Microsoft did enable full session HTTPS encryption for their Hotmail email service back in November 2010. This was regarded by experts and users alike as a step in the right direction, considering that SSL connections improve security significantly over standard HTTP connections. Less than a year later more than two million users have opted in and enabled SSL encryption in their accounts.
The figure may not look as impressive as it could be considering the hundred of millions of Hotmail users. Then again, users had to opt in to enable SSL. Another reason was that Microsoft's desktop email programs, Windows Live Mail and Microsoft Outlook, did not support Hotmail SSL. What that meant is that users had to make a decision. Either enable SSL in Hotmail and break compatibility with the desktop email software, or leave the SSL setting disabled to keep using the desktop email programs.
Microsoft updated SSL protection for Hotmail and other Windows Live services yesterday to give desktop email users the same level of protection than online users.
Windows Live Mail has been updated so that all traffic is now using SSL. Even better; The feature becomes available immediately after updating Windows Live Mail to the latest version. This can be done manually via the Windows Live website or automatically via Windows Update.
Outlook Connector has been updated as well so that Outlook users who have configured a Hotmail account in Outlook can use SSL as well. This is again enabled automatically without user interaction.
Microsoft has furthermore enabled SSL on a number of Windows Live websites for PC and smartphone connections. The announcement mentions hotmail.com and live.com.
Lack of SSL support was one of the most requested Windows Live Mail and Outlook features. It is good for all Windows Live users that Microsoft has added SSL support for their external desktop clients, especially so since SSL is enabled by default in the new versions. (via)
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.