What you want to know about the automatic forced upgrade from Hotmail to Outlook.com

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Since Outlook.com is leaving its preview status, it was probably only a matter of time before Microsoft slowly started updating all Hotmail users on Outlook.com.

The automatic update from Hotmail to Outlook has already started. Microsoft plans to update all people still using Hotmail by the summer. If you haven’t updated your Hotmail in Outlook yet, now might be a good time to do so and get a new @outlook.com address if you wish.

If you do not upgrade, Microsoft will automatically perform a forced upgrade for your Hotmail account at any given time. And it’s not so bad – actually, it’s great, because I think Outlook.com offers a much better user experience than Hotmail.

It is understandable that you have questions and concerns about this upgrade process. Microsoft has tried to answer the questions and allay the fears.

Will my @hotmail, @live or @msn login always work?

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Yes, they continue to work on Outlook.com. Your emails, contacts, SkyDrive files, calendar entries and settings remain unchanged.

Do I need a new e-mail address

No. You can continue to use your existing @hotmail.com, @live.com or @msn.com address. But you can get a new @outlook.com address if you wish.

Can I return to Hotmail

You cannot return after the automatic upgrade. Over time, Hotmail will expire and Outlook.com will be Microsoft’s free email service. As part of this transition, Microsoft has removed the option to return to Hotmail.

Will Outlook.com work with my current browser? 12

It certainly works on most browsers. But for a better experience, you should update your browser to the latest version. Outlook.com is optimized for the following browsers :

  • Windows Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10
  • (Google Chrome 17 and above
  • Firefox 10 and above
  • Safari 5.1 on Mac

Can I still use my POP3/SMTP email client with Outlook.com?

Yes. Your POP3/SMTP client settings are the same as the ones you used to access Hotmail.

If you use an email client, you want to configure your POP3 or SMTP server and port settings:

  • POP3 server : pop3.live.com (port 995)
  • SMTP server : smtp.live.com (port 25)

Go here to watch a video on using popular features in Outlook.com.

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