PCs for a while now and it is just another example of a great free tool from Microsoft. Unfortunately I have just changed jobs and my new company uses Macs :( Any chance there will be a connector for Office for Mac coming soon?
@AndyJ, we're looking into options on Mac, but nothing to announce right now.
Oh boy, do I "live" Outlook. As a student, there's no better way to manage class schedules (synced to my HTC Surround automatically), manage contacts/directories, check multiple e-mail accounts (school e-mail, personal, social, work, etc.), and tasks (the only thing I wish Windows Phone could take advantage of with Outlook Connector; just something I was so used to with my Windows Mobile phone). But yeah, I'd say Outlook Connector's simple "sign in and everything loads" way of working is my favorite "feature." I have noticed huge performance/stability improvements over the past several years; the current version has given me little--or no--issues. So thanks for that :)
I use Hotmail with Custom Domains in Outlook (and Windows Live Mail) for years. And it is really great. I dont need my own Exchange only for my personal account anymore.
But there are some small things that makes things little "hard". No sync for to-dos (Outlook-Windows Phone-Hotmail), different styles for typing (drafts from Hotmail web look different in Outlook - default editor is HTML in Word) and default encoding is set in Outlook and Hotmail/Windows Live Mail (IE9) differently, so in Sent Emails I miss some letters (Č,Š,Ž,Ě in czech language). And what is really bad is connecting Hotmail account with Hotmail Connector and Office 365 account in one Outlook.
I would like to suggest:
Push mail support for Hotmail using Outlook Connector (or as @WPS said via Exchange ActiveSync)
Synchronization of tasks between Outlook and Hotmail
Regarding 7. Keeping accounts separate:
I would like to see the opposite: Unified Inbox (as in Windows Live Mail and Outlook 2011 for mac)
I think Hotmail will have the best update since its release yet. But what about making Hotmail the default mail in windows, so if I double click an email it will open hotmail new message with that email in the To field ?. This feature is in Gmail and works with chrome with no add-ons, firefox, and IE need Google toolbar to accomplish the same thing. I hope to see Hotmail alike feature please.
Hotmail with Outlook is great, but please add the support for meeting request in the web UI, and the support for flagged email in Windows Phone!
Hi Windows Live team
The recent Hotmail improvements are greatly appreciated all around, especially in RENDERING HTML-formatted email on Android instead of the dry, plain text message format experience offered using Exchange ActiveSync due to Windows Live Hotmail's use of the old EAS 2.5 protocol.
A concern with the Hotmail for Android app is a end-users are only able to view a maximum of 30 day old items in their inboxes, leading some to continue to use the EAS option, for which Hotmail only employs EAS 2.5, which is designed to deliver emails in plain text format regardless of if they were formatted in HTML and regardless of the "text/HTML" header most HTML content users add. This means the EAS client authors are left to solve for whether or not the devices they support will render emails in HTML or just act as a straight conduit for what Hotmail delivers, correct? I hope the Windows Live Hotmail team will look into moving to a higher version of EAS that supports "native" delivery of HTML formatted messages (EAS 12.0?). "Plain text" is the only available "Message format" using the EAS setup for Hotmail on Android. Please correct me if I misapply concepts of the email delivery method employed for Hotmail, but it doesn't appear to deliver HTML email from an email's point of origin through Hotmail servers. Some EAS client developers solve for this deficiency in Hotmail (as seen beginning in iOS 4), but many Android devices don't. The EAS clients just output exactly what is received from the email service's delivery protocol. Is it wrong to feel that EAS client licensees shouldn't HAVE to solve for your deficiencies if they're already paying Microsoft license fees for EAS? Why isn't Microsoft using its most current protocols for its own services that would mitigate this problem? Are the protocols not backward compatible, encompassing capabilities of past versions of EAS? If not, why not make your standards backward compatible? Your stuff should work with your stuff and you should work better with people who license your stuff.
Until the EAS issues can be resolved, will the Hotmail for Android app be changed to allow the time limit for past messages to go beyond "Messages from past 30 days" to something like "All" as is available in the EAS setup? I used the Hotmail app by Microsoft + SEVEN because it supports HTML email. HTML email does not appear in the mail app HTC puts on the HTC Rezound at this time. I'm hoping that the Hotmail app will be changed to allow users to be able to access ALL their emails (rendered in HTML format) on their devices, whether it's by using an EAS client or dedicate Hotmail app. In emails older than 30 days, I have to open my browser to access some HTML formatted elements that are actually critical in a message that aren't negotiable in a plain text email.
Windows Live Team
Please clarify: Are rules set in Outlook going to be imported to users Hotmail rules settings and rules set in Hotmail imported to Outlook? Or will users need to manually set up rules through both interfaces individually (once in Hotmail and once in Outlook)?
@JBundyLive, thanks for the question. Currently, the rules don't sync between Hotmail and Outlook.
I'm using hotmail, but not use Outlook. Maybe try it later.
@Licantrop0, thanks for the suggestions. As for Meeting Requests in the Web UI, it's possible to create those from wihtin Hotmail's calendar. You can create an event and, in the form, invite attendees. Are you looking for something else? Thanks, David
Can we have more stuff like this for Windows Live Mail... because Windows Live Mail is an equally popular product of Windows Live Family and is free so more people would like to try it as compared to outlook. I personally use Windows Live Mail so would love to see blogpost "10 Reasons to switch to Hotmail if you use Windows Live Mail".
Like WPS, I'd love to see Hotmail implement a more Exchange-like API for Outlook to sync against. The combination of Outlook and Hotmail is certainly great but the connector is the weakest link. As an example, I've just had to recreate my laptop so my copy of Outlook 2010 is now trying to re-sync against Hotmail. Send/Receive is done but Outlook has *not* completely synced! I can see emails from this year but emails for further back haven't appeared yet. There just doesn't seem any rhyme or reason to how Outlook and the connector sync up ... or don't sync up. My wife, for example, will often see emails appear on her Windows Phone 7, and we can see them on Hotmail, but Outlook simply doesn't pull them down unless we go into the web interface for Hotmail and switch the emails from unread to read, resync and then switch them back. Somehow that "tricks" Outlook into fetching the missing emails but it shouldn't be like this.
So, please, let us use Outlook the way it is supposed to be used and support a better Exchange-like process.
Thanks for an otherwise great platform.
@JBundyLive - re: Hotmail app for Android. thanks for the kind words and feedback. Good suggestion on the 30 Days vs. All. Nothing to report at this time, but that feedback is in the right hands. Appreciated.
Oh yes Outlook. Especially Outlook 2010. The newer version you get the buggier it gets. Let me point you to some excellent design decisions that wasted my time:
1. Up to Outlook 2007 you got sound and desktop notifications for each mail you got. For 2010, the good designers thought to leave a bug in the program that for IMAP accounts and of course for Hotmail you will not be getting such notifications. As a result I miss important mail. So, I baught an alarm clock which reminds me every 20 minutes to open Outlook and manually check. :p
2. I wanted to export some of my e-mail. Easy. Use the Export wizard. OK, OK. Where is it? Perhaps under the File tab. But where? There is no Save tab. Ooooh I am looking everywhere. Even under the Information tab there is only Import but no Export. I get frustrated.
So, I use my psychic powers which tell me. "Click the Import button on the Information tab of the File tab." Oh, nice once I click this button, the options for exporting appear. Good, Outlook's Import feature is used both for importing and for exporting. Nice wording. Perhaps they should have called it Ixport instead? :p
And why doesn't the "Save As" menu item get activated when you press CTRL+S? As it does in every other sain program?
3. Oh, I need to change some of my account settings. But where are these settings now. Before in Outlook 2007 they used to be under Tools > Accounts. But now where?
After some digging you discover that they are under the Information tab of the File tab on the ribbon. How does the word Information relate to anything that has to do with account management is beyond me. Anyway. The best part comes later.
To get to your account's settings you first click your account name of course and then you click this nice pop-up menu called Account Settings and then you choose the item Account Settings from that menu. I say nice pop-up menu because it presence seems to be only for decoration, since it has only one menu item in it. Oh, look how nice it appears. Since it has only one menu item in it,the menu decorates it so nicely. What a beautiful design. A completely unnecessary menu.
By placing the Account Settings item inside of a pop-up menu of the same name, I guess they made it harder for users who are ignorant and stupid to accidentally get to their account settings and mess them up. Very clever. :p
And after the Account Settings open, you get the same old dialog box from 1997 or perhaps 2000. So, the Outlook upgrate was so that they would hide the old settings dialog under an unnecessary menu within an irrelevant ribbon tab which does not talk about account management.
4. And by the way, since we are in this Information tab let's try a bit the Clean-up tools.
Oh, look if I click "Empty the deleted items folder" it asks for confirmation even though my Deleted Items folder is completely and absolutely empty. But also look, if I click "Mailbox Clean-up" and then I try to empty the Deleted Items folder from there, there is no confirmation. I guess they copy/pasted the code in two places but forgot a dialog box the second time? And how old is this code anyway? Do they ever maintain the product or leave old code there for years with the same bugs?
I think so because the "Find Items which are Larger Than" feature under "Mailbox Clean-up" accepts sizes in kb. I guess megabyte sized attachments are still a thing of the future.
5. And say you finished with this atrocious Information tab and you want to close it. Well, you have to click the "Return to Document" button. What "document" you rightly ask. Perhaps the word "Inbox", "E-mail/Contacts/etc list" or simply the word "Close" were to hard to use.
6. Another day I want to search for an e-mail in my company's Global Address List. So, I bring the Address Book up, choose the Global Address List and type a name and press Search. Oh look it seems that multi-threading has not been invented yet. The UI freezes for some minutes. Oh, I'd better do an online search for that person instead. Outlook 2010 is still buggy in this dialog even after so many versions.
7. And what about this "Advanced Find" option in the Address Book. It is so "advanced" that it can only search by name and nothing else. Nothing more advanced than the simple find. In fact it is exactly like the non-"advanced" search form. Then, what is the purpose of "Advanced Find"?
8. I have more things to say but some other time perhaps.
These are little things you might say, but they show the quality/polish of the product, the attention and the skill of its software engineers and above all the fact that if a product sells, Microsoft will not see the need to rennovate the product, i.e. old code will never be revisited and fixed and old annoying bugs with persist.
9. And before you say that these issues do not concern your team and are Outlook team's issues, look at your own Live Essentials software again. It is full of such issues and lack of polish.
Say Live Messenger for example. Even after 10 years, when a New Mail notification comes up and you ALT+Tab to it, the button highlighted by default is "Options". "Options" and not the more intuitive and correct button which actually would allow you to view, to actually read these new e-mails, the button which opens Hotmail or your e-mail client. Why is Options more appropriate to highlight by default I don't understand? So, every time I get a New Mail notification I have to ALT+Tab to it and then press tab a number of times until the button which will open my e-mail inbox is highlighted. Why not have that button highlighted by default? And why after so many years haven't you fixed this bug?
By the way, I use Google Apps Sync for Outlook and it seems to do a much better job. It behaves exactly like Exchange, unlike the Hotmail Connector which seems foreign to Outlook imposing a completely new folder hierarchy which exists in parallel to your main folders.
@Nektar, I'm making sure that all appropriate teams and program managers get your feedback.
Hi David, Hotmail team,
I am encountering a very annoying issue with Outlook connector currently i.e. cannot display the email in HTMLformat. I am using Outlook 2007 with latest OC release. although there are a few emails still being displayed in HTML, but majority of them cannot. I ever used the Outlook 2000/XP with the OC, it worked well and I am an experienced outlook user (and working in the high tech industry). so it looks like it is not simply due to a configuration problem, nor by the anti-virus software (I have uninstalled Mcafee for it :-(.)
Could you shed some lights how to resolve this problem?
BTW, this seems not only to me. FYI.
The problematic outlook connector is running over Windows 7 Home Premium...
@Sun_us, I'm looking into this for you. May be a little while before I get back to you, but thanks for reporting.
Any update for new hotmail roll out ??? I haven't still got the same in any of my hotmail account.
You and me both.
It's tough waiting (and waiting) for new toys we're dying to try out ! ;-)
OFF TOPIC (but important) - there's a bug in the new Hotmail update. If you go to Sweep any messages, then choose 'new folder' when choosing the location to sweep to, it returns to Windows Live Home. :-(
I realize the concept of email in the cloud means you should not need to backup your email when using Hotmail/Outlook Connector/Outlook, but in practice I make a local backup of my Outlook emails to my C:drive using Copy/Paste which I then backup to an external hard drive. This takes considerable time to Copy/Paste all the folders I have. It would be great if you could develop a tool to automate this process for Outlook email/contacts/calendar; even better if it was integrated with Windows 7 (or 8) Backup.
Thanks Hotmail folks for responding to every issue made by the posters here. I too have had some problems with the connector (working through them), would love to sync my tasks, and even more if Hotmail allowed Exchange Actice Sync with Outlook. So count my vote as well. Meanwhile the WLM client is a nice piece of software, but it does not always meet my needs.
One BIG and frustration has been the lack of seamless threading when using BOTH Outlook 2010 and Hotmail.com. This is inexcusable. For example, if I continue a thread in Outlook that I started on the web client, the mail sent from Outlook doesn't get integrated into the thread on Hotmail.com. How hard is this? A big idea for MS is supposed to that you can manage your mail on different clients and not worry about it; it's all integrated in the cloud.
One request: Please improve the spam filters in hotmail.
Hi Please excuse my ignorance I'm about to upgrade to WP7.5 Will I be able to sync Outlook - appointments, contacts etc directly to the phone? Or will I have to load Hotmail connector? Then can Hotmail calendar become my default calendar? Will all changes and entries done on the phone automatically update the Calendar and contacts? What about my documents? Thanks
Almost every Hotmail user is a private/home user. Now go ahead and tell home user that he or she need to spend around £70 for an Outlook 2010, because it is not included in Office for Home and Student pack.
I know it is a great software, but it is too expensive to become a default email and calendar program for home users.
So MS. Please reconsider include it to Home and Student Office Pack, then you can advertise how great that software is.
@Pedrool: we're looking into your conversation threading issue. Thanks for reporting this.
Major missing features, it does not synchronize the task list!!!!! Any person that is organized with Outlook would use the task list to track things that need to get done. The fact that you do not synchronize either tasks or notes is a major missing piece from your software and website.
@bigjim01: thanks for your feedback. Task synchronization is something we will be considering for the future.
There are 3 "styles" of accounts in Outlook that I use:
(1) Work (Exchange)
(2) Other/Personal (IMAP/SMTP)
(3) Other/Personal (Hotmail)
Hotmail is my primary account for sending e-mails but it acts very different than the other 2 style of accounts (Exchange and IMAP/SMTP). None of the IMAP/SMTP accounts have their own CONTACTS, CALENDARS, TASKS, and NOTES. It’s as if Hotmail is pretending to be an Exchange account but it is not the exchange account. So instead of having a single calendar and a single contact list, I end up having two - the exchange/work version and the personal/Hotmail version. It’s nice to have the separation you describe in #7 (Keeping accounts separate) but it would be nice if Hotmail did not have its own Calendar and Contacts in Outlook. This way, I can add it to Outlook (just like I do gMail accounts) and not worry about maintaining separate Hotmail-only contacts and calendars and tasks.
For example, when I get a meeting request to one of my non-exchange IMAP accounts, the event ends up in my Outlook calendar. When someone sends a meeting request to my Hotmail account, it ends up in my Hotmail “My Calendar” calendar. I would also want the ability to use one set of Outlook Categories (the exchange account version) and apply them to Hotmail entries as opposed to having a separate set of categories for the exchange account and Hotmail.
Perhaps I use Outlook different than most but it seems like Hotmail works great with Outlook under the following scenarios:
(1) Hotmail is the only account you use
(2) You use Outlook for work and Hotmail but don’t care about having to maintain separate Calendars, Tasks (“this computer only for Hotmail), Contacts, Notes, and Categories.
Am I missing something or using it wrong?
nektar said it best: " .....unlike the Hotmail Connector which seems foreign to Outlook imposing a completely new folder hierarchy which exists in parallel to your main folders."
If I have a friend who I work with, do I stick him in the Outlook CONTACTS folder or the Hotmail CONTACTS folder? Then when I look for his contact info, do I look in Exchange Account - CONTACTS or Hotmail - CONTACTS? I' curious how other people are using Outlook with Hotmail and other accounts.
@SXD, you're using the connector correctly. We've optimized for the case where the user is on Exchange at work and Hotmail for personal use. So, it's important, that Outlook supports seperate hierarchies and keeps data seperate. I definately understand your interest in having all of your accounts merged or managed together, though.
@SXD: I wanted to second David's comment. The majority of our users have indicated a preference to keep personal and private accounts separate, and that's how the Connector has been designed. However we are seeing an increasing push of request for more flexibility and choose whether to merge the two or keep them separated. We will consider this for the future.