Microsoft finally enabled POP3 access in Hotmail. It’s really amazing that it took so long for them to actually do it, and if this is an attempt to revive the defunct service, I guess they’re a bit too late. No one uses Hotmail anymore, except as a junk collector – the emails address used for those one-time visits to websites that require registration. The clunky interface and the amount of spam made people gradually change to better email providers like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail, and I don’t see them going back to using their old account.
Anyway, one good thing about this new feature, is that it enables checking the Hotmail inbox from inside Gmail. To set it up you just need to add a mail account by going to Settings then Accounts and click Add a mail account you own. Use the following settings to set it up:
POP server: pop3.live.com
User name: Your Windows Live ID, for example firstname.lastname@example.org
Password: The password you usually use to sign in to Hotmail or Windows Live
Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail? Yes
I additionally ticked the option to leave a copy of the retrieved messages on the server. I always do that when fetching mails from other account into Gmail as a way to have a backup.
With all this set up, all it takes is waiting some time for all the messages to be fetched (took a few hours to get my 1000 and something messages).
It’s not that I’m going to start using Hotmail again (the email address is one of those silly ones that I wouldn’t give to anyone now…), but every once in a while I get a message from an old colleague that still has it in his contact book. And since it’s also my MSN Messenger account (oh, how I wish everyone stopped using this and just moved to Google Talk…) where I have a lot of contacts, I can’t get rid of it. At least now I have a decent interface and Gmail’s spam filter will keep my inbox much cleaner.