While much of the discussion about Outlook.com will focus on the web experience, most users will also want to configure their favorite mobile email clients for Microsoft’s new webmail service. Today, I’ll focus on how you can configure Microsoft’s latest mobile platforms—Windows 8 and Windows Phone—to use Outlook.com, so you can access your email, contacts, and calendar information on the go.
Since an Outlook.com account is a Microsoft account, or what used to be a Windows Live ID, you can of course sign in to Windows 8 using your Outlook.com account information, assuming of course you intend to use this account as your primary account going forward. If not, you can simply add your Outlook.com account credentials to three of the four Windows 8 communications apps—Mail, People, and Calendar, each of which is tied into the other—and access your email, contacts, and schedule from the respective apps.
Launch the Mail app and type WINKEY + I to access Settings. (With the mouse, you can activate the Charms using the upper-right or lower-right hot corner and then choose Settings from there.)
From the Settings pane, choose Accounts. Then, click the Add an account link. From the list of account type choices, choose Outlook. (You can also choose Hotmail; this works identically.)
In the full-screen Add your Outlook account notification pop-up, enter your Outlook.com email address and password.
Now, click Connect. The Mail app will add your account and then return to the main view. (Note that your Outlook.com contacts are also added to People and your Outlook.com events are also added to Calendar. (Messaging is tied only to your main, or sign-in, Microsoft account.)
You may want to rename the account in Mail as well. (It will be named Outlook, Outlook 2, or similar by default.) To do so, return to Settings, Accounts, and then select the account. When you do, you’re provided with a number of configurable settings, including the account name.
Windows Phone 7.5 works similarly to Windows 8, though you add the account through Settings, Email + Accounts. From this screen, tap Add an account.
From the list of possible account types, select Outlook. (Note that you could also select Windows Live. This works almost identically to the Outlook account type, but with two differences. First, you get a different email tile icon, neither of which maps to the new Outlook.com logo. And second, the mail fetch settings are a bit different, though you should review and edit those, as described below, anyway.)
In the Outlook screen, enter your email address and password. Windows Phone will look for, then find, your settings, and then create the new account. And then you’ll return to the Email + Accounts screen and the new account, named Outlook (or similar) by default, will appear at the bottom of the list and sync your email, contacts, and calendar information to the phone.
When that’s done, tap the new Outlook account to configure a few settings.
You may want to change the name, how items are downloaded, and which content (email, contacts, calendar, and/or tasks) that are synced to the phone.