No More Free Outlook Connection for Hotmail – Spammers to Blame

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Microsoft has announced that it will no longer be offering for free its service which allows users to connect to their Hotmail and MSN accounts using Outlook and Outlook Express.

Citing exploitation by spammers, Microsoft will begin charging those who want to use the WebDAV technology to connect using Outlook products.


New users will find that they must pay to use the WebDAV service as soon as this coming Monday, October 4th, 2004. Existing Hotmail and MSN users will be able to continue using the service for free until March or April of this coming year. Users wishing to continue WebDAV at that time can upgrade to Hotmail Plus for $19.95/year, or to MSN Premium for $99.95 per year.

Presently approximately 9.4 million Hotmail users, representing just 5% of a total of 187 million users, use the WebDAV option. While Microsoft says that thwarting spammers, not money, is the point here, that works out to an extra $187,530,000 per year.

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15 thoughts on “No More Free Outlook Connection for Hotmail – Spammers to Blame

  1. I’ve been a hotmail user from the beginning. I have over 30 years computer experience and I can tell you that blaming spammers is a load of crap. Hotmail/MSN should not penalize the users who have bought the software(Outlook)/(Microsoft)systems and used the mail service, because they happen to lack the knowledge or expertise to stop spammers. In other words if you believe their line I have some swamp land in Lubbock Texas I’d like to sell you.

  2. I t seems like it was only a few years ago that Hotmail was made available through OE. It doesn’t seem right to charge to use two MS products to get mail. If you currently are using OE for Hotmail, remember that you have a few months before the change affects you. Switching to Yahoo won’t help, you have to pay them too to use OE. Keep your Hotmail address and get your mail on the web.

  3. On a sepeate note the comment from above feels like it was planted by the well know MS publicity machine…
    I’m bummed out about it as well; however, I’m also am bummed out about the spam problem and if $19.95/year is going to be what it takes, I don’t mind.

  4. I have resisted the urge to change from IE to Firefox but now recently I have had to due to secuirty concerns, I have been resisting the need to change to yahoo but yet again alas it seems I will have to and it seems it won’t be long and I will have to let Windows go and embrace Linux. Just another nail in the coffin. Thanks Bill for helping me make the discission, it was almost acceptable while it lasted.

  5. No worries. Yahoo did the same thing and started charging for the same service but then keen software developpers came up with a free application called Yahoo Pops to make it all possible again. Change to Yahoo and use Yahoo Pops or wait until someone comes up with a similar application for Hotmail.

  6. Damn, I’ve been using Hotmail before it was even Hot. If they’re going to take this free service away from us now, what’s next? Actually, I can live without it, and it looks like I’m going to have to. This old dog can learn new tricks. Kenny

  7. Robert W. – do you really think Microsoft needs more ads on the Hotmail and MSN pages? MSN is so busy with ads now it is like looking at a three ring circus. Way too confusing. That is why they want people to go with the Premium site for the additional annual fee. Then they will claim they have to raise the fee on that one over and over until they start getting flack and then they will fill it up with ads. It is simply a $$$ game !

  8. I’m bummed out about it as well; however, I’m also am bummed out about the spam problem and if $19.95/year is going to be what it takes, I don’t mind.

  9. What a load that is. Micro$oft is just out to gain another revenue source. Corporate greed strikes again. They have to learn that they can’t keep enronning their clients all of the time.

  10. That stinks! I’ve been a Hotmail/OE user since it first became available so I don’t have to look at 4 or 5 ads for every web-based msg I view . Instead of generating user sign-up fees perhaps ad revenue is the real issue here?

    Fixed-income prevents me from signing up for the annual fee. I’m going to hate giving up my “original” email address; not “jonesybob99” or anything similar… a tough proposition with a name like mine.

    “EXECUTE ALL SPAMMERS!!!”

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