Microsoft Lets You Manage Your Gmail and Yahoo! Mail from Your Hotmail

Hotmail has released a cool new feature today: the ability to receive and send emails from other addresses, including ones from Gmail or Yahoo Mail. Yes, we know that sounds like a contradiction of terms. No, we haven’t made this up; and you’re very much awake.

Although Hotmail users – like most other email providers – have forever been able to send email that claims to be from another address – as long as they own it – using the “Send As” command, today’s update takes using other accounts a step further. The new feature, announced by Microsoft earlier today, is pretty straightforward – users just have to register and validate their outside email addresses, which then allows them to manage their outside email accounts from inside Hotmail via POP.

In actual fact, Microsoft is quite late to the party here, as Gmail and Yahoo Mail both have similar features for managing multiple email accounts. But Microsoft is hoping to keep users who are already familiar with the Hotmail interface, to use all their email accounts on their servers, by making it easy to manage their other email accounts via the service. Some people have work accounts they’d rather manage via Hotmail; others might not want to send messages from the Hotmail domain but still like the interface. These are the types of users Microsoft is targeting.

It’s understandable that Microsoft is taking this new approach to keeping customers within its walls – despite Hotmail remaining far the most popular web email service around, with nearly 350 million users according to recent reports, Microsoft’s email offering has been increasingly feeling the pressure from its competition. In fact, the tech giant recently revamped its web email client with a slew of new features to keep it competitive with its Google and Yahoo counterparts. But do you think this new update goes far enough? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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