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Microsoft replaces Hotmail with Outlook.com [Windows Phone users do not switch!]

Microsoft today unveiled Outlook.com, a whole new update to Hotmail, with a metro design and the same functionality as Exchange, but integrated into Windows and Office, along with the ability to connect to Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and Gmail to sync contacts over.

Outlook.com users will get 7GB of free storage on SkyDrive, and will be supported when setting up emails on Windows 8 or Windows Phone, with Skype Integration for Video calls. The entire thing looks fantastically minimal, so you’ll either love it or hate it.

One thing that’s worth noting though, is that if you’re a Windows Phone users and try to change your existing Hotmail.com or Live.com account to an Outlook.com email address, you will see the following warning:

Warning: You might not want to change this email address if you’ve used it to set up a Windows Phone. On your phone, features that use this address will stop working, including Marketplace, Xbox LIVE, SkyDrive, email, and others. To use these features again on your phone, you’d need to restore it to factory settings, which erases all personal content.

Apparently there’s still a bit of work to be done on the integration, so if you switch over accounts, you might lose functionality completely, such as access to the Windows Phone marketplace, SkyDrive, Xbox Live and more. For the time being I setup my Outlook.com account but have not renamed by Hotmail.com/Live.com email address.

Sigh. It’s nice to see Hotmail finally get a major overhaul, and I understand it’s just a “preview,” but egads Microsoft, why no proper instructions for Windows Phone users?

Update: Apparently you can create an alias to get an Outlook.com email address (assuming you havent made one already, or registered a new outlook account). This wont mess with any email in your Windows Phone services. You can get a “@outlook.com” alias but you cant send emails from it. You can create your alias over at this link.

[button link=”http://www.outlook.com/” style=”light_gray”]Outlook.com[/button]