Goodbye Hotmail! Microsoft completes Hotmail to Outlook migration.

Martin Brinkmann
May 2, 2013
Updated • May 3, 2013
Email, Microsoft Outlook

For some time now Microsoft has been maintaining two email services at the very same time. First the established Hotmail email service and then the recently released email service. Hotmail users who were interested in the new service could migrate their accounts to The decision was solely theirs and while millions of users moved to the new service, even more users did not migrate their accounts to

Microsoft today announced that the company has finished migrating all Hotmail accounts and data from the email service over to The numbers are impressive, as Microsoft migrated more than 150 petabytes of email in six weeks (a Petabyte or PB is 1000 Terabytes which itself is 1000 Gigabytes).  Back when Outlook was introduced as a preview in February 2013, it had about 60 million active user accounts. With Hotmail users finally being all moved over, is now home to more than 400 million active users according to Microsoft, making it one of the most popular email services on today's Internet.

Today's news marks the introduction of two new features to Outlook that some users may find useful. First, you can now do away with the "on behalf of" messages when you sent email using a different email address. Email that you sent from another account goes through the account's SMTP server now so that the recipient sees the correct email address and no longer the on behalf of information attached to it.

Microsoft notes that this should work for email providers supporting POP or IMAP access. You need to do the following to enable the feature:

  • Click on the gear icon in the top bar and select more mail settings from the context menu.
  • On the options page, select your email accounts under Managing your account.
  • Here you need to scroll down to add an email account and add the account that you want to use this way either as a send-only account or a send and receive account.

Microsoft notes that it will add the SMTP information automatically during the process.

add an email account outlook

The second feature improves the integration of the cloud hosting service SkyDrive in Outlook. You can now insert files and pictures directly from SkyDrive into your emails. Just select insert from the menu at the top and select the share from SkyDrive option. Roll-out of the feature starts today and will be completed for all users in the coming weeks.

skydrive outlook

There you have it. When you try to open Hotmail in your browser of choice you are now automatically redirected to the website.


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  1. Anirudh said on May 7, 2013 at 2:41 am

    I still remember the time when I got an email ID with hotmail and the way we used to chat, hotmail created the ASL culture in chatting. Outlook has an entirely different approach, there we can even connect our all social media profiles together, and it has a kick-ass user interface. I would say outlook is better than the crap ads filled gmail.

  2. Gennaro Prota said on May 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Hi Martin,

    shouldn’t the last sentence in the opening paragraph read “but that was *NOT* a mandatory thing up until now”?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 3, 2013 at 12:52 am

      Right, corrected. Thanks for that.

      1. Robert Palmar said on May 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm

        You have it perfect now, Martin :)

      2. Robert Palmar said on May 3, 2013 at 3:24 pm

        Your first description was okay too but this does read better.

        For anyone who wanted to move to Outlook,com before
        they could elect to take the necessary (mandatory)
        step to initiate that process to do it themselves.

        It was not mandatory to initiate the conversion, but
        for users who wanted to move to it
        was mandatory they started that themselves.

      3. Martin Brinkmann said on May 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm

        I changed it a bit, hope it reads better now.

    2. Robert Palmar said on May 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      Martin is stating that it has been mandatory before now for
      users could initiate a migration from Hotmail to
      Nothing is mandatory now as Microsoft migrated all accounts.

  3. Nebulus said on May 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Martin, the first link in your post points nowhere :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Corrected, thanks.

  4. Robert Palmar said on May 2, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I use Outlook for client access and have no need for IMAP.
    All folders sync faster and better than my IMAP accounts.

    For anyone using an email client other than Outlook
    I could see no IMAP being a deal-breaker and it is
    a mystery why Microsoft does not provide it.

    Perhaps because Outlook does not need it
    to sync and access accounts
    and they favor Outlook over other email clients.

  5. Bill Steiner said on May 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Now all they have to do is join the 21st century and implement IMAP.

  6. Robert Palmar said on May 2, 2013 at 1:28 pm
    Reply is the best marketing and technical move by Microsoft in years.
    I do have Gmail and Yahoo and others but I say is the best now.

    1. Anon said on May 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      Excuse me? What the hell does “best marketing […] move” even means?
      Also, the interface is laughably bad.

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