November 30, 2012

If you have an email address that ends in hotmail.com, live.com, or msn.com, then you probably already know that some time ago, all of these email domains were changed so that when you go to read your email online, it takes you to Hotmail.com. Now Microsoft has released a new email domain called Outlook.com. If you didn’t know, a program called Outlook has been Microsoft’s flagship email client since it was first released in 1997.

With the creation of Outlook.com, you have the option to get an email address with outlook.com. But more than that, you can convert your MSN, Hotmail, or Live email address to use Outlook.com instead of Hotmail.com. If you do convert from Hotmail.com to Outlook.com, your email address won’t change. All of your information will be the same. The ONLY difference will be the user interface you use to read and send email online. If you get your Hotmail, MSN mail, or Live mail in the Outlook email client or Windows Live Mail, or some other email client, this change wouldn’t affect you at all.

I converted my Hotmail email address over to Outlook.com early on. In my opinion, Outlook.com is a much better interface than Hotmail.com. It looks good; It’s modern; and its clean. However, it’s not perfect. There are a few minor things I don’t like. Both of my complaints have to do when you are writing a new email. The place where you put the subject of the email is not obvious the first few times you create a new email. Also, there needs to be a line separating the controls and where the text of the email starts. Because there isn’t, it’s a little hard to see where you should click to start typing the body of the email. But these are pretty minor things that you get used to pretty quickly.

Before you rush out to convert your email address over to Outlook.com, there are a few things you should know.

First and foremost, if you convert over to Outlook.com, you can’t go back to Hotmail.com. So before you switch, check out some videos on how it looks and works to make sure you like it before you convert. The link below goes to Microsoft’s official preview video of Outlook.com.


You can also go to YouTube and search for outlook.com and you’ll see lots of videos showing you what it looks like and how it works.

The other thing to know is that you don’t have to convert to Outlook.com if you don’t want to. Right now it’s optional since Microsoft has not announced that Hotmail.com will go away or when. However, knowing Microsoft’s history, you can bet that at some point, all of us will be forced to convert to Outlook.com just like they forced us all over to Hotmail.com.

If you do want to convert over, it’s easy. Just go to outlook.com and login using your MSN, Hotmail, or Live email address and password. You’ll get a message confirming that you want to convert to Outlook.com. Once you confirm, your email is converted. Your email address, password, contacts, calendar, and all of your information will remain the same. You can still go to Hotmail.com to login to your email, but when you do it will forward you to Outlook.com. You can, of course, go to Outlook.com to login to your email as well.

If you want a new Outlook.com email address, you can create one. You can even create an alias on Outlook.com for your existing email address.

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