Hotmail users benefit from new any address feature

Microsoft's new Hotmail feature will seem very familiar to longtime GMail users.

Microsoft Windows Live Hotmail

Microsoft has introduced a new feature in its Hotmail webmail service that allows you to use Hotmail's various features with any email address.

Hotmail accounts have been able to receive emails from other accounts for a while now, as long as they support the POP3 email receiving technology. Hotmail addresses can now pose as another address when sending emails too, so emails sent from Hotmail appear to be sent from a GMail address, your work address or any other address you choose. This therefore allows you to use Hotmail features, such as sending huge attachments, with any other email address.

"We understand. You already have at least one email address and you probably don't need another. You may also use your existing address for things other than just email, such as signing in to online shopping sites, which makes changing even more challenging. Also, you might have an address that you really like, but a similar name might not be available on another email service. So we looked for a way to make it easier for people to give Hotmail a trial run," said Microsoft's Dick Craddock on the Windows Live blog.

"Today we begin rolling out a feature that makes it easy to use Hotmail with any existing email address. Just as you can use Microsoft Outlook with an address from any service, you can now do the same with Hotmail on the web."

The feature can enabled by clicking on the Option link in the right hand side pane of the main Hotmail window, choose More Options and then click the Sending/receiving email from other accounts link.

Microsoft is rolling out this new feature to Hotmail accounts now. Although new to Hotmail, Google's GMail service has had the ability to pose as other email addressees for a while now so users can, for example, use that service's anti-spam filters with other addresses.

"We're just starting to roll out this change today, so it may take a few days to reach all of our customers worldwide. When it does, please give it a try, and let me know how it's working for you," Craddock added.

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