Hotmail is gradually switching on Exchange ActiveSync for push mail

Microsoft is gradually enabling Hotmail push email support for a wide range of phones including the iPhone, Windows Phone devices and Android.

Microsoft is introducing the support using Exchange ActiveSync, available on nearly 300 million phones. With push email you can sychronize email between your phone and the web, and also synchronize calendar and contacts. Microsoft originally revealed its plans back in April this year.

Microsoft has traditionally used a closed door approach for access to Hotmail compared to offerings from its rivals. Google offers Exchange ActiveSync support with its Gmail service and Microsoft is aiming to ensure Hotmail offers everything gmail does and more. The new Hotmail also includes a single contact list of all online contacts including those from services like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace. Microsoft has also introduced Active Views to integrate the content and functionality of other websites directly into emails that users receive. If a contact sends you an email with a link to a YouTube video or a Flickr photo album, you will be able to view the video or photo slide show within the email itself.

The company says it is introducing the support for ActiveSync slowly. In a message to some users attempting to access the service, the software giant explains they have had capacity issues. "To get Hotmail on-the-go, you recently tried to set up a service called ActiveSync from your mobile device. We are really glad that you're interested, but we had so many sign-ups that we had to temporarily stop accepting new ones."

If you want to check to see if your account is enabled you can select the Exchange option from your mobile and point the server address to m.hotmail.com

Microsoft says it's making improvements to facilitate everyone in the deployment and that there will be further announcements in two weeks time.

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