Turn over a new leaf and switch from Gmail to Hotmail in 3 easy steps

Turn over a new leaf and switch from Gmail to Hotmail in 3 easy steps

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It’s nearing the end of January, and that’s a good time to think about those New Year’s resolutions. A year ago, you might have called us crazy, but a lot has changed in the last 12 months and as a result, there are now many reasons why you may want to consider leaving Gmail and giving Hotmail a try. As we’ve talked about on this blog, Hotmail’s come a long way and we definitely think it’s worth giving Hotmail another look. We’ve started to see some folks make the move from Gmail to Hotmail, and so we want to share with you how to do this.

From what we’ve heard, some of the top reasons why people are making the move from Gmail to Hotmail include:

  • Hotmail & Facebook work well together. You can update your Facebook status, chat with Facebook friends, view their updates, and comment right from your Hotmail inbox. You can't do this from Gmail.
  • You can easily share lots of photos and large attachments. Hotmail lets you share hundreds of photos or other files in one message using the integrated online storage from SkyDrive. You can't do this in Gmail.
  • Hotmail works great with Office. Using the Office Web Apps, Hotmail lets you view and edit Office docs for free right in your inbox. Gmail doesn’t work well with Office.
  • Hotmail lets you get a handle on graymail. With customizable categories and scheduled sweeps, you can quickly clean up things like newsletters, social updates, and daily deals so you only see the mail that really matters to you. Gmail doesn’t have Sweep.

Here’s how to make the switch in three easy steps

  1. Create a Hotmail account. If you don’t already have one, you need to create a Hotmail account. The best way to do this is to get a new email address either @hotmail.com or @live.com. Or, if you already have an email address you want to keep using, you can keep using it and sign up here. You don’t have to use our domain.
  2. Import your old messages from Gmail. You’ll probably want to keep your old email and contacts so we’ve made it simple to bring them in. TrueSwitch is an easy tool which will import your email and contacts and forward any new email to Hotmail for 90 days. Go to the TrueSwitch site and follow the steps there. When you sign back in to Hotmail, you’ll notice that it’s beginning to import your emails (this could take a few hours if you have a lot of emails to bring over).
  3. Connect your Gmail account. This step is optional, but if you want to make sure you receive future messages from Gmail, you can have Hotmail automatically get all new emails that are sent to your old Gmail account. These are the steps to connect your accounts:

a. In your inbox, click Options and then More options.

b. Click Sending/receiving email from other accounts.

c. Click Add an email account.

d. Provide your Gmail account details.

That’s it—you’re ready to go! And you can add other accounts too—from Yahoo, AOL, or other providers. Here’s a quick video showing you how to do this:

 

So start the New Year fresh with a new inbox from Hotmail, built to be the best email service in the world. And for those of you making the switch from Gmail, let us know what you think.

Dharmesh Mehta

Director - Windows Live Product Management

95 Comments
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  • David Law
    11 Posts

    @HamishR - unfortunately, the tool mentioned in the post currently doesn't work for custom domains....only @hotmail.com, @live.com, etc.  But we’re working on it.  Thanks!

  • HamishR
    2 Posts

    I am having the same problem with a custom domain when trying to switch using the TrueSwitch link. Can someone help?

  • I'll be sticking with Gmail. IMAP, custom domain and sending other account emails via smtp (using true send as, not hotmail's on behalf of revealing my other email addresse) push gMail in front of hotmail. Once hotmail can send email via smtp then I may switch.

  • eknirb
    2 Posts

    How bout more Hotmail themes?

  • @troberts - This is a limitation of the Android app unfortunately (we're looking at how to improve this).  The work around is to edit your contacts from the web (or Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger, or Outlook with the connector).

  • I am having trouble with the Android Hotmail app and contacts. I have all my contacts in Windows Live. I installed the hotmail seven app. Mail is working fine and the contacts have all appeared. The problem arises when I try to edit a contact on the phone. On opening a contact, all the details are displayed correctly just as they are in WLM. When selecting Edit Contact, some contacts display as "Google contact". These contacts can be edited without any problem. However other contacts display as "Hotmail contact". For these contacts the only details that can be edited are name and phonetic name. I have turned off the Google sync for mail and contacts, uninstalled Hotmail and reinstalled it, refreshed the contact list and it has made no difference. Any ideas?

  • Calendar, Contacts...very important deciders as to whether or not I switch fully back to Hotmail. Interestingly, I was in the middle of switching fully to GMail because of the IMAP support. That is really the only issue I have with Hotmail.

    Sweep: Ingenious

    Email Filtering: Awesome

    SPAM Filtering: Marvelous

    IMAP Support: Wh-what?! No IMAP Support?

    Even the Outlook Connector--a software bandage, to say the least--is too much to link a Hotmail account to Microsoft's own local Mail Client, Outlook.

    Whatever it takes, Microsoft needs to allow IMAP support on their free Hotmail Accounts. This alone will bring people back to Hotmail.

    My logic (and as I'm sure you're aware, I'm not alone) on this is that if that basic functionality is offered at the base level (on the FREE accounts) then folks like me, who have been using Hotmail for years (between fourteen and sixteen years), would consider upgrading to the Hotmail Premium accounts. However, given the left-behind feelings of said users, why throw money at something that has not fulfilled basic services that is provided by competing products?

    While we're at it, Windows Live Mail would be more aligned with prevailing mail clients if there was a simple desktop notification when new mail is received from any account loaded in Windows Live Mail...kind of like Outlook does. This is an even more simple solution to attract more people to use Windows Live Mail over Thunderbird. An icon simply showing an envelope when there's new mail provides no indication where the email is and what the email is.

    A simple pop up saying "Account ABC123@deuteronomy.com" has New Mail in the SAVE ME Folder!!" That would be awesome. Or, like Outlook, just a notification of who the email is from and a brief introduction.would go a long way to monopolizing this particular facet of email interaction. Just about everything else (not going to complain about the themes) works beautifully in WLM.

    The way I use my Hotmail Account is by setting my filters through the Website (Sweep is truly ingenious and simple), and then reading my mail on Windows Live Mail.  Incorporating "Sweep" in the next rendition of Windows Live Mail would be beautiful, and, again, probably lead to more Hotmail and WLM use.

    This is an area that Microsoft excels past Google: SOFTWARE. Instead of fighting Google on their turf (internet) fight them at the local level where you reign supreme (every Windows installation is a win for Microsoft) might be the better action-course.

  • @controlz: i know I had almost 10 gb of mails stored, I had to delete 5 gb of them to gain use of my account again

    But if the storage is limited they should advertise it as limited not as unlimited that is just deceitful

    @steve Kafka: done

  • bRonCOde
    24 Posts

    The only thing I am missing, which is why I did not switch to Hotmail yet, is the ability to send E-Mail from a different SMTP server. I am aware that I can send E-Mails from a different address through the live.com SMTP server, but I don't want the recepient to see that I didn't send the E-Mail from my real SMTP server. If you could implement this I would switch within a second! :)

  • @lcasarin - if you accept my friend request on the blog, I can work with you on your issue

  • Caleb
    4 Posts

    I'd like to switch to Hotmail but one big feature is missing in my opinion - IMAP access. Almost every other free email service has it (Zoho Mail, Mail.com and Yahoo Mail as well as GMail!) If you did introduce IMAP support then I would switch to Hotmail.

  • Now that I have started using a Windows Phone, I am considering switching from Gmail to Hotmail.  One missing feature on the Hotmail web interface (unless I just can't find it) is the ability to drag and drop attachments when sending emails.  Am I missing it somewhere or is it not available?

  • @Banker: Thank You, the link is somewhat useful. It had solved my problem. Now, my alias is my default email sending ID.

    But I must admit the process itself was quite tedious. I added an email ID (alias) to "You can send mail from these accounts" heading. and then it sends verification mail to my alias (somewhat weird, I think) then I went to the same page and clicked "Use as Default" button. It worked but I did not quite like the workaround.

    Hope Hotmail Team would improve it.

    Thanks Banker!

  • Banker
    7 Posts

    @trulyindian:

    Please try this one. I hope the link is okay...

    snt127.mail.live.com/.../AccountList.aspx

  • @Banker: It is not resolving the problem. Instead it just brought up the alias at the first place in the list but sending email still remains my login ID. (i.e. I still have to click the chevron every time I want to send email through my alias)

    Anyway, thanks for your support and time. Hope, somebody from Hotmail team will try to resolve it.

  • Banker
    7 Posts

    @trulyindian:

    I don't know if understand the problem correctly, but you can try using Live ID account settings:

    account.live.com/ManageAssocIds

    Preferred account is the key.

  • @Hotmail Team: Is there any way to set my alias as my default email sending address. Eg. I have a Hotmail ID, say, abc@hotmail.com and I setup my alias as cba@live.com

    Now, whenever I click New to send an email the sending address is my login ID i.e. abc@hotmail.com and I have to click the chevron to set the sending address as my alias (instead of login ID). So is there any way by which I can set my default email sending address as my alias instead of my login ID.

  • @TactualRain if I understood correctly, you're trying to move using TrueSwitch to either a custom domain or an alias in Hotmail. The custom domain bit we're looking to resolve with TrueSwitch. Hopefully we'll have news on that front shortly. WRT to the alias, an alias is not a Live ID, so you can't log in with it. That's why TrueSwitch won't work with aliases.

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    @lcasarin - You could try deleting some old emails, or you could get Hotmail Plus which has more storage.

    No email service has completely unlimited storage, and remember that Gmail only has around 7.5GB. So you wouldn't be able to move to Gmail with all your mail.

  • I created my Hotmail account in 1998! So basically I´ve been a hotmail user for 14 years and I´ve been recently dissapointed

    THE UNLIMITED STORAGE IS A FARCE!!!

    A few days before the end of january I got an email message warning me that my account was "growing to fast" and that I would soon have it blocked, I have abou 10GB of mails stored there because guess what? I started to migrate from gmail!

    I´ve started 2 new threads in the hotmail help forum and noone has answered or offered help.

    I read in another blog, that the "unlimited" storage increase every month as the user needs it; we are already in february and I´m still unable to receive mails in my 14 year old account (the one that EVERYBODY has)

    So I´m seriously ocnsidering migrationg back to Gmail or Yahoo (apparently Yahoo does have unlimited storage), since I never had such a problem there

    Anyway my advice is STAY AT GMAIL

  • @Galileo Vieira - how do I use the TrueSwitch site if I've got a non-Hotmail address?  I run a custom domain through domains.live.com, but it won't allow me to use this.  I've also got a live.com alias through Hotmail, and it won't accept that as a valid login.  I'm a bit perplexed about how to give it a shot.

  • jonemo
    7 Posts

    I recently decided to move away from Gmail, my email host and user interface for the past 5 years. Hotmail appears like the most robust with the most reliable company behind it. Yahoo Mail and AOL Mail are also ok, but who knows what happens to Yahoo and AOL in the future. That said, here are my current problems. If they persist, they will be dealbreakers and force me back to Gmail:

    - Used Trueswitch yesterday. Received confirmation that the migration started. 22 hours later, not a single message has made it into my Hotmail inbox. If/when they ever do, I need all header information (sent date, recipient list) intact and hope that conversations are preserved.

    - The filter rules allow for a maximum of one (ONE!!!!) rule that involves forwarding. Combined with the lack of verbosity possible in filter rules, this makes it impossible to implement all my Gmail filters that forward various types of email to other members of my family.

    Other things I find lacking, but that aren't essential to me:

    - Proper conversation view (so that I can see the conversation while writing a reply)

    - The possibility to "pop out" a conversation or email into a separate window.

    - IMAP. Why on earth would you not support IMAP? Setting up Hotmail on my Android phone took several tries until I figured out how to use AES (don't mention the Hotmail app: that app is a ridiculous excuse for a smartphone email client)

    - Pleasant themes. I like the text links instead of gigantic buttons, but their placement is weird.

    - Ability to handle large groups of email: While deleting >10k of email (I had used my hotmail inbox as a backup previously) there were various issues and error messages popping up.

    - The lack of the "archive" concept as implemented in Gmail (email disappears from inbox but is kept around)

    Things I like:

    - The simple UI. After removing the ad with Adblock the interface is a lot cleaner than Gmail and holds more information on the same window size.

    - The search seems pretty good, especially the autocomplete suggestions.

    - The fact that very little integration of other services like chat, calendar, etc is forced upon you. It pops up when it makes sense, but there isn't a constant presence in the UI.

  • jagowar
    5 Posts

    like sparuchuri the TrueSwitch app needs to be updated to allow for custom domains.....

  • I must say that I'm glad to see that several others here posted about their desire to see Hotmail abandon the 16-character password limit for something much more secure.  How about upping it to 60 (like Gmail, I believe).    "From sixteen to sixty."  Even the sound of it is catchy.  ;-)

  • Banker
    7 Posts

    @nektar:

    As much as I don't like the harsh rhetorics of your post I must agree with the general thought.

    Hotmail is just weird - when you look at it - it looks very robust, has tons of options, it's even overwhelming.

    But when you dig deeper into it, there's really nothing special. When I log into my Gmail, it feels like home. Hotmail just feels weird, strange.

  • nektar
    8 Posts

    I don't want to switch because the Hotmail team does not care about the details like the Gmail team, as they prefer to make everything work only superficially. If you dig deeper, you find only bugs. They do not innovate at all and they do not think about the power users.

    1. Superficiality in the development process: It shows that you are not extensively testing your code and most importantly you’re UI or the text found in your documentation or your pages. The support experience is abysmal.

    A) Your code is not thoroughly tested for all user interaction paths. The common paths of user interactions are tested it seems, but nothing more.

    Let me give you just one of the many examples: If you go to Hotmail Calendar and click on a calendar name, its settings page appears. Then, if you click Save, instead of returning you to the previous page, it shows the general calendar options. So, it seems that only the user interaction path which involved first going to the general calendar options page and then choosing a specific calendar to modify its settings was tested. That's why the Save button from that page returns you to the general calendars options page and not to the page you were actually viewing before. Gmail extensively tests such things. I have never found even small mistakes like these. Your team is intelligent I guess. Why don't you work carefully through all interaction scenarios?

    B) Your UI is FULL of mistakes or inconsistencies.

    For example, in Hotmail the Sweep feature says 'Delete all e-mails from ...' and 'Move all e-mails from ...’ what a strange wording! It should have said: "Delete all e-mails from sender' or 'Delete all e-mails from' and give the actual name of the sender since it knows him/her.

    Another example is the fact that in Hotmail Calendar there is a hidden link at the top of the page for users who use screen readers to easily switch to Agenda View. However, even if you press that link one hundred times, it does not go away, even though Hotmail Calendar indeed switches to the Agenda View. How would a user know that the link has actually worked if it does not disappear or give some other easy to find, at the top of the page, indication? In Gmail such mistakes are never done. I guess one of your developers just put it there and then forgot about it. Superficiality all over! Where are the UI experts and UI testers?

    For example, a small mistake is that on the individual Calendar Settings' pages there is a 'Delete' button at the bottom. Delete what? Shouldn't it say 'Delete calendar' perhaps to be completely clear? Small things like these though is what distinguish an OK service from a GREAT service.

    C) The documentation is laughably short. I hope I don't need to go further. And the text in it is at times wrong or as if it has been written by a group of teenagers; to simplified to be useful whilst without any advanced information that might be needed by the technically oriented crowd.

    The text in official e-mails is at times wrong. For example, in the e-mails sent out by the Junk E-mail Classification Service, which is an official service offered by Hotmail since a loooong time ago; the name of the service is still called MSN Hotmail! I guess you forgot that this Junk E-mail Classification Service exists?

    D) The support professionals at windowslivehelp.com are not professional at all. They give childish responses, do not read and many times do not understand what they are asked, etc. Compare this to the Gmail support groups.

    2. No real innovation: Gmail gave us vast inboxes, Conversations, Labels, powerful search, IMAP and CalDav for free, two-factor authentication, embedded chat, video calling, free calls to landlines, etc., much much before than any other service. Many of those features Hotmail still lacks or has added extremely recently. Gmail always moves the envelope quickly and far ahead than Hotmail and gives things for free. Until Hotmail adds logging of chat sessions, it would be 2015, and then you would boast about it, and then perhaps by 2018 you would give us free landline calling. What I mean is that Gmail adds real features that help a great majority of people and gives them yesterday and for free. What does Hotmail have to offer? The Sweep feature perhaps? What is Sweep anyway compared to Gmail's Mute Conversation feature that Hotmail still lacks? If I want to delete a set of e-mails, most probably they concern the current conversation, not all the e-mails that a sender has send me since the beginning of time. Mute Conversation is far more practical. Plus Hotmail is really slow in introducing features. Perhaps you should do a table listing the time between Gmail introduces a useful feature (I am not talking about sweep) and the time it takes Hotmail to implement something similar or comparable. When did you add Categories which are comparable to Gmail's Labels? When did you add Conversation View? After 5 years? And when did you add IMAP support? Oh, not yet.

    3. The power users are important and you don't care about them. I want a log of past connections to Hotmail including date/time and IP address for example, like on Gmail. But you don't give me that because you think that only power users will benefit from such a feature. Well, now I will not advertise your service to everybody and I will tell them to use Gmail instead. Since I am the one in the family who knows about computers, guess whom everyone is going to listen to.

    If I switch and if you manage to enlist most users again like in the past, you will become complacent and you will sit back and relax. The team will get disbanded and Hotmail will stay stagnant again. It happened before at your company and it will happen again.

  • Hemingray
    85 Posts

    @abm but does it support addons like Adblock, and excellent spam filtering?

  • "Hotmail works great with Office. Using the Office Web Apps, Hotmail lets you view and edit Office docs for free right in your inbox. Gmail doesn’t work well with Office."

    ARE YOU REALLY SURE?

    I used a lot gmail+hotmail.

    google docs works VERY fast,

    Office Web Apps works VERY slowly.

    do you understand that gmail != just mail

    gmail == mail + very fast online documents + great  calendar.

    if you understand it then we have no idea WHY  Office Web Apps loads so SLOWLY?

    google docs loads in few seconds,  Office Web Apps takes long to load above the 1 minute (on the same Internet-channel).

    how it is ever possible to switch from Google to MS if MS can't compete with Google Documents?

    Office Web Apps is an example of bad web app.

  • andrejs
    3 Posts

    i forgot one more thing about aliases...

    on google apps i can creat any combination of alias so i expect it here also

    so... i have an email@domain.com and then i set alias mail2@anotherdomain.com :) so i dont have to have multiple mailboxees.....

  • andrejs
    3 Posts

    p.s. why did you block hotmail android app from instaling on samsung galaxy tab 10.1?

  • andrejs
    3 Posts

    well actually i tryed to switch today, and stoped

    i have only one dealbreaker.... i cant create  email alias for custom domain.... i will prepare everything and wait till you implement that... then ill move all of my domains to hotmail....

    i thought to create one account with name.surname@mydomain.com and forward it to name@mydomain.com but then remembered that after 270 days that mail would be gone...

    so please get us aliases for custom domains and i think that a lot more people will switch...

    p.s. would not hurt to have more then 1 mx server address.. just in case

  • Really hope hotmail adopts the Metro look in the future, Would look awesome!

  • Banker
    7 Posts

    @leofishman:

    I don't think so, no. It's more like 9 - 12 months period of inactivity.

    @LiveTeam:

    I'm a Gmail poweruser and I've recently taken some steps to move to Hotmail. There's a little feedback on what I believe is required to encourage Gmail users to give Hotmail a try.

    1) UI revamp.

    It's definitely improved recently but there is still much to do. The interface needs simplification to make it clearer. One thing I find very annoying is the lack of buttons - in Hotmail we have text links which I find harder to hit and much less productive. Some frequently used functions (like New e-mail, Delete, Send, Select Message) should have bigger, more visible buttons, it is a must. There are more details that need work, small things that make final experience MUCH better - bigger page arrows on top (not bottom) of the window or customizable number of e-mails/page.

    The other problem are Ads - it's not good there are ads, but I wouldn't even mind them being there if their placement wasn't as bad as it is.

    Overall what we need is more customization options, more clean user-friendly UI, better use of colours to make it easy to distinguish read/unread messages or labels like in Gmail, no ads.

    I know that the looks of Hotmail is somehow connected to typography of other Microsoft services and products but it's time to change. I'd also like to state that I'm used to Gmail, so my opinion might not be completely unbiased. Nonetheless, I believe these are things hard to question.

    2) MSN redirection.

    I don't know if it's possible to disable it (?) - the page is of no use to me and this redirection makes me view it over and over.

    3) Password & security.

    I couldn't use my Gmail password because it was too long. Needs an improvement. Also in this topic I'd like to ask if it's possible to have the password manager remember Windows Live Password - it works in Opera 11, but I can't force IE9 to do it. Any ideas? Is there an option to change it or maybe an addon?

    These are the few thing I belive need to be taken care of.

    Overall I'm really happy with Hotmail, especially because I'm a Windows Phone 7 owner. It's definitelly going in the right direction. Keep up the good work, guys, and please use the feedback we provide to make Hotmail the best experience possible.

    Mike.

  • @leofishman - your Hotmail account will expire after about 9 months of inactivity, which is comparable to other services.

  • abm
    268 Posts

    All the emails from WindowsTeam Blog and Microsoft Answers are flagged as suspicious by the "SmartScreen filter".

         "This message looks very suspicious to our SmartScreen filters,

          so we've blocked attachments, pictures, and links for your safety.

          Show content"

    I reported this issue to more than 10 ppl on windows live help and via private messages on WindowsTeamBlog including Chris Jones.. but all they say is stuff like; "we are looking into it.."

    I don't have problem in pressing Show Content buttone everytime, BUT --> If the SmartScreen is so dumb and it cant identify that MS's own family website is the domain of the email address, the email address (wvblog@microsoft.com) is set as a "safe sender" and the email address (wvblog@microsoft.com) is my contact... and still giving me the red warning, then SmartScreen is an epic failure!

  • @cgtopper  If you accept my friend request, I'd like to troubleshoot your connection problems with you.

  • If you're changing from gmail to hotmail, retain your gmail account.  Hotmail outages are frequent and long.  I lose my hotmail about 5 or 6 times a day and can't connect.  So far today I've been unable to connect except for a very short span of about 20 minutes.

  • spring
    14 Posts

    I have been using my email ID@live.com since 2007. I like it, but it seems that most people are still unfamilar with this domain. Every time when I write down my email address for other people, they always ask, 'what's this email? I've never heard it'. Then I have to explain that it is an email service from microsoft, etc. When I try to give my email address over the phone, every time I have to spend some time to confirm the domain name "live.com". I find gmail is much easier. Almost every knows it. On the phone, after spelling my ID, I simply say "gmail.com", then everything is OK.

  • kylejwx
    3 Posts

    @Silversee The Hotmail app for Android is great and works with all manufacturers. In my experience, it syncs mail, calendar, and contacts, as well or better than Gmail on android.  It is a very clean interface and allows pinch-to-zoom which even the native android Gmail app has somehow forgotten.  I consider it one of android's most well-made apps.  If they made a similar SkyDrive app for android, I could get rid of dropbox.

    @jamiet and others mentioning domains.live.com.  Has anyone actually gotten this to work?  Whenever I try to sign up I get these errors.

    “The domain is available for purchase but not supported by the WLCD service. Please choose another domain name if you wish to use the CD service.”

    “bigdogredhouse.net is available for registration but is not supported by the Windows Live Custom Domains service, since it contains a word that violates Microsoft's word filters.”

    Any ideas on fixing the errors? Should I buy my domain separately and then come back and set it up through Windows Live?  Also, can you use the email features of Hotmail in this way similar to a free Google apps account?  I get I have my personal website through Google apps for $10 a year and consider that a great deal.  I would love a similar solution from Microsoft.  My dad's Office Live Small Business site is expiring and I would love to set him up with a Windows Live domain, but if that's not an option then we may just have to switch to Google Apps.

  • Does hotmail still remove accounts after 3 mounths of inactivities?

  • Great post, but there are still some funcitonal show stoppers like:

    1) Custom Domains don't support user alias entries (so you can't manage common minor spelling errors etc) or the scenario where you might be recieving mail from multiple domains (like xyz.com and xyz.net) in Gmail you can setup a single account and aliases for all your domains. Not a huge issue in the USA, but in other countries where you have your local domain and people still often also just do .com it's a nice option.

    2) Inability to purchase premium subscriptions in some markets (to remove advertising) ...although this was changed recently and someone finally allowed you to pay for this if you paid for it in the USA...obviously nobody outside the USA tested it as the payment methods don't support credit cards from outside the USA (where you don't have ZIP codes etc).

    I think what the Hotmail team need to do is realise that the details in some of the Gmail configuration options are there for a reason, even if they don't understand why they are needed.

    So I run Hotmail and still have a huge presence in Gmail (and cannot pull many other family members off Gmail) because of these and other features. It's really frustrating when you know many of these are such simple code changes and people have been lobbying the live team for years, both externally and inside MS.

    I guess it's like a parent watching a child constanly miss the mark on something they know they could win at.

    -P

  • Switching from Gmail to Hotmail sounds like a great idea.  But how can a Mac user get Hotmail on a Mac other than through the hotmail.com site?  Any updates on how Hotmail can be accessed on a Mac with an email client which can use IMAP?  I have a paid hotmail account (@msn.com) and have no way of obtaining my email other than through the hotmail site which is getting very frustrating.  Dick mentioned in a previous blog entry about 7 months ago that Hotmail/Live would be changing this.  Any updates?

  • Zephyro
    2 Posts

    Gmail is the best webmail in my opinion.

    I like Hotmail too, but animated Flash ads really suck.

  • @hotmail team: I am a loyal Hotmail user but I must really admit that the contacts management in Gmail is far much more superior than Hotmail. And this is indeed very disappointing. Secondly, I want to say that the Hotmail also lags behind Gmail be it opening of a long message or loading or anything else (it really does lag behind, even though you claimed Hotmail is 10x faster some time ago). And I am saying this because I use hotmail for personal, professional purposes and feels that these areas need improvement. Lastly, the ads the biggest problem in Hotmail's UI. Although, the whole UI needs to redesigned but the ads placing is baddest thing in Hotmail. Yes, Hotmail's UI is simple and cleaner but it really needs some redesigning or refreshing. It should be more customisable. The themes need to be redesigned completely. The existing ones are not even worth talking when compared to Gmail.

  • Pedrool
    18 Posts

    @Steve Kafka  Outlook for Mac. Please coordinate with the Office team to support Hotmail/Live. I'm embarrassed for MS.

  • abm
    268 Posts

    @Hemingray, Live Essentails Mail is a free client app. You can add multiple accounts and sync and dont need to pay for anythng!

  • @trulyindian, @alexanderb Thanks for helping us catch this bug - it should be working now.  If you're still having issues, send me a private message and I'll have someone work with you to debug.

  • @Steve Kafka - I very well know that with Windows Live Mail and Outlook (with plugin) I may sync my Hotmail account, but... Apple Mail can't. That's why I'm stuck with Gmail (IMAP). There's more... Gmail/Google gives me a freedom to choose platform and apps I want to use and I like using. That's a little special thing that Google is giving me and Microsoft is not ;)

  • vasudev
    28 Posts

    Yes, I'll ask people to give the New Hotmail, a try. Its much much better. And if you are used to using Keyboard Shortcut in Gmail, you won't miss them in Hotmail. As in Hotmail, you have an option to change to have Gmail Keyboard shortcuts. And on iOS devices Hotmail provides much better experience than the Gmail app.

  • I'm on a Mac as well. I switched from Gmail to Hotmail last year and I really like it. But I do have to agree with the other Mac users - not being able to use a mail client to connect from our Macs is kind of a bummer, especially when the iOS support is top notch.

    I finally gave in today and bought mBox Mail (fluentfactory.com/mboxmail-for-mac). It allows any standard Mac mail client to access Hotmail like an IMAP account (full folder syncing). I highly recommend that Mac users download the trial at least.

    It is kind of sad that we need to resort to 3rd party developers for this kind of thing however.

  • @alexanderb has raised a very good issue. I am also facing this. I have an email ID say xyz@gmail.com. Now I create a Hotmail account using my above mentioned address. It is good upto this step only. Now when I go to trueswitch and enter my gmail ID and Hotmail ID (which are this case is xyz@gmail.com both) it does not accept it and does not start the process of moving emails etc.

    Hotmail team have a look at it... and resolve it as soon as possible

  • @Steve Kafka

    I'm using Postbox 3.0.2 on a Win7 Pro laptop, and a private email provider for IMAP storage. Why not Outlook for me? Native redirect on both Postbox and my email provider's web interface and far easier mail moving in PB. No ads and more power options on the email provider's web interface. Why not Windows Live Mail for me? Better Folder List layout in Postbox: 1) smaller fonts so all folders are visible, so no vertical scrolling ever, 2) Upper Accounts List in Folder Pane switches lower Folder List contents for better focus and more flexibility.

    I will say that if you are using Outlook with the Hotmail Connector, then Hotmail is a /very/ easy one-stop shop for all of your PIM data storage needs. Sadly, I had my Hotmail account hacked a few years ago, and I would rather not utilize such a large hacking target (and that's simply because of Hotmail's size, alone, and not ANY reflection on MS's security programming skills. And that goes for Yahoo, or Gmail or anything else that's popular.) Hotmail HAS gotten better recently, and security is always a moving target, too.

    I just don't like changing my email address anymore <grin>.

  • Hi,

    I am guessing your post above is incorrect as it mentions you can use you own domain on hotmail. Whilst this is correct, the TrueSwitch service does not allow you to migrate your data to a custom hotmail domain it seems. It might be worth updating the post to reflect this, or updating the post with steps to perform this if it is indeed possible. At the moment, this is the only thing keeping me from switching.

  • @johnl79 - We do currently support EAS, which is great for your iOS devices, but doesn't currently do much for you on your Mac.  

    @everyone else commenting about Mac support - thanks for all the replies, it's helpful to understand why people are requesting IMAP.

  • johnl79
    1 Posts

    @Steve Kafka - I'm using a Mac.  I'm sorry, but having solid cross-platform support is absolutely a must.  I tried switching to Hotmail a couple of weeks ago but the need to keep checking my browser to see if I have any new emails drove me insane and I've since switched back to Gmail.  Until Hotmail supports EAS or IMAP, I'm never going to use it again.

  • Rhys
    1 Posts

    hehehe, funny how these from microsoft.

  • dr1337
    1 Posts

    @Steve Kafka I don't think it's a matter of which Mail client we're using, but which OS we're using. I'm currently using a Mac and neither does Mac Mail nor Office 2011 support Hotmail, which is a major pity. Since switching to WP7, I'd love to make Hotmail my email, contacts and calendaring system, however the lack of the ability to sync any of this information to my Mac for offline use keeps holding me back from switching.

    I'd love to see the Hotmail team at least adopt more open protocols such as IMAP, CalDav and CardDav for us Mac and Linux users. If that's not possible, please at least try to support Outlook syncing.

    Thanks!

  • I'd love to switch, but there's no IMAP interface.  I use a Mac - and despite having purchased Office for it, even Outlook can't connect with anything but POP.  This is ridiculous, of course - if you provide either a "social connector" for Outlook on Mac, or a way to connect using Mail.app (with IMAP), then I'll be there.  Until then, you really don't support my platform - which is a shame.

    Google, for their flaws, at least let me use a client on a non-Windows platform.  I get you're all about Windows, but surely a purchase of Office for Mac shows I'm willing..?  What's a bit curious is even if I pay for Hotmail Plus, I don't get IMAP access.  Bizarre.

    Why do I want IMAP or a social connector?  Simply because I have a world of folders and I don't want to have to manage that twice.  I don't get a rich folder experience with POP - it's some sort of ghetto half-way house to SaaS.

  • I love the feature where you can add your old email address and receive emails from the old account directly into Hotmail. It helped me easily transition from Gmail to Hotmail, while still getting important emails and stuff saved.

  • Hemingray
    85 Posts

    I ran the other way years ago, Proud to use GMail, because, unlike Hotmail, you don't have to pay to use your own POP/IMAP client! (I use Thunderbird), and there's so much less spam delivered to my inbox. (I get more from my ISP inbox than I do from gmail). This, folks, is where Hotmail falls way behind Gmail.

  • @Tomasz Olędzki - Thanks for responding, great to see the variety of places you check your mail from.  For Windows Live Mail you should have access to all your mail, calendar and contacts without using IMAP.  Same for Outlook if you install the connector (office.microsoft.com/.../microsoft-office-outlook-hotmail-connector-overview-HA010222518.aspx).

  • @Steve Kafka

    on my private computer - Apple Mail (Mac)

    on by business computer - Windows Live Mail 2011 for private mail + Outlook 2010 for business mail (PC)

  • also WP7 can only sync the last 20 days of sent emails.... poor!!

  • @CADDRAFTER83 I am having exactly the same dilemma as you, wanting to change my live id to a hotmail account rather than my googlemail address.  Not too sure how this will affect contacts, calendars, Zune pass, Xbox live, let alone WP7! Could be a deal breaker if I would need to hard reset my phone !!

  • @vladon  If you accept my friend request I'll work with you to resolve this issue with timezones.

  • Can I flag a mail in Hotmail and it shows up as flagged on my windows phone ? ..err nope

  • ntsing
    1 Posts

    As a Gmail user since 2004 I am interested in giving Hotmail another look. Got a new account set up with TrueSwitch connected to my Gmail. Given that I have several Gmail accounts, is it possible to use TrueSwitch to consolidate all of them into a single Hotmail account? Very excited to start using Hotmail, here are a few features I would love to see in the future:

    1) Proper token-based 2-factor authentication. You already offer SMS single use codes which is a fantastic start. The critical difference is I want the option to always require a second token-based code when signing into my account.

    2) Longer than 16-character password support

    3) IMAP. I know you've heard it many times, but I would just add my vote for IMAP support. EAS is fantastic in many cases but sometimes IMAP is the best solution.

    4) Permanent account retention. This was actually what caused me to leave Hotmail in the first place. I waited too long and all my email disappeared. I know account retention has been drastically increased to 9 months, but it really should be increased to be retained forever regardless of account activity. I have Gmail accounts I go years between logging into and I never lose any data held in them. There are legitimate reasons for going very long periods without using your account.

    That's all for now, definitely looking forward to giving Hotmail another look.

  • GreyKat
    1 Posts

    The New Hotmail left me stranded and ready to switch to the evil Gmail.

    I have the familiar problem with Hotmail not integrating with my calendar, with the POP3 on phones, and with accessing my mail from multiple computers. You at Hotmail actually locked me out of my account repeatedly, even after a password reset! (that's "secure", but it seems a bit extreme). Until the recent improvements (?), I had no trouble with Hotmail.Now nothing works. My computers try to log me into "Live mail", and don't list Hotmail as a default option.

    How can I get MY Hotmail back?

  • I suspect that many people asking for IMAP support are unaware that Hotmail now supports Exchange Activesync (EAS), which on a mobile device provides all the benefits of IMAP and more.

    Unfortunately, many mobile email clients set Hotmail accounts up as POP3 accounts by default.  This results in a sub-par email experience and a lack of calendar and contacts syncing.

    It's great that Apple now supports EAS with Hotmail on iOS.  It would be great if you could work with Samsung, HTC, and other Android OEMs to get that fixed there as well...

  • @mostergaard, I've sent you a friend request to assist you with the migration.

    For those having issues with TrueSwitch, please add me as a friend and we'll work with you offline.

  • Great! I've been thinking about moving from Gmail to Hotmail for a very long time now, but the main headache has always been the many years of email history now on Gmail that I occasionally search. So reading about the TrueSwitch service made me very excited.

    But I can't get it working... After entering my Gmail account and Live account, I get the error "Cannot authenticate the xxx@gmail.com that you have provided. Please double check and enter valid e-mail address and password for the xxxx@gmail.com." I have triple checked that I typed in the right password and I have tried several times today. Maybe the service is down, or maybe Google have blocked it?

    I used the link above (secure5.trueswitch.com/hotmail-demo) and as the Gmail "username", I used the full email address - including @gmail.com. I also tried just my user name but then it fails right away. Also, my Live account is on the @live.dk domain, but since the error message complains about the Gmail account, I assume that it's not to do with that.

    Any suggestions? I'd absolutely LOVE to get away from the now-evil Google!

  • For everyone mentioning IMAP support, what mail client/OS are you using?

  • how about us that have our Windows Live ID tied to a GMAIL account and want to change to a LIVE account? it's simple enough, but how does that effect our Window's phone? will we have to reset it up too? wasn't thinking far enough ahead when we got our phones and connected them to a gmail windows live ID, wish it were solely a windows live account without the gmail ties.. can someone figure this out? thinking about changing it through live but don't want to have to reset my phone(losing everything?) to switch the email address.. HELP!!

  • @Konrad Sikorski : I do not agree that "Gmail has better (more intuitive and clean) navigation". Infact the recent redesign of Gmail has made its interface even worse than before. Personally, I think Hotmail interface is good except that it is not customisable (leave the option of crap themes they provide)

    @mondayblues: the solution suggested is good but only on the assumption that people would be willing to change their browser just for Hotmail. I use IE 9 and I am very happy with it and dont think I would change my browser just for Hotmail.

  • Re: ads:  I imagine all those complaining (rightfully) about the intrusive & distracting right-side ad use IE exclusively.  Those of us who use FF, Opera and/or Chrome (or one of its clones) have webmail-adblocker extensions available (to remove the ad and reclaim the space for message list & messages) have a much more enjoyable experience.   :-)

  • @Dharmesh  Yes, I do, indeed, appreciate Hotmail trying to work on both proactive and reactive security measures.  And the OTP (one-time password/single-use code) is a good one !  But in my case it's not very relevant.  I'm one of the few left in this world who access email and surf the web from one -- and only one -- computer (home desktop).  (As a non-IE user, I'm looking into whether it would be worthwhile downloading WLE just to allow me to use the "Trusted PC" option.  But I have read of people having problems with that.)

    My more general concern (beyond the implementation of *new* preventative/proactive features like two-step verification) is why the features already in place (password, security question) have limitations placed on them (length and special characters, respectively) that most other services I've ever had don't.  (E.g. my passcodes at Gmail, Hushmail and MyOpera mail are all 30+ characters.  That alone provides me with a lot more  peace of mind.)

  • I am using both gmail and hotmail. I really like all changes which you made in last year but I still prefere gmail because:

    1. ANNOYING ads

    2. Missing IMAP support

    3. Gmail has better (more intuitive and clean) navigation

    4. Missing calendar and contacts sync to PC or API available

    Hotmail has greate SkyDrive and Web Aps but gmail is still better option

  • @7flavor: completely agree with you...the ad on the right side of Hotmail is so annoying, many times it doesn't show the full width of the email. Infact, this is the worst thing in Hotmail that because of ads email does not show up fully and we have to click "close ad" to see the email properly.

    Hope that Hotmail team will improve it very soon.

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    Sorry this is off topic, but in SkyDrive, I removed the ablility for my Messenger friends to see a photo album. Now I'd like them to see it again. How do I share it will them? In the share box, there's only options to get a link, email it or post it to FB. Thanks.

  • 7flavor
    352 Posts

    Yeah well Hotmail killed the sign in assistant and with it the ability to remember passwords for multiple accounts which Gmail allows (or rather Gmail doens't disallow the browser from saving the password for multiple accounts). Plus, the ad on the right side of Hotmail is so annoying, many times it doesn't show the full width of the email. Gmail has no such layout issues.

  • @vladon, @controlz, @Ants, @Tomasz - Definitely hear your feedback on contacts/calendar and especially ads.  All things we're looking at.

    @MondayBlues - Security is an ongoing battle and so we won't ever say we're "done".  It involves both proactive and reactive measures.  One feature we added ~2 years ago is our single-use codes which allow you to use SMS to avoid typing in your password.  See this post: windowsteamblog.com/.../security-upgrades-in-the-new-hotmail.aspx

  • Pedrool
    18 Posts

    I just got asked by a friend if he should switch to Hotmail from Gmail. He's on a Mac, uses Mac Mail. So, with some research I learn that Delta/exchange is NOT supported for Hotmail on Mac Mail. Huh? Ok, but then I learned that Outlook for Mac is also not supported for Hotmail/delta/exchange. HUH? x 10! So, how's he supposed to switch if he relies on Mac Mail? Or even if he ponies up the cash for Outlook on Mac?

    If anyone has an contradictory information, I'd love to know. I'm eager to learn how to do full mail sync on Mac Mail or Outlook for Mac.

  • What about labels? Are GMails's labels mapped to Hotmail's categories?

  • Before putting all my email eggs in Hotmail/Live's basket, I would rather see some beefing up on the security front.  Instead of the pound of cure (account or password *recovery*), how about investing in a few more ounces of prevention ?  For example....

    Gmail has two-step verification (using a code via cell phone), which has made Gmail accounts significantly less prone to hacking.  Hotmail, OTOH, only has my cell phone number to help with password *recovery.*  Gmail's is "before the fact" protection;Hotmail's is "after the fact" recovery (maybe).

    Gmail allows passcodes up to, what ?, 60 or so characters.  Hotmail has a _maximum_ of 16 character passcodes (the shortest maximum of any email provider I have ever had !).  I've read some security people suggest that email users these days should have passcodes that are a MINIMUM of 16 characters.  What's the logic behind such a limitation in Hotmail ?

    Gmail allows the use of special characters in the answer to the security question (for password reset/recovery), thus allowing the user to create an answer that will be significantly more difficult to guess, if a hacker were to try to gain access to the account that way.  (My Gmail security answer is 25+ characters: alphanumeric & special characters.)  Hotmail doesn't allow special characters.  Again, what's the rationale here ?

    Fixing just these three security items would go a long way, I think, to making Hotmail more secure and do better at *preventing* account compromises.  At least Gmail wouldn't have better preventative measures than Hotmail, as it appears it does now.

  • jamiet
    45 Posts

    Tomasz Olędzki

    You can use your own domain with Hotmail too, free for up to 500 users. Just go to http://domains.live.com

  • Why still stuck with Gmail?

    Reason #1 - no IMAP in Hotmail or lack of EAS (Outlook or Windows Live Mail required on PC, no support for Mac) support in many PC/MAC desktop e-mail clients (Gmail uses IMAP for desktop clients)

    Reason #2 - lack of Hotmail Calendar sync in many PC/MAC desktop calendar apps (Gmail uses CalDav)

    Reason #3 - lack of contacts sync in many PC/MAC Address Book apps (Gmail uses well documented API)

    Reason #4 - lack of photos sync in many PC/MAC photo apps (Picasa + many PC/MAC apps with PicasaWeb integration)

    Reason #5 - own domain in Gmail, free with Google Apps up to 10 users - priceless

    Gmail is more open for developers = better PC/MAC apps integration with Gmail services

    Office Web Apps is great,

    SkyDrive + Live Mesh great but may be better,

    Hotmail and Windows Phone integration better than Google + Android (well done Microsoft!),

    Facebook integration in Hotmail it's nice, but it's not must have feature.

  • @sparuchuri – You’re right, we’re working to fix that. We’ll follow up via PM.

  • Ants
    1 Posts

    Tried it and won't be changing. It's too slow in the UK! The graphic ads are too annoying and keep reappearing after I click on close ad. The search engine is Bing - this is worst that poor in the UK. May try Bing again when the UK gets a Bing iPad app.

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    The only way Gmail currently beats Hotmail now is with the Calendar, and maybe Contacts as well. Calendar really needs search and a cleaner interface... A bit like Google Calendar. And Contacts again needs a cleaner interface, with the option to, for example, add more email fields.

    I love the changes being made to Hotmail, but contacts and especially calendar need an update.

    I look forward to the Wave 5 M3 update!

  • After winning a free year of Hotmail Plus last week, thanks to to the Hotmail team at CES, I made the switch and haven't looked back. I've also started using Bing full time and couldn't be happier. Google's decision to have searches influenced by Gmail and other personal information was the last straw for me.

  • Not a bad idea, WHEN and IF hotmail ever gives us imap access natively.

  • I already made the switch :O

  • vladon
    1 Posts

    unfortunately, hotmail has too much annoying gif ad banners

    gmail has only text ad which not so much annoying

    ps. btw why your site does not update timezones? Moscow since mid-2011 is now in utc+4, not in utc+3

  • TrueSwitch does seem to work if you use a non-hotmail domain. Ie if I followed your instructions to create a live account using my old Gmail address, TrueSwitch doesn't recognize it as a valid hotmail account to transfer all my data over...

  • I would love to when you can get categories to sync with outlook so the experience is the same whether I'm using online hotmail or hotmail through outlook.