On the 14th of January 2009, Microsoft announced free Hotmail POP access for subscribers of some countries. Unfortunately, both the United States and India were missing but since this feature is being rolled out gradually, I suppose, it’s only a matter of time it would be available to everyone. All Hotmail subscribers should get free POP access by the end of 2009.
FYI, the protocol used on Hotmail, now called Windows Live Hotmail, was changed to DeltaSynch from DAV (Distributed Authoring and Versioning) protocol around the middle of last year (2008).
The availability of POP (Post Office Protocol) for accessing Hotmail emails shows Microsoft is finally pulled up its socks and become wiser in the face of stiff competition.
So what’s so great about this feature? POP3 or Post Office Protocol version 3 lets your download emails from the Hotmail server and store them on your local system. The messages would then be available even without a live Internet connection.
You do need an email program (email client) to set up the Hotmail account on your computer. Most popular operating systems come with an in-built (default) email program. For instance, Outlook Express on Windows XP or Apple Mail on Macs. Owners of Windows 7 computers can use Windows Live Mail (as recommended by Microsoft). There are many email programs to choose from – refer that link for a full list.
The following information is required to configure the Hotmail email account in your chosen email program. Just make sure the client supports POP3 protocol (most do).
Before the availability of POP access, Hotmail could be setup on Windows Live Mail, the new email program from Microsoft, using HTTP. But now, one can now get Hotmail emails on any POP enabled email client and even mobile phones (I’m waiting to configure it on my iPhone). Read more about the new way to get Hotmail emails.
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