Get ready to pay for your Hotmail

This content is 20 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

In a somewhat cynical (IMHO) move, Microsoft is hiding behind security to drop access to its free Hotmail service from Outlook, Outlook Express, and presumably from competing e-mail clients. The service (which uses web based distributed authoring and versioning – WebDAV) will still be available, but users will have to pay for it. To Microsoft’s credit, I believe that AOL and Yahoo! already restrict such access to paid subscribers.

According to the BBC, users who want to use Outlook to pick up their Hotmail messages will have to pay $19.95 (£11) for an annual subscription to Hotmail Plus or the $99.95 (£55) a year for MSN Premium. Users who are already using the technology to download their messages will be able to carry on using the service for free until April.

MSN say they have decided make the changes because spammers were exploiting the system (do they think spammers will be put off by a $19.95 annual charge?). They have already taken other steps to prevent spammers using Hotmail by limiting the number of outgoing messages on free accounts to 100 per day and introduced extra validation requirements when opening a new account.

The withdrawal of free WebDAV access began on September 27th for new users and will become effective for all users worldwide in 2005.


Microsoft Nixes Outlook, Outlook Express Access to Free Hotmail Accounts
Hotmail fees for Outlook access

2 thoughts on “Get ready to pay for your Hotmail

  1. You people make me laugh, hotmail will always be free, for simple reasons that msn back a crap load of money from advertising.

  2. Anonymous… thank you for your helpful and insightful comment (not).

    Firstly, do you realise that you are commenting on a two year-old blog post?

    Secondly, did you actually read the posted article? I was writing about the removal of WebDAV functionality from free Hotmail services, not about the total withdrawal of free Hotmail services.

    Finally, have you ever heard of proof reading your comment for errors before posting – or should I assume that you just do not know how to spell or where to use capitalisation?

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