.NET integration
June 18, 2002 11:37 PM   Subscribe

.NET integration I use MSN messenger and am notified by it of any mail arriving in my hotmail account. I just logged in to hotmail with the intention of forwarding a few emails to my POP account for download by my mail client, and was informed that my account was suspended, and all mail, folders and addresses deleted, because I hadn't logged in to hotmail for more than 30 days. I've logged in to messenger virtually every day, but I hadn't received any mail so why would I log in to hotmail?

Is this a punishment for not requesting spam, or a sign that even Microsoft doesn't "get" integration?
posted by southisup (25 comments total)
The interface and functionality of Messenger has become hugely diluted in recent updates; myself, I use Trillian to span multiple IM networks.

As for deleting the account, I knew about the 30-day rule, but would've thought they'd include logging in via Messenger within that. Such is the wisdom of MS. Leave your HotMail account and get a PostMaster.co.uk account (much better system).
posted by williamtry at 11:48 PM on June 18, 2002

If you're on a mac... iTools. Free POP/IMAP/webmail account.
posted by password at 12:05 AM on June 19, 2002

That's actually good to know. I likewise thought that using Messenger (which requires a hotmail sign-up) would count as "using my account," since the only reason I have said account in the first place is because Messenger made me get it. What a load of crap.
posted by artifex at 12:06 AM on June 19, 2002

If you're on a mac... iTools. Free POP/IMAP/webmail account.

Plus iTools logins now work with AOL Instant Messenger, as I understand it.
posted by artifex at 12:07 AM on June 19, 2002

Trillian looks like it has improved since I last tried it, but it doesn't yet offer the all features I use.

I don't actually need the mail account, but I'm interested in other users' thoughts and experiences - is this an oversight by Microsoft, a sign they don't truly understand the concept of integrated services, or something for the conspiracy theorists?
posted by southisup at 12:10 AM on June 19, 2002

Yep, my hotmail acct. was suspended on the 30 day rule as well, as I found out when I went to check my box the other day. Since I had only signed up for it to use Messenger, it's not a terrible loss but, still rather irksome.

Which reminds me, checking my Yahoo addy, it seems as if it's at 100% (6 MB) of capacity, all spam. Amazing, since I'd last cleaned my folders there out about 2 weeks ago. I think I'll pass on the upgrade to 100MB for 9.99/year - I don't have the few weeks it'd take to clean out that much spam. *sigh*
posted by digital_insomnia at 12:42 AM on June 19, 2002

You don't need a Hotmail account to use Messenger. You can just get a passport and that will work fine. However, when registering the passport you will need another e-mail address to authenticate yourself.
posted by kerplunk at 12:51 AM on June 19, 2002

I had the same exact problem, and also thought it was ridiculous that despite daily use of my MSN passport (through MSN IM), my hotmail account was suspended due to the 30-day rule.

The day after I reactivated my account, I got something like 400 pieces of spam. Yay, hotmail!
posted by jennak at 3:36 AM on June 19, 2002

Microsoft originally set it up so only hotmail or msn address would work with passport, then changed their ways. Now, any address would work.

The only reason they are doing it is to sell Hotmail Plus Space, which suspends the 30-day rule (which incidentally, didn't it used to be 6 months?). But Hotmail has been useless to me for years, with all the SPAM any address in Hotmail I have. Which is why I just used a regular e-mail address for my Passport account to use MSN messenger.
posted by benjh at 3:55 AM on June 19, 2002

Woah, thanks for the heads-up. I only use my hotmail account for backup, or when I need to sign up for something that might send me spam. I hadn't checked it in a while, so they deactivated my account too and deleted all of my saved messages. Annoying, but I can't complain much about a free service.
posted by Loudmax at 4:00 AM on June 19, 2002

So reactivate it. I never use my Hotmail account (not being a spam masochist), so I lose no mail if it's temporarily deactivated. I just checked myself and found the same thing, but it really doesn't bother me since I never use the account for e-mail.
posted by mcwetboy at 4:46 AM on June 19, 2002

30-60 days has been the rule for a long long time, pre MS-owned Hotmail. If you don't login to www.hotmail.com for 30 days, they think you're dead or moved to another email provider. Look in the tos you signed *wink* *wink* when you signed up for their service.
posted by mkelley at 5:29 AM on June 19, 2002

Let me get this straight: You didn't receive any email to your Hotmail account in 30 days? Not even spam? Damn...I wan't to know your secret. ;-)
posted by Qubit at 5:33 AM on June 19, 2002

digital_insomnia, I had the same problem with my Yahoo! mail account. Turns out just putting your mail into the trash doesn't delete the mail. You have to click the "Empty Trash" link.
posted by goto11 at 7:13 AM on June 19, 2002

By the way, does everyone about know that one of the major benefits of the free Hotmail and Yahoo! e-mail accounts...checking your ISP's POP mail from the web while on the road...is going to stop being part of the free service soon. Effective sometime in July, you're gonna have to pay for the feature. Looks like mail2web is going to be the only free web-based e-mail gateway left soon. Anyone know of any others?
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:08 AM on June 19, 2002

Turns out just putting your mail into the trash doesn't delete the mail. You have to click the "Empty Trash" link.

I know, I did. That's what's so amazing. That was 6 MB of steaming, fresh spam, split evenly between my inbox and my "bulk mail" (giggle) folder.

I really should start taking screenshots - people never believe me.
posted by digital_insomnia at 8:13 AM on June 19, 2002

itools webmail lets you check another account.
posted by rhyax at 8:13 AM on June 19, 2002

I didn't know that Yahoo was disabling free users' ability to check third-party POP mail from mail.yahoo.com.

Yahoo has already disabled free users' ability to check their yahoo.com e-mail via POP from their own mail programs (or from Hotmail, for that matter).

However, you can always check your non-Yahoo POP mail from Outlook Express on the road (which is loaded on most boxes) ... but just remeber to erase your settings afterwards!
posted by MattD at 8:41 AM on June 19, 2002

Are there any good free mail services left? My hotmail account also got taken up with spam. I've been using MyEZMail.com, and it's been good so far, but the spam's beginning to take over there as well.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 8:41 AM on June 19, 2002

My hotmail account is pretty heavily filtered, so when spam comes I don't usually see it. I get a few pieces here and there on my Yahoo account. I used to use apexmail (before it went pay) and that became Spam Central for several months, after a long time of no spam at all.

When I register for somewhere that requires an email address and I am pretty sure that I will get spammed heavily from, I just use my AOL address. The only thing I get in that account is spam anyway, what will a few more pieces matter? : )
posted by SisterHavana at 8:56 AM on June 19, 2002

"Is this a punishment for not requesting spam, or a sign that even Microsoft doesn't "get" integration?" None of the above, this is a "sign" that Microsoft wants you to pay for their yearly Hotmail service ($20 US I think).

Then they will suspend the required login and up your spam (uh, mail) holding limits. The amount of time between when they announced that the limit had dropped from you having to log in every four months to one and their announcement of the new "service" was barely long enough to keep users from getting whiplash.
posted by johnmunsch at 9:57 AM on June 19, 2002

You can set up your hotmail account to work with outlook express. MS has been claiming it beta for like ever, but so far no glitches at all.

posted by sans at 11:19 AM on June 19, 2002

For those considering iTools, they are testing a beta of mac.com webmail so you can check that from the road as well. So far it seems mildly functional.
posted by verso at 11:34 AM on June 19, 2002

Free email with POP? I'm surprised nobody has mentioned SoftHome, which has a very nice free POP and web based service. You exchange some demographical data for the privilege, but it's a generous service: 500 message storage up to 15MB, and 45MB transfer per month. And to top it off, they offer an SMTP server to users; very nice when you're roaming.

From the advertising policy:
"First, and most importantly, we do not sell individually identifying data to anyone. Nor do we give it away.

Second, we do not sell lists of our users. We do use the demographics to advertise to you. That's how we make the money that keeps ourselves and our servers alive. (If you can think of a better revenue model, please tell us.)

The demographics we collect from you are strictly for advertising to you within the context of your use of the SoftHome free email service.
Pretty reasonable considering what you get. In perhaps three months, I've received six ads. I don't use the service heavily since I have web access to my home mail server, but it makes for a very nice secondary account.
posted by majick at 1:38 PM on June 19, 2002

30-60 days has been the rule for a long long time, pre MS-owned Hotmail.

That's not true. A while back the hotmail guidelines stated that your account may get disabled if not used for more than 180 days. But that's just what the text said - usually there wasn't an automatic disabling of the account after 180 days.

It was only in the past year or so (starting in 9/01 i think) that MS/Hotmail changed the system so that your account would be disabled if you didn't log on for 30 straight days. The 30-day rule kicked in the same time they started offering the $19.95/year plan.
posted by gluechunk at 2:03 PM on June 19, 2002

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