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Ease the transition to with this great set of tips

With launching this week and Hotmail users beginning their transition to the new web experience, this is a great time to collect the tips I wrote last year into a single, easy-to-access location. If you’re just starting with, these tips will help you make sense of the new experience.

More tips? It’s been a while since I’ve looked at this series of tips. Do you have any more tips you’d like to see, or tips you can provide? Is a good topic for a future mini-book? Let me know!

Master the web experience

Keyboard Shortcuts

Here’s another way for former Gmail users to more easily make the transition to Enable Gmail-style keyboard shortcuts.

Use Categories

Continuing the theme of helping Gmail users make the transition to, this tip explains how you can create and manage email categories, which are similar to Gmail’s labels feature.

Archive Your Email

In August, I wrote about a way you could emulate Gmail’s popular Archive functionality in by creating an Instant Action. But now natively supports an Archive feature of its own. And it’s even better than my original tip.

Send Huge Attachments

While users of other email services need to access third party services to send huge files over the Internet, offers a better, more seamless experience: Attachments that exceed the service’s 10 MB attachment limit can simply be transmitted via SkyDrive instead. Put simply, users never need to worry about these limits.

Migrate to from another email service

Import Your Old Email

If you’re moving to from Gmail, Hotmail, or any other email service, you may want to copy or move all of your old email into the new account. There are probably a number of ways to do this, including at least one that is automated.

Connect and Import Contacts

As part of a migration from Gmail or other legacy email services, you’ll want to connect to or manually import your current contacts list so you can access those contacts directly from Fortunately, Microsoft’s new webmail solution has a nice tool in its People interface for exactly this purpose.

Use Email Aliases

Using the Alias feature, you can continue using your long-lived Hotmail account but benefit somewhat from a new email address too, assuming you plan to exclusively use the web interface.

Use Email Aliases (Part 2)

Following up on yesterday’s email aliases topic, here’s some information about how you can rename a Hotmail account using an alias, turning that alias into a full account. You can also use that alias address for a new account, but you’ll have to wait 30 days.

Access Other Email Accounts

Whether you’re coming to from Gmail, Hotmail, or some other email account, chances are you’d like to centralize all of your email activities through this superior new service. Using my previous examination of email account consolidation as a guide, let’s see how you can send and receive email from other accounts using

Send Email from Another Account

When I started writing a series of tips last summer, Microsoft didn’t provide an elegant way to use to send email from other accounts, somewhat mitigating its appeal. But this week, Microsoft added that capability, called Send Email, and you can now safely aggregate all of your other email accounts through if you’d like.

Working with accounts

Use a Plus Account

While the default experience is probably fine for most, you can actually remove the sidebar advertisements in Mail by signing up for Hotmail Plus. This paid service still works with, and while it’s a bit steep at $19.95 a year, it also helps the new Microsoft webmail service achieve a more professional, app-like look and feel.

Rename Your Account

If you’ve fallen in love with the efficient new webmail service and would like to take this relationship to the next level, you can rename your crusty old Hotmail account with a shiny and new address. Just be sure you understand the pros and cons of doing so first.

Note: Microsoft has temporarily removed the ability to rename accounts. I expect this to return soon.

Use with mobile devices

Configure on Windows 8 and Windows Phone

While much of the discussion about 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, so you can access your email, contacts, and calendar information on the go.

Configure on Android and iOS

Here’s how you can configure your new account to work with an iPhone, iPad, or Android-based smart phone or tablet.

Note: The Hotmail app for Android has since been replaced by an app, which works nearly identically.

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