So, you need a new mail address. Everybody around you keeps on saying Gmail, and you know, yahoo mail is well out of the market. Among all the choices, why don’t you try out something that set the beginning for the free Web-based email service?
Yes, I am talking of Hotmail, now known as Outlook. This particular email service has a long history, that has helped in shaping it into one of the most favorable email services of today. This article will be a short walk through its history, and its present features, that makes it stand out from the others, and then head over to the step-by-step process to be followed to instantly get a new email address with the ‘@outlook.com’ or ‘@hotmail.com’ extension. Let’s dive into it.
In the early years with Hotmail
Back in 1995. Email services were mostly in the hands of the Internet service providers and were costly.
At that time, Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith, two former Apple employees, came up with the idea of a free Web-based email service. Fast forward one year, on June 1996, they completed the implementation of the email service and named it “Hotmail”. This marked the birth of a new domain of computing and technology that was going to change the world forever.
On to 1997, when the then-ruling tech-giant Microsoft was interested in integrating a Web-based email service along with all the services it provided, they decided to buy Hotmail and scale it with all Microsoft products. On December 31st, Microsoft closed a deal of around 450 million with the founders of Hotmail and acquired its source code.
Thus, Hotmail entered a large domain of the technology, with the mission to change it completely. After hundreds of setbacks, lots of updates, rebranding, Hotmail emerged into the present-day Outlook, with integrated features of the Office suite and others services.
Now that we know a little about its past, let’s move on to the features that it presents to us and why you might choose it over other services.
Features of Hotmail / Outlook
Here are some of the features that Hotmail / Outlook offers us on signing up. Let’s just skip the part of feature list which includes the spam filter, virus scanning, multiple language support, contact grouping, importing and exporting of contacts and data. Here are some of the other interesting features you must know:
Security and Privacy feature:
Microsoft has taken great care in maintaining the privacy of its user and ensure that the security provided, protects its user from all form of intrusion and theft. It does not scan any email or attachment for advertisement information and conversations are ad-free. They use DMARC specification to provide advanced security for message transmission and EV Certificate to make the connection more secure. Now, with added two-step verification, Microsoft has moved a step ahead in providing better security. They also provide a single-use code, to ensure the protection of your data when you are accessing it through any public computer. Thus, it is obviously quite secure compared to some email services.
Hotmail / Outlook supports Active View that lets you interact with the contents of the mail in the same window. With the support of the functionalities of various sites like YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, it allows you to play any YouTube video through the link in the same window or view a profile in the same page. It thus reduces much effort, earlier required to change apps or tabs in the browser.
This time – management feature by Microsoft has been one of the most important additions to its services and its integration with the email service has given Hotmail / Outlook and added advantage. With the help of Ajax technology, it enables the user to view, add, drag and drop events from one date to another without reloading the page and also some other important features, like a to-do list. It also supports managing of events based in various time zones and alerts you accordingly.
Hotmail’s contact management was originally introduced with the Windows Live People update and is the one-stop solution to maintain all contact information at one place and enable easy sharing of information. The updated People feature allows the integration of profile from various social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. All information linked to a profile is automatically updated in case of any change. Thus, the user stays updated on all information and is not burdened with the tension for maintaining an address book for the numerous number of unique contacts that are created every day.
This is a task management application originally available with the Office 365 suite. This component has its own features that make it an essential feature for its users.
Integrated Online Office:
Here’s one exciting feature addition that can’t just be kept out of the list, in fact, it should be regarded as the most important feature that Microsoft now provides. Hotmail / Outlook integrates Office Online to enable direct excess to the contents of the Office documents within the Web browser and also allow all forms of editing to documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, which are attached to any mail. To top it all, Microsoft allows the exchange of up to 25 GB of Office documents through the mail, when they are loaded through OneDrive.
The integrated Skype feature allows its user to make Skype video calls with Outlook.com without requiring accessing the desktop client app.
This feature is a sort of ‘virtual broom’ that allows the user to direct a large volume of emails to a specific folder based on Sender information. The user originally sets some rules that act as a guideline for the filtering of emails into its specific folders. These rules can be sometimes used to direct those emails into junk folder that the user might consider as harmful or spam.
Quick View and One-Click filter:
Quick View feature allows filtering of the message based on attachments of photos or documents, or flagged messages or shipping updates. On the other hand, One-Click filter allows filtering based on the sender category.
This feature allows the user to create additional, unique email addresses (, up to 10), for their Microsoft account, that access the same inbox, contact list and account setting. This helps the user to maintain a different account under the same roof as the primary mail.
Microsoft has added support for SOCKS proxies for added protection to the data and the internet of the companies using them.
And the list would probably go on, but we might stop here with these most important features at hand.
Now that you are satisfied with the additional services that you will receive on signing up and convinced to create an account, let’s move on to the step to follow, in order to create an account.
Create a Hotmail/live/outlook Account easily
Creating a Hotmail / Outlook account is very easy. You just need to follow these steps.
Note: All the steps followed are while creating an account live in the default Outlook.com Beta version. Some steps may be differently arranged in some other version, but I am sure, you all will be greeted with the Beta version.
- For the very first step, head over to the Outlook Web page: https://outlook.live.com and click on Create a free account.
The first page that opens after visiting the link. Click on the Create free account button.
- In the next page that opens, you need to enter the name of your mail address in the text box. You can even choose the extension to be either @outlook.com or @hotmail.com.
Then click on the Next button.
Enter the preferred name for your mail address in the text box. Select your extension from
- The next page requires you to set a password for your mail. This is your third step. Remember to enter a strong password, enough to make it difficult to be guessed even by someone near to you. One necessary condition to develop a strong password is to use letters(, both uppercase and lowercase), digits, symbols containing at least 8 characters.
Then click on the Next button.
Enter your safe password here. Check the warning message shown describing the characteristics of an ideal strong password.
- The next few steps will require you to enter your personal information. The page that opens asks for your first and last name. Enter the information and click on Next.
Enter your first and last name in the text boxes. For those, to whom the name seems familiar, yes! I am a huge ‘Silicon Valley’ fan.
- Over to the fifth step. Next, you will be asked for your country/region and your date of birth in mm/dd/yyyy format. Feed in the valid information to complete this step and then click on Next.
Enter your country/region and your date of birth.
- Time for Captcha. Microsoft needs to make sure that it’s a real human in front of the screen, opening the account and not some bot. You have two option – solve the Captcha from the image or you can opt for an audio version of the Captcha where you hear the captcha from an autonomous voice. The image is shown by default.
The New button arranges a new captcha, in case, you feel, there is some difficulty with the present one. The Audio button lets you hear the character and then enter them. Feel free to choose the one you are comfortable with.
When you are satisfied that your entry is correct, click on Next button.
Enter the Captcha, either from the image or opt for the audio version of the captcha.
- Congratulation, you have successfully created an account in Hotmail / Outlook. Technically you are almost done in the Beta version. You receive a tab with a message, welcoming you.
In the next pane, you must select your language and time-zone. You can even set a theme and a signature for your mail account. Though these can also be configured later. You will receive a welcome message from the Outlook team, quite like this:
This is how your mailbox shall look like, with the first welcome message from Outlook team.
How to enhance security of your account?
There are still some settings to be configured to enhance the security of your mail address, so hold on.
- The most important step is to enhance the security of your mail account. Follow the next few steps in order to unlock more security features:
- Click on your Profile Menu at the top right corner to open the My Account and then click on Edit profile.
Click on the Profile Picture (, if you have kept one) to open your My Account tab and then click on Edit profile.
- In the next page, click on Privacy option on the menu list, available at the top.
Check for the Privacy option at the top.
- The new tab will contain a form with the heading that goes like: Help us protect your account. Choose between Phone Number or an Alternate Email Address as your security info.
In case of Phone Number, enter your country code and your number. You can also choose whether the verification will be through a text or through a call at the corresponding number.
In case of an alternate email address, enter another address where a security code shall be sent for verification.
After entering the necessary details click on Next.
Here is the detailed information for verification through the phone number. Enter the details as required.
- The next page will ask for the security code that was sent to you through the mode of communication that you opted for. Enter the code and click on Next.
Enter the security code sent to your phone corresponding to the number provided.
- If you have opted for a phone number, Microsoft will verify your identity by asking you the last 4-digits of your number and consecutively send a code to that number, for verification, after you click on the Send code button.
Enter the last 4 digits of your number and click on Send code
- In the next page, enter the code as sent to the corresponding mobile number and click on Verify.
Enter the code as sent to the number and click on the Verify button.
- And we are done here.
- Now that you have unlocked the full security feature for your corresponding account, you can head over to the Security option in the task pane of the My Account page and enable two-step verification from the Additional Security Option. The steps are:
My Account > Security > more security option > Set up two-step verification
Click on the required buttons to activate the necessary feature.
- By this point, we are done with the creation of a new account in Hotmail / Outlook. You can freely access all the features it provides with a starting storage space of 15 GB for free. You can head over to
My Account > View account to access all the account details and configure the settings as required.
Now, that you have created an account, take your time to browse through the features of the platform. This will help you unlock the full potential of Hotmail / Outlook for your personal use.
These were all the steps that was required to follow. Leave you valuable suggestion behind as a comment.