You asked and Outlook.com responds; Microsoft answers your questions

A few weeks back the Outlook.com team opened the floor for questions about the newly launched email service. Yet again, Neowin responded with over 180 replies to the thread and thousands of views, and now the Outlook.com team is ready to share their answers.

The Outlook team took your feedback to heart and they want you to know they appreciated the feedback by saying the following:

Before we get to the video, a few relevant pieces of information:

  • We read every question, comment, bug report, feature request and general piece of feedback. We filed the feedback, requests and bug reports accordingly. Some of these have been fixed already (captcha issues, login issues for Office 365 users, and others) and some you’ll see out soon enough. We take all this very seriously, especially given how passionate and knowledgeable this community is.
  • We told you we wouldn’t comment on future releases. Lots of you asked about future releases :)
  • We saw lots of questions around the same topics, so we grouped those into more general responses in order to answer as many questions as possible. Some answers to these general responses fall into the “we can’t comment on future releases” bucket.
  • Lastly, while we know video is appreciated, it takes us a long time to get back to you guys. So next time around we’ll work on a different format so that we can answer your questions on the spot. We’ll work with Brad Sams on the best way to do this.

If you haven't done so yet, make sure to check out Outlook.com and once your sign up, read our guide to the new platform to see all of the advanced features the service offers. Additionally, you can follow the team on Twitter too.

Neowin would like to thank the Outlook.com team for all their hard work and taking the time to get to the bottom of our questions. We know that a considerable effort was made by the team to answer your questions and greatly appreciate them taking the time to interact with the Neowin community.

View: Outlook.com's response in the Neowin Forums

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Fantastic video.

You covered my main concerns:-
* Facebook intergration (I wanted the ability to turn it off/on)
* Password limitation (My main passwords are all 16+ characters
* Two-factor authentication (I want full 2-factor protection!)

Thanks for the video.

It's great to know us at neowin are helping shape the future for Microsoft. And thanks too for answering my question about the SMTP server "on behalf of" thing. Interesting seeing what your stance is on IMAP too.

However don't worry too much about the "I want this feature now" people. Outlook.com is still in testing stages, so I look forward to the final release.

Keep up the good work!

I love the look of Outlook.com

Thanks for the video too!

I would use it as a main email portal if only it could talk to an exchange server. If it could show my folders on the exchange server for instance. That would make it a top notch web email portal.

I'm sorry but pop3, and imap..... really?

Hmm, must be just me but i thought it seemed more like 30 minutes of mostly going over existing features with a few obvious questions with very vague ('we hear you...') answers thrown in. The first two engineering people essentially talked about nothing except what a user should already know if they'd used the service for any length of time.

When they want to talk about possible future features it'll be much more interesting.


Walrush said,
...a few obvious questions with very vague ('we hear you...') answers thrown in...

That's because many questions could be under the banner of "future features" which (for obvious reasons) can't really be talked about.

Also, I don't see Apple being so open about their products. . .

Walrush said,
Hmm, must be just me but i thought it seemed more like 30 minutes of mostly going over existing features with a few obvious questions with very vague ('we hear you...') answers thrown in. The first two engineering people essentially talked about nothing except what a user should already know if they'd used the service for any length of time.

When they want to talk about possible future features it'll be much more interesting.


Well, they don't want to screw themselves over by promising something and they can't do it or something... Like they did with Windows Vista, they promised all of this stuff and whatever, and not everything delivered, and they were much more tight-lipped since then...

Orange Battery said,
aww they didnt answer my question about how long you can log in using pop3 before your account is closed

I don't think there's any limit on that. Then again, I use the web interface, not Pop3, so... (shrugs)

I know that if your account is completely inactive for 270 days, they will close it down, according to Microsoft's Service Terms.

Im a bit sad I cant change my "emailaddress@hotmail.com" to "emailaddress@outlook.com" automatically plus keep my Skydrive 25GB

cut said,
Im a bit sad I cant change my "emailaddress@hotmail.com" to "emailaddress@outlook.com" automatically plus keep my Skydrive 25GB

I switched Hotmail to outlook and I still have 25gb...

Figure 8 Dash said,
I'm still trying to figure out what I gain or lose by switching my @live to @outlook.

Does anyone know?

If you use a Windows Phone, you'll have to completely wipe your phone. That's the main thing.

I love Outlook.com but truly believe that the groups feature is incredibly unintuitive. Would love to hear from anyone that disagrees. Maybe I am being unreasonable but I find it difficult to figure out how to add and delete contacts to and from Groups. And when sending to a group it seems unnecessarily difficult to locate the group in my very long list of a couple thousand contacts.

jimmyfal said,
I love Outlook.com but truly believe that the groups feature is incredibly unintuitive. Would love to hear from anyone that disagrees. Maybe I am being unreasonable but I find it difficult to figure out how to add and delete contacts to and from Groups. And when sending to a group it seems unnecessarily difficult to locate the group in my very long list of a couple thousand contacts.

Also, how to set default email to use for someone in group. I usually have work and personal for most friends. I don't want to send stuff to their work email, but outlook chooses the email randomly it seems

I'm in the video (24:52 in! I registered donotreply@outlook.com!). Thanks for responding to my question, Outlook.com team! I didn't get an outright answer about my ability to keep donotreply@outlook.com, but I get the drift that it's okay. Thanks so much!

As a .NET Software Architect, I can appreciate the complexity of the system you guys have built. Keep up the great work!

PS: Mr. Craddock - If you send an email to donotreply@outlook.com, you have my guarantee that I will reply!

Ryan Hoffman said,
I'm in the video (24:52 in! I registered donotreply@outlook.com!). Thanks for responding to my question, Outlook.com team! I didn't get an outright answer about my ability to keep donotreply@outlook.com, but I get the drift that it's okay. Thanks so much!

As a .NET Software Architect, I can appreciate the complexity of the system you guys have built. Keep up the great work!

PS: Mr. Craddock - If you send an email to donotreply@outlook.com, you have my guarantee that I will reply!


Nice address, would come handy. I could give you a few bucks for it... PM me please.

Ryan Hoffman said,
I'm in the video (24:52 in! I registered donotreply@outlook.com!). Thanks for responding to my question, Outlook.com team! I didn't get an outright answer about my ability to keep donotreply@outlook.com, but I get the drift that it's okay. Thanks so much!

As a .NET Software Architect, I can appreciate the complexity of the system you guys have built. Keep up the great work!

PS: Mr. Craddock - If you send an email to donotreply@outlook.com, you have my guarantee that I will reply!

Congrats - the spam bots will pick up that address in 3..2..1...

thartist said,

Hacker detected...

Not like that. Most of these address have value when promoting a product/service. That's why we register or buy some of them.

I'm still waiting for Microsoft to allow changing countries in their accounts to add credit card billing information with the country you are living in and not be locked up with the original country you opened you account with. This essentially makes you account unusable for purchasing apps, games, music, etc. and make you open a new one.

This has to be one of the most basic features they haven't implemented yet. I realize the Outlook.com team is not at fault, but I think they are behind all the major changes being made to Microsoft Accounts now.

Nice Q&A video. The Group Program Manager guy really answered like he said: "We love that, we will look into it in the future" lol

ajua said,
I'm still waiting for Microsoft to allow changing countries in their accounts to add credit card billing information with the country you are living in and not be locked up with the original country you opened you account with. This essentially makes you account unusable for purchasing apps, games, music, etc. and make you open a new one.

This has to be one of the most basic features they haven't implemented yet. I realize the Outlook.com team is not at fault, but I think they are behind all the major changes being made to Microsoft Accounts now.

Nice Q&A video. The Group Program Manager guy really answered like he said: "We love that, we will look into it in the future" lol

yeah iw ant this feature also, my account is locked to america for some reason and im in australia, so my live accounts dont sync location wise

WHY are you getting rid of Hotmail? I don't want Outlook.com. Keep Hotmail or I change to another service.

(It's probably the same reason why they got rid of the start menu of the desktop in Windows 8 - "yes, it works really well [staple Windows feature], and people love [AND USE] it, but we think it's outdated and time for a change - so live with it (Ballmer pokes tounge out)". Microsoft are a different company in 2012 - totally different.

Below is what I wrote on the forum.

(I don't know about you, but I hate all this "Metro" simplification Microsoft have done across their software. I refuse to use it - it's just to bland.)

- (Default) fonts are too big. Users can't change font sizes. Outlook.com should have the same customization options as Gmail does in regards to fonts/layout (ie. compact/cozy/etc.).
- Metro is too plain. Some more color/artwork please. Hotmail currently looks great - better than Gmail does.
- Fonts and colors (or the Metro theme in general) look slightly different across IE and Firefox (on Windows). Have not tried Chrome.
- IMAP support would be great.

Hotmail and the Start button/menu have been around for over 15 years, and have become a staple part of people's computing experience. WHY are Microsoft getting rid of both?

68k said,
Below is what I wrote on the forum.

(I don't know about you, but I hate all this "Metro" simplification Microsoft have done across their software. I refuse to use it - it's just to bland.)

- (Default) fonts are too big. Users can't change font sizes. Outlook.com should have the same customization options as Gmail does in regards to fonts/layout (ie. compact/cozy/etc.).
- Metro is too plain. Some more color/artwork please. Hotmail currently looks great - better than Gmail does.
- Fonts and colors (or the Metro theme in general) look slightly different across IE and Firefox (on Windows). Have not tried Chrome.
- IMAP support would be great.

Hotmail and the Start button/menu have been around for over 15 years, and have become a staple part of people's computing experience. WHY are Microsoft getting rid of both?

Right - so all of the above points come down to your personal preference. Perhaps you should consider launching 68kmail.com that has just the features you want. Reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Homer designs his perfect car...

68k said,
Below is what I wrote on the forum....

Like Jamie said, most of your points are personal preference (visual style).

All they have to do is make options to change font and font size, and 50% of your problems are fixed. Then add some themes, and 75% of your problems are fixed.

I think everyone agrees that it could use IMAP.

Cool video! But what about retaining SkyDrive's 25GB allotment when switching from @live.com to @outlook.com? I'm sure that's a big question that a lot of people would like an answer too, and it was asked a few times in the thread.

I guess it's one of those future features the team can't talk about? Or maybe since SkyDrive is a different service and this was about Outlook.com, it wasn't addressed?

I don't want to lose my 25GB SkyDrive, so until I hear about it, I'll keep using @live.com

A340600 said,
Cool video! But what about retaining SkyDrive's 25GB allotment when switching from @live.com to @outlook.com?

If you are renaming your current @live.com account to an @outlook.com account, you retain everything on your @live.com account, including SkyDrive storage. I know because I just did it, and aside from my new @outlook.com ending, my account is exactly the same, 25 gigs of storage and all.

prjkthack said,

If you are renaming your current @live.com account to an @outlook.com account, you retain everything on your @live.com account, including SkyDrive storage. I know because I just did it, and aside from my new @outlook.com ending, my account is exactly the same, 25 gigs of storage and all.

Yeah that's what I'm planning on doing, just renaming my current account from @live.com to @outlook.com (I did create a separate @outlook.com email though).

Someone said that he lost 18GB so I wasn't sure.

A340600 said,

Yeah that's what I'm planning on doing, just renaming my current account from @live.com to @outlook.com (I did create a separate @outlook.com email though).

Someone said that he lost 18GB so I wasn't sure.

That was something different. Microsoft changed everyone over to 7 GB rather than 25 GB prior to Outlook.com coming, and they offered users a limited-time chance to go back to 25 GB. It was reported here on Neowin.

JaykeBird said,

That was something different. Microsoft changed everyone over to 7 GB rather than 25 GB prior to Outlook.com coming, and they offered users a limited-time chance to go back to 25 GB. It was reported here on Neowin.

Yeah I think it was on Neowin where I first heard about the limited time offer, but I think the person said he lost the 18GB AFTER he made the switch.

Ryoken said,
They talk about IMAP but refuse to say if it's coming..

Come on MS, just give it a yay or nay.

active sync is much better... nay, waste of resources

spudtrooper said,

active sync is much better... nay, waste of resources

I agree, and use it where I can, but not every device or os supports Exchange Active Sync.

.Neo said,
Word on the street is even the guys at Microsoft can't stand Windows 8.

Well I know that some Microsoft fanboys dislike Windows 8, so I wouldn't be surprised if a few Microsoft employees share the same feelings.